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Seven New JPs in Auckland

Ric Carlyon - Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Seven Justices of the Peace have been sworn into office, the ceremony conducted by Judge Philip Recordon in the Auckland District Court.

Family and friends of the new JPs were present, along with representatives of the Association led by President, Colin Davis. In congratulating our latest JPs, the President told the gathering that Justices of the Peace are quiet achievers. “JPs work tirelessly for their community. Don’t expect public recognition for your services, the appointment’s not an honour although you have been appointed because your community holds you in high regard”.

Those sworn in  are Uzra Casuri Balouch of Albany,  Sandra Maree Becroft of Wellsford, Stevan Lourie Cole of Hillcrest, Bernice Gail Judge, Kohimarama, Michael John Keech from Auckland Central, Donna Fay Mitchell of Milford  and  Jennifer Ekueta Tapu of Papatoetoe.

The new JPs were invited to join their nearest Support Group, undertake confidence-building with a mentor and play their part, rostered to one of the Service Desks.

Update - Royal Federation of NZ Justices Associations

Ric Carlyon - Monday, May 26, 2014

From Wallis Walker, Auckland Regional Representative to RFNZJA

+ 2014 Conference in Waitangi started the Year of JPs in grand style with celebrations of 200 years of service of JPs in NZ. We have much to be proud of so please take the opportunities to let the public know of the huge contribution we make to justice in NZ. Enacting justice in our communities through taking declarations, affidavits, affirmations, witnessing signatures, all contribute hugely to our economy and our democratic way of life.

+ Royal Federation of NZ Justices Associations (RFNZJA) website is full of information to help you with your role as a JP and keep you up to date with events.

+ The RFNZJA Board decided to have a special issue of JQ to celebrate 200 years. If you have any anecdotes about you or your relations’ experiences as JPs, Geoff Davies, editor would welcome these, along with any advertisers wishing to congratulate JPs on their 200th year. This would help with costs. Geoff Davies email is

+ Dr Philip Harkness continues his work on writing a book on the past 200 years of JPs in NZ. He’s  hoping to have it printed later this year and available to you in 2015.

+ Conference 2014 made a decision not to continue the policy on accreditation. The Board will be considering what next. I am interested in hearing your opinions on this and the related practising certificates previously agreed to by RFNZJA.

+ The Board is also preparing a Strategic Plan for the next 3 years and this will guide our application for government funding. Unfortunately over the past 3 years the Board has not been able to do all the things it would like to, due to limitations of funding.

+ To help the dedicated volunteers who work hard in governing JP Associations the Board gained some sponsorship and, along with interest from the Education Trust, are running a 2 day Emerging Leaders Seminar in July. Congratulations to Yvonne Hawkins and Jade Wood from Auckland on being selected for this seminar along with the following; Geoff Abbott, Northland: Cathy Hurst, North Otago: Brian Hurst, Nelson Tasman: James Wilson, Eastern Bay of Plenty: Jane Lacey, Wellington: Peter Pritchard, Hauraki: Phyllis Rintoul, Far North: A. Christine Small, Rotorua: Ken Swinney, Southland: Tangi Utikere, Central Districts: Janet Williams, Waikato: Stephen Wise, Ashburton
and Gary Pollack, Hawkes Bay.

Boys will be boys .....

Ric Carlyon - Friday, May 23, 2014

It is reported in the Melbourne Age - Victoria, Australia`s largest daily newspaper, that Judge Simon Phelan who was assigned to hearing a case before the Children’s Court of Victoria, excused himself twice from the bench when he broke out into uncontrollable bouts of laughter during his passing judgement on two young teenage boys aged 14 & 15, who were in front of him, on a charge of causing Public Disorder.

The facts of the matter were, these two lads had sneaked into the Omar Bin Al-Kattab mosque in Preston, Victoria, some minutes after Friday evening prayers had commenced and more than 1,000 worshipers were in attendance.

The lads set about rearranging 1,058 individual shoes, from the pairs that worshippers had neatly placed outside the prayer chamber, before entering.

This `prank` had the effect of completely mixing up the shoes, making it difficult and an extremely frustrating task for the owners to locate their own pair.

Unfortunately the lads were flat-footed when apprehended by two late-comer worshippers who arrived to find the boys hard at work mixing up the pairs of shoes. The worshippers were not quite as amused as the boys and reported them.

On his third attempt of conveying a stern and suitable punishment for their misdemeanor, Judge Phelan composed himself sufficiently to sentence both lads to 100 hours’ community service at the Preston mosque, under the watchful eye of Australia's leading Muslim cleric, Sheik Fehmi Naji El-Imam.





Briefs from Council’s May Meeting

Ric Carlyon - Thursday, May 22, 2014

+ Within days of being re-organised, it was reported, and welcomed, that Waiheke Support Group had arranged its first activity: training with Rex Chandler, to brush up on Ministerial duties. This, Dawn Jones, told Council, is typical of Support Groups taking every opportunity to include training in their activities - it’s become an essential part of their meetings

+ Council adopted the document Arrangements for Service Desks which details guidelines for establishing and maintaining Service Desks: facilities fast becoming the most popular way for JPs to serve their community. “The Arrangement provides advice for new Service Desks…” Convener Ric Carlyon advised Council, “…and gives a good base document for those already successfully operating”.

+ Good progress is being made for next year’s Royal Federation Conference which Auckland Association is hosting at Spencer on Byron, Takapuna, February 27, ‘15. Organising Committee Chairman, Selwyn Haworth, told the meeting that budget-setting, setting the programme, arranging partners’ programmes and other plans are well advanced for a successful event. Wallis Walker said the Royal Federation’s Board has approved the programme proposed by the host Association.

+ Auckland’s the venue for another event – Regional Representative, Wallis Walker, also advised that the Regional Ministerial Seminar for JP trainers in the northern part of New Zealand has returned to the calendar after a break, and will be held in Auckland with a tentative date 23rd August.

+ The review of the Association’s Constitution is almost complete, President Colin Davis reported, and in a week or two the final draft will be approved. It will be circulated to Support Groups for comment and will be submitted to this year’s Annual General Meeting for ratification.

+ This year’s Auckland Regional Conference will be held on Sunday 14th September at Alexandra Park. Wallis Walker said an interesting programme is scheduled including the Year of the JP which celebrates the 200th anniversary of the appointment of New Zealand’s first JP, ministerial training and a speaker on population trends in Greater Auckland.
+ Registrar, Roger Brookes, reminded Council that the next swearing-in ceremony at Auckland District Court will be held on Monday 26th May when 7 appointees will be sworn.

+ Discussion during Council’s meeting centred on new JPs’ awareness of the expectation that they must be available to serve the public, to complete initial training with a mentor, to join a Support Group and to assist on a Service Desk. It was noted that these matters are mentioned in printed material given to candidates, canvassed again during interview and reiterated once they are sworn in. However, it was suggested that the check-list used during interview with prospective JPs should be amended to make certain that they are in no doubt that, if appointed, they’re expected to serve the public, with special awareness of being rostered at a Service Desk.

Service Desk Opens in South Auckland

Ric Carlyon - Monday, May 05, 2014

The latest JP Service Desk launched today in Manukau. It’s in Friendship House, 20 Putney Way, conveniently situated in the heart of the City Centre.

Justices of the Peace from South Auckland will be available at Friendship House on Monday and Wednesday mornings for those requiring the services of a JP. As with other Service Desks it’s a walk-up facility - no appointment necessary.

The JP Service Desk adds to the long list of amenities and wide range of services available to the community within Friendship House.

JPs will be available on two days each week, Mondays and Wednesdays, between 10am and 1pm.
This newest Service Desk is one of more than 50 operating across Greater Auckland under the auspices of the Auckland Justices of the Peace Association

Waiheke Gets into Gear

Ric Carlyon - Friday, May 02, 2014

There’s a quiet but determined revival going on at Waiheke, confirmed at last night’s meeting of the local Support Group.

A number of the island’s JPs, some of whom had not met before, gathered to hear proposals for regular support meetings, training and, importantly, plans to increase present JP availability to their community with an enhanced Service Desk. It’s planned to create a roster so there can be regular sessions attended by JPs at the Citizens’ Advice Bureau in Oneroa.

Auckland Association Council members Dawn Jones (Support Groups), Ric Carlyon (Service Desks) and David Grove(Immediate Past President), advised the meeting of experiences where other Groups have been established.

The 3 Council members left the island confident that the volunteers’ enthusiasm and dedication will result in the delivery of more efficient JP services on Waiheke.

Kit for New JPs

Ric Carlyon - Sunday, April 20, 2014

To complete the training and orientation programme for new JPs the Registrar, Roger Brookes, has put together a “Welcome to…” kit. As well as congratulating newly-sworn JPs, the documentation points out expectations of them in their service to the community and suggests they join their local Support Group. This, the Registrar says, will put them in contact with a mentor to further familiarise duties and gain confidence. “This is part of the Association’s mission to have every JP trained and active,” says President, Colin Davis, “so it’s important to encourage new JPs, particularly, to undertake a full range of duties. The document also outlines further opportunities for refresher training and where JPs can seek further support, as required”.

One Month's Work...

Ric Carlyon - Wednesday, April 16, 2014

One of the Council’s ongoing quests is that all JPs are active and trained so it’s interesting to dissect the Registrar’s summary of one month’s input into the training aspect of our activities.

Statistics for March reveal the dedication and hours JPs spent on training to better serve the community. All up, trainers and members invested some 350 hours in organised training, both Judicial and Ministerial. This includes the one-day training for 11 nominees. On top of these sessions other JPs will have put in additional hours training with their local Support Groups.

Aside from training, Judicial JPs sat for 155 hours in the 4 Auckland courts while JPs attending to Ministerial duties at Service Desks, at home and at the workplace, will have clocked up hundreds more hours during the month.

Volunteers, all.  

Latest Council Business

Ric Carlyon - Thursday, April 10, 2014

Briefs from Council’s Monthly Meeting held on 9th April 2014:

CONSTITUTION – President, Colin Davis, advised steady progress has been made on the review of the Association’s Constitution.

YELLOW PAGES – Registrar Roger Brookes reported that new JPs will no longer be listed in Yellow Pages under ‘Justices of the Peace’ nor will any further amendments be made by the Auckland Association’s office. JPs who want a listing, or to alter existing entries, should do so themselves.

THANKS – Considerable past experience and service was acknowledged when it was reported that 12 JPs have recently retired and will soon be receiving appropriate lapel badges.

2015 CONFERENCE – Is being hosted by Auckland Association, held at Takapuna’s Spencer on Byron in February next year. Advice was received that the organising committee’s on target planning the big event.

IT UPGRADE – Lion Foundation has donated funds enabling the Registrar’s office equipment to be upgraded.

WEBSITE – Work continues to create a communication link and information platform for our members and the public, and it was reported that ultimately the dynamic news updates will replace the quarterly hard-copy newsletter.

CONFERENCE EXPENSES – Council will suggest to Royal Federation that when it submits its 3 yearly funding request to the Minister of Justice that it includes an annual allocation to assist Associations stage the annual conference.

SERVICE DESKS – Three new Service Desks are planned – one in Manukau City at Friendship House should be operating before month’s end while Support Groups plan desks in Devonport and on Waiheke Island.

Ministerial Memoire

Ric Carlyon - Wednesday, April 09, 2014

60 JPs from Hibiscus Coast gathered recently to share morning tea with Associate Justice Minister Chester Borrows and local MP Mark Mitchell.
Discussion turned to a topic often talked over by JPs lately - why are there so many inactive JPs and why aren't they coming forward to help those who are providing services, particularly now there are Support Groups, Service Desks and organised training sessions.
Auckland Association supports MPs who have said they will write to JPs reminding them of the responsibilities they undertook when appointed.
The Minister agrees with this approach saying JPs should be given an option: serve their community or stand down, becoming a JP Retired.

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