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Happy New Year!

Ric Carlyon - Friday, February 16, 2018

As we welcome the Year of the Dog today we are reminded of the many nationalities and cultures in the ranks of Justices of the Peace in Auckland - and the wide diversity of people we serve in our multi-cultural community.

So “Gong Xi Fa Chai”, and “Gong Hei Fat Choy” to all who begin celebrations today: here's to a healthy and prosperous new year!

Increasingly, we are acknowledging festivals brought to New Zealand by other and varied ethnicities, so it’s neat to report other groups celebrating our traditions.

It happened at a meeting just before Christmas of the West Auckland Support Group. The leader of a group of Chinese asked permission to attend. It turned out to be a group of musicians and dancers who entertained the Justices with a brief recital.

The group showed their gratitude in music and song

The Chinese said they were taking the opportunity pre-Christmas to thank local JPs for their community service, especially their support to new immigrants. And the Justices appreciated the gesture.

Justices were also entertained with traditional dance

So today, here’s a little cultural crossover with reciprocal greetings to members of the Group - and all - who celebrate today!  Happy New Year!, Gong Xi Fa Chai!, Gong Hei Fat Choy

Briefs from Council

Ric Carlyon - Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The Council of the Auckland Justices of the Peace Association held its regular monthly meeting this morning and the following items were discussed:

+ Non-active Justices of the Peace have been discussed with some local Members of Parliament (who nominate JPs) in attempts to reinvigorate those still holding their warrants but not carrying out any community service. Further, Auckland Council has a remit at the upcoming Royal Federation Conference suggesting measures to encourage non-active JPs to re-train (leading to assured competent services by those who are skilled), or retire.

+ Steady progress was reported on the engineering, design and composition of the Association’s revamped website

+ Some Service Desks increased the number of transactions in January even though it was a “short month” for many with 2 weeks’ summer  holidays. The trend, overall, is increasing service to communities at almost 70 Desks.

+ The Treasurer reported a satisfactory comparison, expenditure v budget, in the accounts, advising Council members that at this stage of the financial year it appears there will be a positive outcome for 2017/18.

+ Members tidied topics they will be advocating at Royal Federation’s Conference in Christchurch, especially constitutional matters affecting the running of the Federation and how these impact on Auckland Association's business. 

+ For the Diary: The Association's Annual Luncheon, Sunday May 20th (we have avoided clashing with Mother's Day!), Quality Inn Hotel, Parnell. Diary it now, details later.  

+ Council Member Tamati Howard was farewelled at the meeting with a round of thanks in appreciation of his services over many years, especially his leadership, liaison and hands-on work in South Auckland.  Tamati has resigned prior to relocating to the North.

Service Desks Get Kits

Ric Carlyon - Saturday, February 10, 2018

Kits containing some of the essentials used by Justices of the Peace in their public services were distributed to Support Group Coordinators at their meeting this morning. 
The Kits will be used at Service Desks operated by the Auckland Justices of the Peace Association across Greater Auckland. They contain “tools of trade” for Justices including a tablet, rubber stamps, a Manual and a folder with forms and statutory documents frequently used. 

The Kits await distribution to Service Desks

Detailing the Kits at today’s meeting, Dawn Jones said the project to support Service Desks in this way has been some 5 years in the making and came to fruition only when funds became available last year. Among other items, the kits provide some of the less-frequently used rubber stamps which Justices are reluctant to buy themselves, including Exhibit Note, copy certified as downloaded from the internet and a date stamp. Also included is a small stamp pad, easing the task of putting fingerprints on overseas documents requiring this form of identification. 

Typical kit with tablet for use at Service Desks

Dawn, who led the project, assessed what was wanted, made the purchases - “I chased best-priced items at stores across Auckland!” - and organised a series of working bees to put all the items in the bags.  They’re expected to be put in use at Service Desks right away.  

Support Groups Meet

Ric Carlyon - Saturday, February 10, 2018

Support Group Coordinators, those who bind together Justice of the Peace activities across Greater Auckland, gathered this morning for their annual meeting. 
It’s an opportunity for representatives of our 27 Support Groups to be updated on Auckland Association activities and to help coordinate and assist their endeavours. 
President Garry Nicholls told those present that they are the ones leading the front-line, the groups of Justices who arrange and maintain Service Desks at the heart of our service to the community. 

Support Group Coordinators at their meeting this morning

Council Member Ric Carlyon also acknowledged their work keeping a liaison with our members, especially overseeing training and competency. 
Council Member Sherryl Wilson chaired an open forum to conclude the meeting at which diverse topics were raised such as finding more funds to assist ongoing expenses, statutory forms that could be better worded and designed along with the ongoing question of Justices who retain their warrant but are inactive. 
Those present at the meeting also received a resource kit for each Service Desk they operate.   

Our New Website

Ric Carlyon - Sunday, February 04, 2018

As has been announced, there are plans to refurbish Auckland Association’s website.

Rather than focus on a few opinions of what form, look and feel the website might have, and how best to convey information, the Council has decided to canvass wider. 

While the site's values and integrity must be maintained, it will be important to present attractive pages which members and the public can easily access and will find useful.  To this end we are calling on our membership for volunteers to participate in a short-term project, giving their ideas at this early stage of website refurbishment - and with perhaps the additional task, later, of testing access and navigation within the site. 

If you would like to offer, please advise our Registrar by 9am Monday 12 February.  

Justices of the Peace Honoured

Ric Carlyon - Saturday, December 30, 2017

7 Auckland Justices of the Peace are named in the New Year Honours, announced today. 

Ms Rangimarie Naida Glavish, ONZM, JP, is made Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Māori and the community. Naida Glavish, now Dame Rangimarie, is currently employed as the Chief Advisor Tikanga Māori with the He Kāmaka Waiora, Māori Health, for the Waitemata and Auckland District Health Boards. She became known throughout New Zealand in 1984 with her “Kia Ora” greeting while a telephone operator… against the rules at the time and for which she was penalised. But support came from many in the community who welcomed a greeting in Te Reo, causing a change in policy. In her present role as Chief Advisor Tikanga Maori, Ms Glavish has championed appropriate cultural support for Māori patients, leading the writing, development and implementation of bicultural policies and tikanga recommended best practice guidelines.

Former MP and Cabinet Minister, historian Hon Dr Michael Edward Bassett, QSO, JP, of St Marys Bay, becomes a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services as historian. Between academic appointments  since he retired from politics, Dr Bassett has written numerous books, principally political histories and biographies. He has also served as a Member of the Waitangi Tribunal and Board Member of the Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa Tongarewa.

Dr Haare Mahanga Te Wehinga Williams, JP, is made Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Māori, the arts and education as a teacher, artist, and broadcaster: a significant contribution throughout his career to bettering the educational attainment and social and cultural outcomes of Māori. Dr William has been Executive Director of the New Zealand 1990 Commission. He set up a joint venture with the South Seas Film and Television School to train te reo speakers as producers and operators in film and television. He was a pioneer in Māori broadcasting as the General Manager of Aotearoa Radio. He has published poetry, exhibited painting, and writes scripts and lyrics for film and television. Dr Williams has held the position of Amorangi at the Auckland War Memorial Museum since 2011.

Mr Ray Raman Annamalai, JP, has received the Queen’s Service Medal for services to the community and Tamil culture in Auckland and Hamilton, particularly through the establishment of two Hindu temples. He led development of the Sri Ganesh Temple in Papakura, the first Tamil temple in New Zealand.

Ms Raewyn Teresa Bhana, JP, Weymouth, is given the Queen’s Service Medal for contribution to initiatives to support people in the South Auckland community, as Operation Manager with Whanau Ora Community Clinics as Manager of Safer Aotearoa Family Violence Prevention Network and co-ordinator of White Ribbon Dinners in South Auckland for the past four years, and an annual lunch on Christmas day for the homeless and those living in poverty in Papatoetoe, Manurewa and Wiri.

Mrs Margaret Ann Miles, JP, of Paremoremo, receives the Queen’s Service Medal for her contribution over more than 40 years to the North Shore community in a variety of roles. She has been Ward Councillor and Chair and Deputy Chair of the Auckland Council’s Upper Harbour Local Board. She supported the development of the North Shore Events Centre and North Harbour Stadium, and more recently the Albany Stadium Pool. Aside from many other community works, Mrs Miles has had a significant involvement for more than 15 years with Miniature Horse Clubs and judges competitions for the Waitemata District Pony Club. 

Mrs Patricia Mary (Paddy) Stafford-Bush, JP, of Bayswater, has the Queen’s Service Medal for services on the Devonport Community Board from 1990 to 2001, Chair from 1995. She was a founding member of the North Shore Heritage Trust in 2002 and has been Chair for the past six years. She and her husband set up the Bobby Stafford-Bush Foundation in memory of their son. The foundation provides scholarships and sponsorships for young people across a range of activities and interests, particularly enabling upskilling and environmental protection. She is an active member of the Devonport Rotary Club and has been involved with the organising of the Club’s Wine and Food fundraisers for local charities. 

Annual Dinner

Ric Carlyon - Sunday, December 03, 2017

The Association’s Annual Dinner proved a rewarding evening with opportunity taken to present awards, partake of good food, share hospitality… and then to hear a most entertaining and informative guest speaker.

Two Justices made Life Members of the Association at our recent Annual General Meeting were presented with certificates and badges of office. 

Allan Spence has been a Bench Justice of the Peace for many years, and still sits. He is a former Council member on the Auckland Association, Auckland representative at the Royal Federation and, in 2005, he was President of the Royal Federation.   He also served on the Auckland Judicial Panel.

Allan Spence and Britt Stephen-Smith each receive Life Membership of the Association 
from Immediate Past-President Selwyn Haworth  

Britt Stephen-Smith was appointed Justice of the Peace in 1985 and joined the Bench a few years later. Britt was a member of Auckland Association’s Council when he oversaw, and reformed, the Association’s financial affairs and grew the membership base. He was President of the Royal Federation in 2001.
Selwyn Haworth acknowledges George Langton's 40 years' service as a Justice of the Peace   

George Langton was presented with Certificate for 40 years’ service as a Justice of the Peace. 

Guest speaker, Celia Caughey, introduced her audience to Vietnam where she was former New Zealand Trade Commissioner and Consul-General. Celia touched on the country’s history, its colonisation, wars and, in recent years, remarkable economic recovery.  

Celia Caughey was guest Speaker at this year's Association Dinner 

Celia also drew differences between Western and Vietnamese culture, something she became immersed in when she married a local.  Celia, as Trade Commissioner introduced New Zealand apples and kiwifruit to Vietman, now an established and growing import. She continues her welfare work there with oversight and sponsorship of care and education for homeless girls and young women. 

Auckland's Remits for Conference 2018.

Ric Carlyon - Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Council of the Auckland Justices of the Peace Association has advised the Royal Federation of Justices Associations of 5 remits it would like aired at next year's Conference in Christchurch. They range in subject matter from JP appointments and on-going performance to clarifying procedures when complaints are made against Justices and seeking a boost in funds to enhance Ministerial training. 

Remit 1 THAT the Board establish a Working Group, including a representative of the Ministry of Justice, to investigate how the appointment and on-going eligibility of Justices of the Peace can be enhanced to ensure the service provided to the community is both of a high standard and is easily accessed. The Working Group to consult widely and to report back by 30 September 2018, with its report and any recommendations being a matter for consideration by Conference 2019.

Over successive years, several remits have been presented raising concerns about the standard of the service provided to clients. 
In 2017, the Marlborough Justices of the Peace Association presented a remit (Remit #4) asking the Board to consult with Associations and the Ministry of Justice “in order to explore means by which the level of competence of Justices of the Peace may be monitored and enhanced”. This was supported by 27 associations. In the attached rationale, it was stated, “In appointing Justices of the Peace to carry out their duties, Government has a responsibility to ensure that those appointed have, and continue to have, the necessary competence to ensure that the right of the public to competent service, is protected.”
While we supported this remit, we believe it is appropriate that Justices of the Peace are proactive in identifying the issues affecting appointments and on-going performance, as well as in suggesting ways in which these can be addressed.
We envisage that there are several areas that the Working Party would need to consider. These include, but are not limited to, the following:
a) Appointment procedures: The current system has been in place for some time and a review would seem timely to see how this might be improved.
b) Accessibility: At present, there is a lack of consistency about how the public can access the names and location of Justices of the Peace.
c) Accreditation: The system introduced recently has been well supported by many Justices of the Peace. However, while this provides a useful guide to the public, as long as it remains voluntary it does not address overall standards of competency.
d) Current and future trends: There is now greater diversity in how the services of Justices of the Peace are delivered. The growth of service desks and their location in a number of different public places has been a recent development that is changing the need for Justices of the Peace to be available.
e) Legislative changes: The most recent changes occurred in 2007. At that time, Parliament envisaged that a greater level of monitoring could be undertaken by associations than has proved possible. Recent legislative changes in some Australian states could provide some useful suggestions including the possibility of limited tenure or a practising certificate.
f) Training: The Federation’s Code of Conduct states that Justices of the Peace shall “maintain a working knowledge of the duties, responsibilities and obligations of a Justice of the Peace by regularly participating in ongoing education provided by their Associations or Royal Federation”. How this requirement is met, as well as the range of training methodologies available, is central to ensuring high standards are maintained.
We believe it is a matter of urgency that issues that have been identified over several years are addressed so that public confidence in the office may be enhanced.

Remit 2.That Royal Federation clarifies which types of complaints other than those arising from Ministerial roles and functions, are to be dealt with under our complaints procedures.
There are 3 places where information on complaints is located. 
(a) Best Practice Manual
(b) Justice of the Peace Act Section 5 
(c) Code of Ethics/ Code of Conduct 
There are conflicting messages in the above.
(a) BPM refers to ‘A complaint about how a JP carried out ministerial duties…” and does not include any other types of complaint.
(b) The JP Act describes 7 reasons for removal or suspension one of which is ‘misconduct’.   What does misconduct mean?
(c) Codes of Ethics No 2 and Code of Conduct No 3 describe another range of behaviour and are supported by a footnote stating any breaches will be dealt with under Complaints and Discipline or within the JP Act Section 5(1)
There are increasing numbers of complaints where the complainant is trying to use our process rather than a more appropriate one.  We do not have the ability to investigate criminal activity or similar.
The widening range of diverse cultures and morals place JPs at risk of differing opinions regarding their actions.

Remit 3 That funding for Service Desks authorised by a Justice of the Peace Association be based on the number of hours JP Service is available at that location. Where 2 or more JPs are on duty at the same time at a Service Desk each Justice of the Peace’s hours should be counted.
 The basis for funding should be the total hours a Service Desk is available to the public.

Remit 4 That there be no limit on the number of new Service Desks per association when funding for a new Service Desk is being granted.
A more fair system which does not discriminate against larger associations is needed.

Remit 5
That the Board seek funding from the Ministry of Justice of at least $100,000 for Ministerial Trainers / Educators. This to be allocated to Associations on the basis of the number of Association members.
•There are increasing time demands on Ministerial Trainers / Educators to provide training for inductions, refresher updates, accreditation sessions etc.
•The introduction of Accreditation has placed increased demands on Ministerial Trainers. This will become even greater as we seek to improve the competency of Ministerial Justices. 
•The Ministry already provides reimbursement for other specific training related costs.

Last Chance for a Hub Meeting

Ric Carlyon - Thursday, November 16, 2017

Members who have not yet attended a Hub Meeting in this series have a last chance on Saturday. 

Opportunity ends with the Hub Meeting at Peace Experiment - Montesorri School, 18 Pilkington Road, Panmure on Saturday afternoon from 2pm until 4pm.  Any Justice from anywhere in Auckland may attend - you do not have to be a member of the South-East Support Group.

There’s plenty of parking adjacent to the venue in Pilkington Road carpark immediately behind Panmure shops and the school’s easily accessible on foot with a two minute walk off Pilkington Road through Clifton Court. 

Nearly 300 Justices have so far attended one of the Series 2 Hub meetings with the vast majority approving both content and presentation.

The Hub meetings qualify towards accreditation and provide an ideal opportunity to prepare for the test!     

South-East Hub meeting  this Saturday (18th) from 2pm at Peace Experiment - Montesorri School, 18 Pilkington Road, Panmure (just up from the main Panmure shopping centre) 

JP Pen in Volvo Ocean Race

Ric Carlyon - Monday, November 13, 2017

Sailing around the world is one of our Justice of the Peace pens. 

Tony Mutter from Albany who is crewing on the yacht “Vestas 11th Hour Racing” was given the pen in Alicante, Spain, by Teresa Bullock a UK Magistrate who in turn was gifted the pen by Wallis Walker when they met up in London at the end of August.

Our pen was on the first yacht into Lisbon, Portugal on the first leg of the Volvo Race,
"Vestas 11th Hour" takes line honours at Lisbon. Photo: Jesus Renedo, Volvo Ocean Race
So as Tony Mutter sails the seven seas he has a memento to remind him of his home city of Auckland.
Let’s hope the pen lasts the distance and arrives in working order when the Volvo Ocean Race reaches Auckland in Jan/ Feb 2018.

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