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Justices' 2017 Conference Begins

Ric Carlyon - Saturday, March 04, 2017

The Annual Conference and Meeting of the Royal Federation of New Zealand Justices Associations is underway this weekend.

As you would expect, a conference in Rotorua will begin with a spirited Powhiri from local whenua, Te Arawa. But the ceremony turned into something else when Te Arawa elders gifted a maori name for the Royal Federation. Te Kahui Pou Whakatau Ture O Aotearoa now parallels the title of the Royal Federation.  Past President Graeme Kitto and Auckland Council Member Tamati Howard spoke on behalf of all Justices’ Associations, with the waiata led by Maaki Howard.

Other news from Day One of the meetings:

+ It was announced that Stephanie Dodd will start in min-March as the Federation’s new National Education Officer

+ Justices have taken opportunities to meet the Federation’s new National Manager, Tony Pugh

+ Delegates were told there are now 413 SDs at 218 locations throughout New Zealand   

+ Accreditation has been taken up by Justices mush faster than thought and the new target is for 50% of all Justices accredited by 2020. 

+ Royal Federation plans a make-over of its website later this year

+ The brochure outlining Justice of the Peace services is now available on the Royal Federation’s website in 3 languages with French soon to be added thanks to Auckland Justice Chris Cameron. Having information available in different languages was a Remit from Auckland at a previous Conference. 

Overdue Subscriptions

Ric Carlyon - Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Association’s making every effort to persuade members who are “unfinancial” to pay their annual subscription. Account Rendered notices are on the way to those who are in arrears.

"Members’ subscriptions are the main-stay of our income to finance Association’s activities”, President Selwyn Haworth says, “so it’s important all members pay their dues. With our enhanced data-base we are better able to identify and be in touch with members who have not yet paid this year’s subscription".

Treasurer Geoff Pownall estimates about 400 members have yet to pay this year (including 100 who have not paid last year’s subscription, either) and all will be receiving reminders about now, with the option to pay by direct credit or cheque.    

The Association's Rules provide that membership "... may cease..." if subscriptions remain in arrears for two years.

Justices Enhance Community Service

Ric Carlyon - Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Two Service Desks, one new, the other long-established, have extended their sessions to better serve their communities. 

The Desk at the North Shore District Court at Albany, which was set up a matter of weeks ago, has added a third session so that, from the beginning on March, Justices will attend on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 2.30pm until 4.30pm. 

While at Otara, the well-patronised Service Desk in the CAB has decided to extend its hours to provide additional Justice of the Peace services on Wednesday evenings at 5.30pm. It’s a trial for a month to see if there’s demand for the after-hours session, designed for those who can’t make it to see a Justice during the day because of their work or child-caring commitments. 

Welcome to… The Hubs

Ric Carlyon - Monday, February 13, 2017

The Association’s Council has introduced some significant changes to the ways it provides services for its Justices of the Peace membership, mainly training. 

At present there are 26 local Support Groups. Under the new scheme each Support Group will be asked to join one of 8 hubs, based on locality and community-of-interest. Members will then have the opportunity to access up-to-date training at twice-yearly meetings in each hub. 

Council Member Dawn Jones, says this move is designed to provide ready access for all Justices to the latest information and to ensure uniformly high standards are met by all Justices, whether they are part of a Support group or not. “The hub training sessions are not just for regular attenders but will be of particular value to Justices who may not have attended a training session for some time. For example, certifying documents from electronic sources or from financial institutions requires different procedures than for other documents.   We hope to attract all Justices to attend these sessions so we can meet ever-increasing demands on Justices’ services”.   

Introducing the plan at the weekend’s annual meeting of Support Group Coordinators, Dawn stressed that Support Groups would continue… the Hubs are additional, a new way for the Association to deliver training - one of its key responsibilities. Support Groups, Dawn suggested, may like to tailor their activities to dovetail with the new Hubs. 

Training Coordinator, Garry Nicholls, outlined a suggested training programme for the Hubs, saying it’s essential to keep Justices up to date and active… and he encouraged all members to obtain accreditation under the Royal Federation’s scheme.

Support Groups were given an opportunity to advise which Hub they would like to join. The next steps are to advise the calendar of events for the new Hubs, combined with the Association’s other activities.

Council’s First Meeting of 2017

Ric Carlyon - Thursday, February 09, 2017

 Briefs from the Council’s first meeting for the new year, held yesterday -

  • Arrangements were finalised for the Association's remits, etc  at  Royal Federation of NZ Justices Association’s Annual Meeting/Conference being held early next month in Rotorua. 
  • Council members were briefed on matters to be discussed at the annual meeting of Support Group Coordinators being held this Saturday. Significant changes being proposed will be revealed during the meeting. 
  • Treasurer Geoff Pownall reports some 390 subscriptions remain outstanding for the current financial year and “account rendered” emails are being sent out to remind these unfinancial members.
  • It was agreed the Association’s 2017 Annual General Meeting will be held as last year, combined with Auckland's Regional Conference in September. 
  • Justices of the Peace continue to officiate at weddings in West Auckland. Ii's a pilot scheme to test popularity of marriage ceremonies in semi-formal conditions. 29 couples were wed in November, 39 in December and 29 last month. It’s thought the trial, which is considered successful, might become a permanent alternative for couples being wed, and extended to other parts of New Zealand.
  • There’s been a concerted effort to update and correct the Association’s membership data. It has been a mammoth effort over many months. The latest drive has been to obtain email addresses from members whose @ addresses were missing in the data. It’s important the Association keeps in contact with members via email now there is no longer communication by postage.
  • Planning’s underway for the Association’s Luncheon (usually in May) and Annual Dinner (towards year’s end). Watch this space for further details. 

A Growth Activity

Ric Carlyon - Thursday, January 26, 2017

Service Desks continue to show all-round growth. They are increasing in number, sessions are being enhanced and they are providing more services for the community than ever.
Based on latest statistics here are the numbers for Justices of the Peace services each month at Desks across Greater Auckland. 

586
 sessions attended
1,640
hours in attendance  
9,000
people assisted 
40,150
total transactions 
35,420
copies certified 
3,935
Statutory Declarations taken

With figures adjusted for holidays, this means that Justices at Service Desks are now processing more than
460,000 transactions annually compared to 322,000 two years ago.    

More Service Desks are now available to the community…
65 in  all, with recent openings at Clendon Library, PAK'nSAVE in Flat Bush and at North Shore District Court. Sessions have recently been increased at Waitakere District Court from twice a week to daily.   

Where is my nearest Service Desk and what times are Justices in attendance? Press the Service Desk tab above. Click on the map, or look down the alphabetical list.

New Service Desks To Kick Off 2017

Ric Carlyon - Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Two new Service Desks brings the number, Auckland-wide, to 64. 

Albany 

A new Service Desk has been established at the North Shore District Court in Corinthian Drive, Albany. Effective immediately, two Justices of the Peace will be available on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons, 2.30 – 4.30. The Desk will provide service to the rapidly-growing areas in and around Albany… and, if demand warrants, sessions could be extended.
Clendon
Expansion of Justices’ services in South Auckland means a new Service Desk will be operating at the Clendon Library from early February. It will be open Wednesday mornings, 10am – noon. Library staff, believing there’s a need for services in Clendon, invited local Justices to set up in the library. 
Henderson
Not a new Service Desk, but attendances have been greatly enhanced at Waitakere District Court. It’s not long ago that the Desk was set up in the court building… now local Justices have rewritten rosters so they will be in attendance every day, Monday to Friday, 10.30am – noon.

The Year That Was - 2016

Ric Carlyon - Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Accreditation for Justices of the Peace, long-heralded by Royal Federation, came in during the year: those who pass an on-line test and attend training sessions qualify for accreditation for 2 years.
Support Groups, representing Justices of the Peace across Greater Auckland, from Wellsford and Helensville, to Waiheke Island and in southern-most suburbs, met in February to discuss mutual matters and reflect on the growth of Service Desks.
    
Royal Federation’s Annual Conference resolved to hold future Conferences biennially, which begged the constitutional question - what of the Federation’s essential Annual General Meeting?   

 
It was announced that the hard copy of the Justice Quarterly (JQ) will be phased out by 2020, but in the interim it’s to be modernised with a view to evolving into electronic format only.
The Ongoing Education module was unveiled, available on the Royal Federation’s website, giving ongoing education opportunities designed to support local learning. 
Denise Hutchins took over the reins as President of Royal Federation at its National Conference in Dunedin in February. 
Auckland Association’s data-base, after a lot of work by a team led by President Selwyn Haworth, has been cleaned and updated: now presenting an accurate list of the membership. This has greatly assisted the Treasurer’s invoicing of annual subscriptions - a record 75 per cent of members have paid before Christmas!  

Billie Jordan MNZM
Billie Jordan, founder of the Hip Op Group, was Guest Speaker at the May Luncheon and announced that she’s created a Hip-Operation Dance Academy so that, internationally,  others can form Hip Op groups. Billie received a Royal Honour at Queen’s Birthday weekend.
Our 2016 - 2020 Strategic Plan was drawn up by a committee who spent many hours reviewing the earlier 2015 - 2018 plan and consolidating it into a "plan on a page".  President Haworth says the document provides his personal blueprint to progress Association activities.  
The Annual Conference and Association’s Annual General Meeting were held as a combined event with 200 Justices attending. President Selwyn Haworth was returned to office, unopposed, for the second year, Garry Nicholls was elected, unopposed, as Vice-President and four vacancies on Council were also elected unopposed: Roger Brookes, Kamiesh Naidu, Susan Walker and Wallace Walker: each for a 2 year term. Colin Davis remains Immediate Past President and Patrick Samson, in the only vote at the meeting, headed off Wallis Walker as Royal Federation’s Auckland Representative.
Long Service Certificates were presented to some 50 of our members at the Annual General Meeting, recognition made possible by research and assistance of the Ministry of Justice and the Royal Federation


Dawn Jones, CNZM, OBE with the Governor-General 
Council Member Dawn Jones was named Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for her life-long interest, and contribution to Netball and for community services. Two other Auckland Justices of the Peace were also named in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Immediate Past President Colin Davis was invested a Knight of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, a Catholic Order of Chivalry which began in the 11th-century Christian Kingdom of Jerusalem. It traces its origins to the knights who guarded the Holy Sepulchre - the tomb of Jesus - and who protected pilgrims visiting it. 
@
 As, by far, most of our members have access to email, it was decided mid-year that here will be no more mail-outs by post… that the internet website and email will be the main conduit to members. 
One of the Association’s Life Members, Waldour Ross Familton, QSO, died during the year aged 96. Ross was appointed a Justice of the Peace in 1980, he was a former member of Council of Auckland Justices of the Peace Association for almost 20 years and was made Life Member in 2003. 


Melissa Lee, MP
List MP for Mt Albert, Melissa Lee, was guest speaker at the Association’s Annual Dinner and celebrated the city’s… and nation’s… diversity. 


President Selwyn Haworth wearing the refurbished collar
The Auckland Association’s Presidential Collar, or Chain of Office, has recently been updated, overhauled and future-proofed, with blank links added for future Presidents and opportunity was taken to attach the Auckland Association’s badge. 
The Training Team, led by Garry Nicholls, carried out 52 training sessions during the year with some 600 Justices attending the sessions held at Support Groups’ meetings. 59 inductions were held for new Justices of the Peace. 
Service Desks continued to grow during the year in both number and expanded sessions. In 2016 Justices of the Peace put in more than an estimated 14,000 hours at Service Desks assisting more than 100,000 people who sought Justices’ services.

From the Council Meeting

Ric Carlyon - Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Association’s Council has held its final meeting for 2016. Among the items:

+ More than 60 per cent of our members have paid their annual subscriptions: the last “batch” of payments received after reminder notices were emailed at the end of November. Treasurer Geoff Pownall reported that the collection of subscriptions is well ahead of the same time last year… and those who are still unfinancial will be given further reminders. Methods of payment, etc, are given in the invoice/reminder emailed to members.

+ Council supports the idea of combining local Support Groups into hubs for training, etc. It’s proposed that each Support Group will combine with others and meet at a local venue for two training sessions in 2017. This will centralise training, save the Training Team travel and time, and ensure all Justices receive a balanced training programme. The sessions will count towards eligibility for Accreditation. More on this will be communicated to Support Groups in the New Year who will be asked to confirm the Hub they wish to belong to. 

+The Training Team, under Garry Nicholls, led 7 sessions in the Association’s area during November. Topics ranged from Dissolution of Marriage to Computer Skills and Certifying Electronic Copies. Sessions were convened right across the isthmus, from Henderson to Manurewa. In addition the Team oversaw interviews and induction for new Justices.

+Council resolved to send a letter of congratulations to Tony Pugh, JP, new National Manager of the Royal Federation of New Zealand Justices Associations. Tony replaces Registrar, Alan Hart, who will resign following the Federation’s Annual Conference in Rotorua. In announcing the  appointment, the Federation’s President, Denis Hutchins, said Mr Pugh comes to the position after 13 years as Business Manager of New Plymouth Girls’ High School and that he’s an Associate Chartered Accountant, has university degrees and strong interest in the not-for-profit sector. 

+President Selwyn Haworth concluded formal business for the year with Season’s Greetings to all.


Our Christmases Past

Ric Carlyon - Tuesday, December 13, 2016

1897    Christmas Lockup 
  
 
Letter to the Editor, Auckland Star, December 1897, “Sir, I want to give you an idea of the surroundings of the unfortunate inebriates and others who have to occupy the High-street cells till they can be brought before a Magistrate or JP after the holiday. The cell’s 8 feet x 10 feet, walls and floor, not a seat in which to sit or to stretch their weary limbs. They must get on the floor when they can no longer keep on their feet - a floor that has to be kept washed to ensure cleanliness, and whose inside never has the sun's rays. As one poor man said, ‘I have suffered from rheumatics since I got locked up with a mate when we went on a spree on Saturday. We lay or sat on the floor two days and nights’. And this is in a Christian land where men kneel oft and pray.—l am, etc., Nineteenth Century Reform”.

1905    JP on Stage
The satire "The JP” arrived in Auckland for a pre-Christmas season at His Majesty’s Theatre after a phenomenally long season in London and an extended tour booked for venues throughout  New Zealand. 
 
  Miss Florence Lloyd, “straight from London!”, star of the “The JP”
“The JP” is a silly farce, basking with foolish infatuation, smiles of beauty, irrepressible ungallantry, despite any amount of misfortune and ill abuse, shallow and cunning,” said the New Zealand Herald. 

1907    Assault by Parasol
A middle-aged woman, Annie Irwin, who created a scene in Shortland Street on the afternoon of Christmas Day found herself before Justices of the Peace Dr Carolan, and Messres Jenkins and Jamieson. Irwin, it was alleged, stabbed a young man named Charles Hudson in the neck with her parasol and was charged with assault. 
 
 
“I’m pleading guilty”, she said. “but the complainant used offensive expressions towards me which was hardly in keeping with Christmas. Nonetheless I had no intention of injuring him”. The JPs pointed out how serious the consequences might have been, and inflicted a sentence of two months' imprisonment.  

1912    Newspaper Report - Auckland Star
“Sixteen persons hung up their stockings on Tuesday evening in the Auckland police cells, and on Wednesday morning fifteen of them received a present of their liberty, all being discharged with a caution, irrespective of record or character.
 
The list this morning before Mr E. Dunne, JP,  included five men who had carried their Christmas festivities over the leaf, and they were treated with seasonable indulgence, the penalties ranging from a mere conviction to a fine of 5/. 
Robert William Adams, who had allowed a labour argument with Alfred Polkinghorne run to indiscreet heat, was charged with having struck the other man, and was remanded by Mr Dunne on bail to appear on Saturday.

1913    Time for Leniency
During the first Police Court sitting after Christmas three Justices of the Peace, Messres Powley, MacKay and Langford said they wished so show leniency for defendants appearing before them.   
“We desire to overlook any slight indiscretions associated with Christmas festivities, and today there’ll be no fines imposed in connection with such cases. With the exception of four, who have forfeited bail, all those charged with drunkenness are convicted and discharged” they declared. 
in a further show of seasonal leniency by the Bench, a man who had stolen a roll of bacon and hid it in long grass to avoid capture was fined the value of the meat, 23 shillings and sixpence, 
 
But a horseman was not quite so lucky. Police believed he was too drunk to have in his care a horse and cart in the crowded city streets on Christmas Eve. Edward Knox thought differently and assaulted his escorting constable in Wyndham Street. The Justices fined Knox £5, in default a month’s jail. 

1920    Court Sitting on THE day 
New Zealand Herald 25th December 1920: Christmas Morning Cases. A brief sitting  of the Court was held on Christmas morning before Mr. W. Handley, JP.  George Coyle was charged with drunkenness and with having wilfully damaged a glass window, valued at £4, and was remanded till to-morrow. 
 
Carlos Tucker, who was charged with having stolen a pocket wallet containing £5 from F. J. Worker, was also remanded till to-morrow. Three first offenders for drunkenness were convicted and ordered to pay costs.

1932    Depression 
Justice of the Peace, J B Munro, one of the controllers of the Hobson Street Boot Pool announced that the service would continue during the Christmas break for the special benefit of unemployed relief workers coming to Auckland for the holiday break. 
 
“The Boot Pool repairs boots that no other cobbler would touch, but the Pool’s services will continue replacing soles for relief workers while they wait and at no cost provided they show their work ticket”.

1931    Sad Movies
Premier Amusements Ltd screened movies in Otahuhu’s Orpheus cinema on Christmas Day without written permission of the local Borough Council, which prosecuted the company’s owners. Moreover, Council staff said the title of the movie shown was unsuitable on the day. 
 
Justices of the Peace, Messres Todd and Petrie, drawing down the curtain on the action found the Christmas Day screening had defied Council’s direction and the company was fined £5.    

1935    In the True Christmas Spirit 
The Coroner, Mr C. K. Lawrie JP, conducted an inquest into the death of a 26 year old Roy Lowrie who drowned on Christmas Day in the Waikato River near the Tuakau Bridge. “Roy Lowrie, unhesitating, went to the aid of a stranger struggling in the river at the first sign of the swimmer’s distress… and this is in accord with the highest British traditions,” said Mr Lawrie. “In his magnificent effort to save life he exhausted his own strength. May it be of comfort to Mr Lowrie’s family to know that in losing him as they did, on Christmas Day, the manner of his death exemplified the true Christmas spirit of good will…”. The swimmer that Roy Lowrie went in after also drowned.

1945    Inside Job
Messrs. J. B. Paterson and J. Melling, JPs, heard the case of a man, making a pre-Christmas visit to an inmate in Mt Eden Jail, who was charged with giving an inmate a packet of cigarettes and a box of matches. 

While the defendant, Jack Read, pleaded guilty, the Justices heard that he did not know it was illegal to give the prisoner anything, especially a Christmas treat. In his ignorance he had done it in clear sight of a warder and had been arrested. The JPs fined Read £2. 

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