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Auckland’s Remits at Conference...

Ric Carlyon - Thursday, March 08, 2018

Remits submitted to the Royal Federation of Justices Associations should give a taste of “what they are saying out there in the hinterland”. This year there were just 7 remits, 5 were from Auckland, but which provided incite just the same at this year's Federation Annual Conference just concluded in Christchurch.

Auckland's first remit sought to raise the standards in the delivery of Ministerial services to the community by investigating appointment procedure, enhancing accreditation, acknowledging changing workloads and realigning training. The remit was widely supported by Delegates but narrowly lost when it came to the vote. lost. 

Our next remit was agreed-to. It asks the Royal Federation to clarify the types of complaints that may be considered when the subject matter falls outside Ministerial roles and functions.  It was submitted that the Manual, the Justice of the Peace Act and the Code of Ethics give conflicting messages and that these need to be clarified, especially with recent increases in complainants who use the JP processes rather than more appropriate avenues.

A third Auckland remit was also carried which seeks to expand the number of new Service Desks financially supported by Royal Federation. To date each Association can apply for seeding funding for no more than 2 new Desks each year, and Auckland said there should be no limit, that the present rule effectively discriminates against larger Associations. 

But our fourth remit was not supported by Conference delegates… it wanted to change the method of on-going funding of Service Desks from the present “number of Desks” to “number of hours” attended at a Service Desk. Auckland pointed out that at some of its busy Desks there are two sessions each day - and in some cases two Justices rostered at each session - and so the current funding regime “per Desk” is anomalous. 

Auckland’s remit advocating an increase in funds from the Ministry of Justice for training was amended. Auckland said a grant of $100,000 from the Ministry for nation-wide education would be appropriate. Conference agreed with the sentiment, but did not like the concrete dollar figure, and the remit was amended accordingly… the Royal Federation to follow up.

Bay of Plenty Association could not make head-way at Conference with its remit seeking further pathways to accreditation of Justices. There should be alternatives to the present on-line process, the remit contended, such as criteria around attending training sessions, service on Association Councils and recently-inducted Justices. 

North Otago Association’s remit reiterated earlier attempts to hold Conference every other year. It was ruled that the remit ought to be a Notice of Motion so the remit was lost. Previous attempts at introducing biennial Conferences pointed out the statutory need for the Federation to have an Annual General Meeting to satisfy various requirements. And it’s noted that at this year’s Christchurch Conference, locations for Annual Conferences were set as far out as 2023.   

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