Both the President and Vice-President of the Royal Federation of New Zealand Justices Associations attended the weekend's Annual General Meeting of the Auckland Association, accompanied by National Manager, Tony Pugh.President, Denise Hutchins, advised the meeting of important recent developments:
+ 33.8 per cent of Justices nationwide were now accredited: there’s a target of 50 per cent by the next Federation Conference in March.
+ There’ve been representations to the Ministry of Justice… and ongoing discussions… to try to ensure competency of Justices – not just those who are members of Associations, but all who serve the community. “They are all officers of the law”, Denise said “and as such, the public must have confidence in their ability to act properly in their office, and this requires competency: they must be up-to-date and knowledgeable. We will continue to work on ways to convince Ministry of Justice officials that a system must be devised to ensure all Justices meet the community’s expectation”.
+ There will be a modest increase in funding of Service Desks.+ The pilot scheme in West Auckland, where Justices officiate at “Registry Office” weddings, is now well-established, confirmed and, in an expansion to Justices’ usual duties, is being introduced in other centres, beginning in Hamilton.
+ There’re moves to standardise documents Justices often deal with that are designed to prevent money laundering. At present there are many versions and forms issued by banks, institutions etc. Standardisation will ease Justices’ work.
+ Templates and documents on the Royal Federation’s website are now in several languages, and more will be added, to assist clients whose first language is not English.
+ The Royal Federation website will soon have a makeover.
+ Denise thanked all Justices for their ongoing community service
Vice-President Rachel O’Grady told the gathering:
+ The Federation’s Constitution is being reviewed.
+ Its reform will fill gaps, update names, processes and procedures+ Changes will modernise the language, making it more easily understood.