‘Year of the JP’ kicked off this weekend, appropriately in the Bay of Islands where New Zealand’s first Justice of the Peace, Thomas Kendall, began duties in 1814, 200 years ago. The milestone was the featured theme at the Justices of the Peace annual conference held at Waitangi this weekend. The Mihi was held at Whare Waikairo in the Treaty Grounds (below)
The Royal Federation of New Zealand Justices’ Associations also took the opportunity to launch year-long activities to celebrate two centuries of continuous service by JPs.
Delegates were given detailed accounts of the life and times of Thomas Kendall, and the history of JPs over the decades, by eminent historians Dame Claudia Orange, Dr Phillip Harkness and others. The conference didn’t only dwell on the past but considered future services JPs might be providing, the need to keep abreast of technological changes and what these will mean for the way JPs serve the public.
The large attendance at the JPs’ s 86th Annual Conference at Waitangi almost overwhelmed facilities, but the host committee’s organisation and management ensured a successful and enjoyable conference. Delegates thought the 200th anniversary of Thomas Kendall J.P. arriving in New Zealand had been well and truly celebrated.