UPDATE 20 October 2021: The Auckland region and some areas of Waikato, including Hamilton City, are at COVID-19 Alert Level 3. The remainder of Aotearoa New Zealand is at COVID-19 Alert Level 2.
Courts remain an essential service throughout all COVID-19 alert levels but are operating differently.
The Chief Justice has announced that ALL Waikato courts will operate under Alert Level 3 protocols at least until the Alert Level is next reviewed.
Chief Justice media statement 10 October 2021 [PDF, 501 KB]
Jury trials at Alert Level 3
In the Auckland region, no new jury trials will begin in the High Court or District Court until at least November 2021. Jury trials that were underway prior to Alert Level 4 will remain adjourned (put on hold).
No new jury trials will begin during Alert Level 3 in the Hamilton High Court or District Court. Ministry of Justice staff are contacting court participants to advise them.
Jurors who are summoned to attend the Hamilton High Court or District Court during the Alert Level 3 period do not need to attend. Further advice will be provided after the Alert Levels are next reviewed.
Jury trials at Alert Level 2
For the rest of New Zealand, jury trials re-commenced in the District Court from 8 September 2021. However, judges will decide on a case-by-case basis whether each trial can proceed, taking into account the case's individual circumstances. Scheduled High Court jury trials re-commenced from 20 September 2021.
If you have received a jury service summons, you can check if you need to attend jury service on our website at: Check if you need to attend jury service.
In the Auckland and Waikato regions, District Court matters considered 'priority proceedings' will be conducted remotely where possible in the Criminal, Family, Youth and Civil jurisdictions. High Court business will also be conducted remotely where possible. Call 0800 COURTS (0800 268 787) or contact the registry directly at Contact us if you have questions about a specific case and whether it is a ‘priority proceeding’.
For the rest of New Zealand, courts will progressively increase their workload as local conditions and capacity allow, in line with the updated Alert Level 2 protocols (see link below).
Court counters are closed during Alert Level 3. In Auckland and Waikato courts operating under Alert Level 3 protocols, you can file court documents and applications and make payments online, using File & Pay(external link). Alternative methods of filing will be accepted as per judicial protocols.
For the rest of New Zealand, court counters are open as normal in all courts under Alert Level 2, with appropriate health and safety measures in place.
For more information for court users, see: Information for all court and tribunal users.
Please refer to Courts of NZ website for further updates and specific court protocols:
Courts of New Zealand - court protocols(external link)
Please do not come to the courthouse if you are feeling unwell. Contact 0800 COURTS (0800 268 787) if you cannot enter the courthouse or are not sure whether to attend. Find contact details for a court or tribunal.
Health and Safety
We are following Ministry of Health guidelines to protect the health and safety of all court participants and staff.
Entry to court buildings is restricted during heightened Alert Levels. For those permitted in court buildings, please wear a mask, wash/sanitise your hands, and maintain social distancing.
Everyone entering the court is required to sign in. Court participants are strongly encouraged to download the NZ COVID Tracer app(external link) and use mobile devices to scan the COVID-19 QR code at the main entrance of a courthouse, or use the manual contact tracing register.
Follow the link above to court protocols for information applicable to your region.
There is more information in our health and safety factsheets available from the top of our COVID-19 hub page.
Excusals and deferrals
If you have experienced changes to family or financial circumstances as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, or if you have health and safety concerns, you can request to have your jury service excused or deferred (postponed). Please contact your local court for more information.
Find contact details for a court or tribunal
Every year, thousands of New Zealanders give their time to serve on juries in the High and District Courts. Jury service is an important way you contribute to your country and your local community. Jurors help make sure the justice system is fair for all New Zealanders.
A jury is a group of 12 people from the community, randomly selected from the Electoral Roll. They hear the evidence of a case, decide on the facts and then reach a verdict – guilty or not guilty.
If you’re enrolled to vote, you can be randomly selected (‘summoned’) for jury service.
If you’re summoned, you’ll get a letter and a form that tells you to come to court for jury service. The letter will tell you the date, time and the court you should come to. You’ll need to send the form back to the court.
You must come to court, unless you get a letter or email from the court before the court date telling you that you’ve been excused.
Even though you’ve been summoned, it doesn’t mean you’ll be selected to serve on a jury.
Find out how to respond to your summons, what arrangements you might need to make while you’re on a jury, and what to do if you can’t attend court for jury service.
Find out what you’ll be paid for doing jury service, and what expenses (like childcare, transport and parking) you can ask the court to help you pay for.
Find out whether you need to attend jury service today or tomorrow.
Find out what to expect before you arrive at court and what you’ll need to do on the day.
Find out about arriving at court the first time.
Find out more about the jury selection process at court.
Find out more about your role as a juror.
Find out more about what happens in a jury trial and the different roles of people involved.
Find out what support and guidance is available to you after the trial.
Fill out and send in the jury response form.
If one of your employees has been summoned for jury service, here’s what you need to know.
While we've tried to give as much information as possible in this section, it's likely you'll have some questions about jury service. This page has some common questions.
Definitions of common words you might hear during your jury service.
Find out how to contact us about jury service.
Face masks and hand sanitisers will be supplied by the court. Measures are in place to allow jury trials to proceed safely with appropriate physical distancing in the courtroom and jury retiring room. Court users are strongly encouraged to download the NZ COVID Tracer app(external link) and use mobile devices to scan the COVID-19 QR code at the main entrance of a courthouse, otherwise the manual contact tracing register must be used. We are following Ministry of Health guidelines to protect the health and safety of all court users and staff. Follow the link above to court protocols for information applicable to your region. There is more information in our health and safety factsheets available from the top of our COVID-19 hub page.For more information for court users, see: Information for all court and tribunal users.Excusals and deferralsIf you have experienced changes to family or financial circumstances as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, or if you have health and safety concerns, you can request to have your jury service excused or deferred (postponed). Please contact your local court for more information.