UPDATE 25 September: Courts and tribunals are operating differently at the moment. 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

Attending a court or tribunal

Auckland at Level 2

Please attend on your scheduled date unless a Judge or Registrar has advised otherwise.

Entry into courthouses is limited to defendants, parties, witnesses, complainants, victims, and other stakeholders. Members of the public (including whānau/support person for a defendant) whose presence is not required at court may only attend if granted permission from the presiding Judge.

Public counters are generally open.

Protocols for how courts and tribunals will operate during COVID-19 Alert Level 2 have been released on the Courts of NZ website(external link)

Rest of New Zealand at Level 1

Please attend on your scheduled date unless a Judge or Registrar has advised otherwise.

Members of the public can attend without prior permission from the presiding Judge.

Public counters are generally open.

Protocols for how courts and tribunals will operate during COVID-19 Alert Level 1 have been released on the Courts of NZ website(external link)

Health and safety measures

We are following Ministry of Health guidelines to protect the health and safety of all court participants and staff.

Factsheet: Health and Safety measures during COVID-19 Alert Level 2 [PDF, 89 KB]

Factsheet: Health and Safety measures during COVID-19 Alert Level 1 [PDF, 85 KB]

Juror safety

Arrangements are in place to keep jurors safe in court buildings throughout New Zealand.

Read the Chief Justice's media statement 18 September 2020 re jury trial arrangements [PDF, 412KB](external link)

Use of face masks in court buildings

Face masks should be worn while in public areas of Auckland court buildings until further notice. This applies to all court participants and staff to maintain health and safety standards. It is an additional precaution for everyone in the court building. Disposable masks are freely available from security at court entrances.

For the rest of New Zealand, face mask use is encouraged in court buildings.

Judicial protocols have been updated to reflect this on the Courts of New Zealand website(external link).

Read the Chief Justice's media statement 28 August 2020 regarding masks in court(external link)


The Supreme Court is the highest court in New Zealand and our final appeal court.

Appeals to the Supreme Court can only be heard with the leave of the court. Leave to appeal is given where the court is satisfied that it is necessary in the interests of justice.

Find out more about the history, role and structure of the Supreme Court on the Courts of New Zealand website(external link)

Contact the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court is located in Wellington. The Supreme Court has an office (court registry) which is where applications for the court are received.

Contact the Supreme Court

Court business

The daily list contains information about court business in the Supreme Court. Details in the daily list include the date, court, courtroom and the case(s) to be heard on a particular day.  

Read the daily list for the Supreme Court(external link)

Find a lawyer

If you are intending to file proceedings in the Supreme Court, you may want to talk to a lawyer first or get a lawyer to represent you.

You can search for a lawyer on the New Zealand Law Society website by area of practice, such as criminal and civil litigation.

Find a lawyer through the New Zealand Law Society website(external link)

Alternatively, you may be able to get free legal help through Community Law.

Find out about their services on the Community Law website (external link)

Fees

You may need to pay a fee if you have proceedings in the Supreme Court. If you are filing an application in the Supreme Court that relates to a civil matter, it is almost certain that you will have to pay fees.

Fees for the Supreme Court are fixed (prescribed) by regulation:

If you have a question about fees please contact the Supreme Court registry:

You can apply to waive, postpone or refund fees. An application is considered by a registrar or deputy registrar of the court against criteria set out in the fee regulations.

Find out more about getting help to pay court fees

Forms and documents

Many court forms and documents must be set out in a certain way which is fixed (prescribed) in legislation. The content and details to be included in a form or document will be specific to the particular circumstances of a case, and may need specialist legal advice to draft it.

If a lawyer is representing you in a court case, your lawyer will be able to help with the forms and documents.

If you are going to court without a lawyer, you will be responsible for identifying the forms and documents you will use.

Find out more about going to court without a lawyer and representing yourself

Decisions of the Supreme Court

Decisions of the Supreme Court may be publicly available in PDF format through Supreme Court Decisions and Judgments of Public Interest on the Courts of New Zealand website.

Supreme Court Decisions contains all judicial decisions published by the Supreme Court since 2004.

The purpose of Judgments of Public Interest is to publish decisions from the High Court, Court of Appeal, and Supreme Court that are deemed to be of significant legal and public interest. Judments of Public Interest are published for 90 days.  

More information about the criteria for publication is available on the Courts of New Zealand website.

Search Supreme Court Decisions on the Courts of New Zealand website(external link)

Search Judments of Public Interest on the Courts of New Zealand website(external link)

Some court decisions are not publicly available due to restrictions on publication, such as a statutory prohibition or judicial order restricting publication. These decisions can only be accessed by applying to the Supreme Court to search and access court documents.

Appeals to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council

The right to appeal New Zealand court decisions to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in the United Kingdom was abolished in 2004 when the Supreme Court was set up.

However, the Privy Council may still hear and determine appeals in certain proceedings that existed before 1 January 2004. Information about this provision can be found in the Senior Courts Act 2016(external link)

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