Family

UPDATE 23 January 2022: New Zealand’s COVID-19 Protection Framework ('traffic light system') is now in place. Courts have implemented transitional protocols that guide court operations under the Red and Orange settings of the Framework. These came into effect on 6 December 2021 and remain in force until 31 January 2022. 

From 11.59pm on Sunday 23 January 2022, ALL of Aotearoa New Zealand moves to the Red setting.

Courts remain an essential service throughout all COVID-19 restrictions, but may operate differently.

The Chief Justice’s statement about Courts operations under the COVID-19 Protection Framework

Current protocols for the Courts and Tribunals under the COVID-19 Protection Framework

Jury trials

No new jury trials will begin in the District Court until 31 January 2022.

No new jury trials will begin in the High Court until 8 February 2022.

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.

Other cases
In Red areas, District Court matters considered 'priority proceedings' will be conducted remotely where possible in the Criminal, Family, Youth and Civil jurisdictions. Some additional matters that are not ‘priority proceedings’ may also be conducted if it is safe to do so; participants for these matters will be contacted by the relevant court registry to confirm. 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’.

Many Specialist Courts and Tribunals have implemented their own operating protocols: Courts of New Zealand - Courts and Tribunals protocols

Counter services
Public court counters are closed in all District Court and Tribunal sites in Red areas.

In the sole High Court registries (Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch), public counters are open at all Traffic Light colours (including Red). In combined High Court/District Court registries, public counter services are subject to local arrangements.

Court documents and applications can be filed, with online payments, using File & Pay. Drop boxes are also available at entrances. Alternative methods of filing will be accepted as per judicial protocols.

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.

For more information for court users, see: Information for all court and tribunal users.

Please refer to the Courts of NZ website for further updates and specific court protocols: Courts of New Zealand - Courts and Tribunals protocols

Health and Safety
Entry to court buildings in Red areas is restricted in most courts.

More information about who can enter courts in your region is found in the court protocols.

We are following Ministry of Health guidelines to protect the health and safety of all court participants and staff. If you are visiting a court or tribunal, please wear a face mask, wash/sanitise your hands, and maintain physical distancing.

Everyone entering the court is required to sign in. Court participants are strongly encouraged to download the NZ COVID Tracer app 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.

The COVID Healthline at 0800 358 5453 is also available for 24/7 advice and information about COVID-19.

Get information about family issues, and other times when you need help.

  • Relationship break up »

    A break up can be hard to navigate and everyone’s journey will be different. The relationship break up tool can help you find the information that is most important to you.

  • Separation & divorce »

    Get help to separate or divorce when your marriage, civil union or de facto relationship ends.

  • Care of children »

    Information on making arrangements for the care of your children and how the Family Court can help you sort out arrangements.

  • Keeping children safe »

    The Family Court is involved with Care or Protection Orders. You can also find services outside of court to help keep your children safe.

  • Adoption & the Family Court »

    The Family Court is involved in the adoption of children from within New Zealand.

  • Paternity & Child Support »

    The Family Court can decide paternity (who a child's father is). The Family Court can also help with child support, such as appealing or enforcing payments.

  • About Family Court »

    Find out how the Family Court and other services can help you resolve problems.

  • Family violence »

    Information on how to get help and/or legal protection from the Family Court if you're in, or have been in, a family or close personal relationship with a person being violent.

  • Relationship property »

    Get help to make agreements about relationship property and assets at any time during your relationship, or when the relationship ends or the other partner dies.

  • Challenge a will »

    Find out the reasons you can challenge a will and how to do it in Family Court.

  • Change sex on your birth certificate »

    How to change the sex on your birth certificate.

  • Powers to make decisions for others »

    How you can help people who may not be fully able to make decisions for themselves, including information on enduring power of attorney, welfare guardians, property managers and Personal Orders.

  • Court ordered treatment »

    The court can order treatment for mental health issues, alcohol and substance abuse or other addiction issues.

  • Information for lawyers & service providers »

    Resources for lawyers and service providers, including without notice applications, mediation and parenting courses.

  • Civil restraint orders to prevent meritless cases »

    The Family Court can make an order to restrict a person from starting or continuing to bring civil cases which are unwarranted or meritless.

  • Get consent to marry if you’re aged 16 or 17 »

    If you’re aged 16 or 17 and want to marry, or be in a civil union or de facto relationship with someone, you’ll need the consent of a Family Court judge.

  • Contact the Family Court »

    Find out how to contact or find a Family Court.

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