Gisborne Court keeps pace with modernising justice system

Press Release – New Zealand Government

The redeveloped Gisborne Court fitted well with the Government’s aim to bring courts and their processes into the 21st Century, Courts Minister Georgina te Heuheu said today. “These latest refurbishments bring all of the court’s functions onto one …Hon Georgina te Heuheu
Minister for Courts

7 October 2011 Media Statement
New Gisborne Court keeps pace with modernising justice system

The redeveloped Gisborne Court fitted well with the Government’s aim to bring courts and their processes into the 21st Century, Courts Minister Georgina te Heuheu said today.

“These latest refurbishments bring all of the court’s functions onto one site, creating an integrated court facility that will better meet the needs of the Gisborne and Tairawhiti community,” says Mrs te Heuheu.

“In terms of court operations, Gisborne is not just a District Court. It is also a High Court registry, and provides facilities for the Māori Land Court and other specialist courts which sit here from time to time.”

“This project is part of the Government’s commitment to have courts across the country keep pace with a constantly modernising and improving justice system,” says Mrs te Heuheu.

The site on which the Court currently stands was an early Maori settlement known as Heipipi. Prior to the redevelopment of the site, archaeologists examined the surrounding area.

The Minister thanked the local iwi for their support and guidance to the Ministry of Justice and contractors, particularly when koiwi were discovered during excavations.

“The improvements fit well with the forthcoming changes to processes in the courts’ criminal jurisdiction, enabled by the passage of the Criminal Procedure Act 2011 passed through Parliament earlier this week.”

“The Act, the most significant package of legislative change to criminal justice in New Zealand in 50 years, will simplify and speed up the courts’ procedures, while ensuring that a defendant’s right to a fair trial is maintained.”

Mrs te Heuheu also referred to new technological changes that will allow electronic filing and management of criminal charges in the courts. The changes are expected to save over 86,000 hours of Court and Police time, and more than 250,000 individual pieces of paper, each year.

“This Government has achieved a lot in modernising and improving support for the courts during the past three years. We’ve not only brought court buildings into the modern age but we’ve substantially improved formerly old-fashioned and traditional processes,” Mrs te Heuheu said.

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