Job cut in court restructuring

One job has been lost at the Blenheim District Court as it prepares for nationwide restructuring.

Longtime staff member Betsy Wynne left at the start of the year, about the same time the Ministry of Justice announced her position would be disestablished in April.

A ministry spokesman said two management positions were being merged into one new position as part of a nationwide restructuring of district courts. The new structure would be implemented in April and the ministry had decided not to hire a temporary replacement. No further changes were being considered at the Blenheim court, he said.

Court staff are understood to be unhappy at losing an experienced colleague. However, the spokesman said the ministry was not prepared to talk about individual staff members and their decisions.

Its priority was to find new positions for staff whose roles were being cut.

"This process is currently underway. Where it is not possible for any reason, redundancy is an option discussed with affected individuals."

The ministry had decided to restructure the district courts because police statistics showed crime was at a 30-year low and there had been a 25 per cent reduction in criminal summary cases in the past four years.

Probate services and court orders validating a will were being sent to Wellington, which would have been part of the restructuring in April, but the public would not notice a difference to the service, he said. No other services at the court had been affected.

The Marlborough Express