Court staff in the District Court from next week will have to announce the opening, adjourning and closing sessions of court in both Maori and English.
The Chief District Court Judge Jan-Marie Doogue said the bilingual greetings were a historic change to district court processes.
The District Court Judicial Governance Body made the decision that had her full support, as well as the support of principal Family Court Judge Peter Boshier and Principal Youth Court Judge Andrew Becroft.
The use of te reo Maori greetings in the district court would coincide with Te Wiki o Te Reo Maori - Maori Language Week from July 23 to 29.
The decision by the judges had the support of the Ministry of Justice, which was providing court staff with training in the appropriate te reo phrases.
Announcing the move in a letter to the New Zealand Law Society president Jonathan Temm this month, Judge Doogue said that te reo had been an official language of New Zealand since 1987. Since then state agencies had accepted a responsibility to incorporate the use of Maori language where it was appropriate.
She said the use of Maori was already established in courts of special jurisdiction, including the Rangitahi Youth Courts and the Waitangi Tribunal.
"It is entirely appropriate that the District Court exercises a responsibility to include Maori language where it can enhance proceedings and demonstrate due regard for the cultural significance of the first language of Aotearoa."
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