JP services straight off the shelf at city library

18:51, Feb 03 2014

@devlincolle: A drive for easier access to justices of the peace has led to a new JP service being established at the Invercargill library.

Southland Justices of the Peace Association Council registrar Gavin Evans said JPs wanted to create accessibility for the community.

A similar JP service was successful in Australia, so the Southland JP service latched on to the idea, he said.

The new service would be available in the Invercargill library foyer every Monday from noon to 1pm. The public would feel more comfortable using a service centre in the central city than having to go to a JP's house, Mr Evans said.

Although there were JP service centres at the Citizens Advice Bureau and the Southern Institute of Technology, there was a need for a third because JPs had been busy, he said.

A recent recruitment drive meant there were enough JPs to cover the area. The new service would also be useful for the new JPs, who could learn from experienced JP mentors providing the service, Mr Evans said.

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Invercargill library community connections co-ordinator Diana Hosted said the free service would be a great addition for the community. Siting it in the foyer meant people who were not using the library could access the service and it was easier for people to find, she said.

The library has set up a "hot seat" in the foyer for community groups who provide a free public service. The Citizens Advice Bureau uses the facility on the last Friday of every month from 11am to 1pm. Ms Hosted urged other community groups who needed to reach out, to get in contact with the library.

"We are thrilled to have this idea implemented in our library . . . it is a good way to extend the library involvement with the community," she said.

The Southland Times