Mayors fight court cuts

01:44, Oct 18 2012

Waitomo and Waipa mayors Brian Hanna and Allan Livingstone are objecting to the restructuring of the country's court system.

The government cuts will see Te Kuiti and Te Awamutu District Courts move from being open five days a week to only being open when hearings are scheduled.

The mayors will lead a delegation to the Ministry of Justice next week with the Waikato Justices of the Peace Association to make the community's feeling clear.

''All we ask of the government is how about showing us the courtesy of consulting with us,'' Mr Hanna said.
''Often court issues are difficult ones, and dealing with them using the internet or a call centre makes it even more challenging. We are a district with a high deprivation index, and transport is a major limitation.

Removing essential services such as this, where locals are served by excellent and efficient local staff, does little for our community.

''Removal of all services carried out by court registrar, such as Birth, Death, and Marriage certification means you will now have to travel to Hamilton Court to process these. There are many other services carried out by court staff that will now only be available in Hamilton,'' Mr Hanna said.

''Te Kuiti police officers will no longer have access to a court registrar next door for processing arrest warrants and bail applications. They will now have to take the offender to Hamilton to be processed, a three to four-hour process.

The changes to policing that were promoted were to 'make sure our officers are being used effectively and efficiently, out on the beat.' These changes completely contradict this.''


Waikato Times