No bailiff change likely in Oamaru

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Bailiff services in Oamaru are unlikely to be affected by a radical change in the way their operations are managed.

The Ministry of Justice has announced they will be disestablishing all 93 current bailiff positions and creating 47 new ones.

Ministry of Justice Collections general manager Jacquelyn Shannon said the changes are a result of an 85 per cent drop in work that carried out by bailiffs in the past 12 months.

“This drop is due to several factors, including improvements to day-to-day bailiff operations and legislative changes that simplify the enforcement of civil debt.

“Additionally, changes to the Family Court have also reduced bailiff work.”

Bailiffs based in Dunedin generally serve Oamaru and the existing structure has three bailiff positions in Dunedin, with this reducing to one in the future.

“It’s important to note that bailiffs will be a national resource and although bailiffs may be based in certain locations, they will travel as needed to provide the same level or service to our customers as they do now, serving urgent documents and enforcing fines and civil debt in future.”

The new bailiff positions will continue to be based in the same 20 locations they are now.

Currently 85 of the 93 existing positions are filled.

Bailiffs were first told about the proposed changes in November and after a consultation process were told about the final decision on December 18, 2014.