Meeting set to explain new system
Court stakeholders are invited to a meeting at the Oamaru Opera House today to hear how changes to the court services are intended to work.
The Oamaru District Court office will close on March 1, after which people will have to use alternative service options.
Those options will be discussed at the meeting, beginning at 1.15pm.
Oamaru District Court will be used only for hearings.
All 2.8 staff positions, one management position and 1.8 frontline positions are to be disestablished.
Timaru District Court staff will travel to Oamaru on hearing days.
The Oamaru court's paperwork will all be done in Timaru District Court.
Fines will be paid online, over the phone, by internet banking or at the Oamaru PostShop or Westpac Bank.
Local Justices of the Peace, or lawyers, will be required to witness statutory declarations and provide certified true copies of documents.
Under the proposals, documents would be delivered to the court by post, email, fax or by hand delivery to the Timaru High/District Court counter.
General court inquiries would have to be made through a toll-free number - 0800 FINES (0800 34637).
Courts Minister Chester Borrows said the changes would make the justice system more efficient, as part of a wider modernisation drive to use technology better with crime at a 30-year low.
Nationally, the Ministry of Justice received 420 individual and group submissions from staff and feedback from key external stakeholders, of which officials say it was difficult to separate how many were received specifically in relation to Oamaru.
Despite adverse feedback, the counter and administration services at the temporary register office set up in the Oamaru Work and Income building will no longer be provided.