Nau mai, haere mai, ki te pae tukutuku o Te Kōti ā Rohe o Aotearoa. Welcome to the website of the District Court of New Zealand.

From January 24 2022 all of Aotearoa New Zealand is under Red Traffic Light. For the District Court this means:

  • All priority proceedings will be conducted remotely in the Criminal, Family, Youth, and Civil jurisdictions of the District Court where possible.
  • If facilities for the defendant to appear by AVL are not available, the defendant will appear in person.
  • No District Court jury trials will commence in the District Court at Red setting until 31 January 2022.

You can read further about how the District Court will operate under a Red Traffic Light here.

The latest Traffic Light District Court Protocols and how the changes affect various court participants can be found in the dedicated COVID-19 Information section.  For information explaining the approach the courts are taking, please refer to the latest media statement of the Chief Justice issued on 23 January 2022.


The District Court is the largest court in Australasia. Most New Zealanders who go to court will go through the entire justice process in the District Court. Each year, 189 Judges in 58 courthouses deal with approximately 200,000 criminal, family, youth and civil matters. Judicial decisions from a representative sample of these cases are published here, with emphasis on significant decisions of particular interest. Selections are updated regularly in an independent process — overseen by an Editorial Board of judges. Alongside other background material, the publication of decisions on this website aims to enhance the open and transparent administration of justice in Aotearoa New Zealand.

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