Information for news media covering District Court

Most District Court hearings are open to the public, however, several statutory reporting restrictions apply in the Family Court and Youth Court to protect vulnerable participants. Reporters may need permission to attend certain proceedings of the Family Court, while in the Youth Court they are free to attend but cannot report proceedings without the court’s permission.

Reporting restrictions also apply to some proceedings in the adult criminal court, such as certain matters in bail application hearings and during sentencing indications. Details of prohibitions are outlined on the Courts of New Zealand website in the pdf document Statutory Prohibitions on Publications for Media at November 2014:

Family Court

More information about covering Family Court is found in the Media Guide for Reporting Family Court1:

Youth Court

More information about covering Youth Court is found in the Media Reporting Protocol for that court:

Important note to news media before reporting Youth Court decisions:

News media wishing to publish or report from Youth Court decisions published on this website are advised that under s 438 (1) of the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989, they will need the leave of the court which heard the proceedings to do so.

Application for leave can be made to the presiding judge via the registrar at the court where the case was dealt with, or through the Strategic Communications Adviser to the Chief District Court Judge:


1 The guide does not cover every situation and does not constitute legal advice. News media are advised to seek independent legal advice whenever in doubt.