September 29, 2019
Rangatahi court lessons taken to district courts
The new District Court Chief Judge is keen to push what has been learned in ground-breaking specialist courts into the district courts.
Heemi Taumaunu from Ngāti Porou and Ngāi Tahu is the first Māori to head the court.
In making the appointment, Attorney General David Parker cited his work establishing the first rangatahi court and said access to justice and further development of specialist and therapeutic courts for situations like homelessness and alcohol and drug treatment were key priorities.
Chief Judge Taumaunu says the aim of the specialists courts was to improve access to judgment and equitable treatment of all who came before the law.
"These are some of those guiding principles that are involved in not only those specialist courts like rangatahi courts and matariki courts but it's important all of our district courts are working along those lines because ultimately what we are trying to achieve is to improve the deliver of procedural and substantive fairness for everyone who is treated and dealt with by our courts." he says.
As 95 percent of New Zealanders will continue to interact with the justice system through the district courts, it's important what's learned in the specialist courts filters through.
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