Community magistrates appointed to cut court wait times

by Sol Dolor13 Oct 2018

Five community magistrates have been appointed for the Auckland, Christchurch, Hamilton, and Tauranga regions.

The newly appointed judicial officials are:

  1. Terence Bourke of Auckland (who will also sit in Hamilton)
  2. Shaun Cole, of Tauranga
  3. Lucy Daniels Whineray of Auckland
  4. Simon Heale of Christchurch
  5. Sally O’Brien of Christchurch

“The additional community magistrates would help to assist in reducing court waiting times and provide judicial judgments on the lower end of criminal offending,” Associate Justice and Courts Minister Aupito William Sio said. "The appointment of community magistrates increases the judicial resource available to the courts. As magistrates tackle offending at the lower end of the spectrum, district court judges become free to provide their expertise on more serious and complicated cases.”

Community magistrates can impose sentences on people who are found guilty or have pleaded guilty to certain minor offences that merit jail sentences. They can also conduct defended hearings on offences that do not merit imprisonment.

“The successful applicants have been through an extensive selection process, and I’m confident they will provide an excellent service to the people of New Zealand,” Sio said.