Court video calls ‘effective’ for Q-town
A plan is underway to connect district courts in Invercargill and Queenstown via video.
In Queenstown last week Justice and Courts Minister Amy Adams said video conferences would deal with call-over issues in a more effective and simple way.
People involved in the court system, such as workers or defendants, who were disabled, had young children or lived out of town could access the court too.
‘‘It’s a more efficient system,’’ she said.
Adams said video conferences were already operational in other parts of the country and they were yet to provide the facilities to the courtrooms in Queenstown and Invercargill.
The new system would also mean prisoners wouldn’t have to be moved to a different town for a hearing.
‘‘[Nationally], we’ve reduced prisoner’s transport by 20 per cent which obviously isn’t just a cost and time serving but is a significant improvement in terms of safety.’’
The initiative also aimed to reduce the number of people travelling to remote locations and reduce weather delays.
‘‘Growth of video conferencing initiatives has potential for benefits nationwide with more than 4500 pro- cedural events held in our more remote courts over the past 12 months requiring a judge or parties to travel to a remote site,’’ Adams said.
The minister said less travelling would also make a small impact on the traffic at the resort.
Queenstown businesses could also look to increase remote working and remote services to make a ‘‘more significant’’ difference, she said.
‘‘There might be a bigger amount of residents that would see their bank, their lawyer or their doctor from home.’’
Areas of Northland, Southland and Central Otago were identified as areas that would benefit from the court’s video conferencing initiative.
‘‘Modernising the courts is about making the engine room of our justice system fit for purpose, including through the smart use of technology, that serves all court users,’’ Adams said.
While in Queenstown Adams officially celebrated the Ultra Fast Broadband rollout which has given 7,000 households and businesses in Queenstown the ability to connect.
Justice and Courts Minister Amy Adams says video conferences for Queenstown and Southland courts are coming.