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Browse the 1966 Encyclopaedia of New Zealand
Graphic: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966.


This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.

Up-to-date information can be found elsewhere in Te Ara.




The Court structure in New Zealand is simple. The Courts of general jurisdiction are the Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court, and the Magistrates' Courts. All exercise both civil and criminal jurisdiction. There are in addition a number of specialist Courts. These include the Court of Arbitration, which makes awards governing pay and working conditions in industry and also makes general wage orders; the Compensation Court, which determines claims under the Workers Compensation Act; the Land Valuation Court, which determines disputes over the valuation of land and hears claims for compensation when land is taken for public purposes; and the Maori Land Court and Maori Appellate Court, which have jurisdiction in Maori land questions and some other matters affecting Maoris. Children's Courts have jurisdiction over offences (other than murder and manslaughter) committed by children under 17 or, in some circumstances, 18, and deal with neglected children. Wardens' Courts have jurisdiction in certain matters under the Mining Act. These last two Courts are presided over by Magistrates and have no separate staff or buildings.

Apart from these Courts are numerous administrative tribunals exercising functions of a judicial nature and performing an important and increasing role in the legal system

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