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Taonga Māori

Translation of court documents into te reo

Can I get court documents translated into Māori?

District Court Rules 2014, rule 1.16 Family Court Rules 2002, rule 131 High Court Rules 2016, rule 1.12 Criminal Procedure Rules 2012, rule 1.10

In civil (non-criminal) cases in the District and High Courts, and in Family Court cases, you have the right to have documents from the other side translated into te reo Māori, but only if you satisfy the court registrar that you won’t be able to read them unless they’re translated. If you want to apply for the registrar to order this, you have to apply within 10 working days after you receive the document. If the registrar does order a translation, it will be the other side’s responsibility to have the document translated. The court also has the discretion to order translation of a document into te reo even if you have haven’t applied for this.

In criminal cases, you can apply for the prosecution documents to be translated into te reo, and the judge or court registrar can order this if you’ve satisfied them that you won’t be able to read the documents otherwise – but you don’t have a right to this. Again, you have to apply within 10 working days after receiving the documents, and the judge has the discretion to order a translation even if you haven’t applied for it.

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Te reo Māori (in English)

Where to go for more support

Community Law

Your local Community Law Centre can provide you with free initial legal advice.

Find your local Community Law Centre online: www.communitylaw.org.nz/our-law-centres

Ministry of Justice or your local court

If you would like to speak te reo Māori in court, complete the “Notice of Intention to Speak Māori” form that can be found on the Ministry of Justice website.

Find the forms here:

For all cases except civil (non-criminal) cases in the District and High Court: www.justice.govt.nz/assets/Documents/Forms/notice-of-intention-to-speak-maori-20170615-update.pdf

For civil cases in the District Court, visit the local court and ask for Form 4, “Notice of Intention to Speak Māori”.

For civil cases in the High Court, visit the local court and ask for Form G 12, “Notice of Intention to Speak Māori”.

Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori/Māori Language Commission

The Commission’s website has a range of information and resources, including an interpreter register and support for organisations.

Website: www.tetaurawhiri.govt.nz
Email: info@tetaurawhiri.govt.nz
Phone: 04 471 0244
Instagram: www.instagram.com/reomaori/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/reomaori

Te Mātāwai

Te Mātāwai is an independent body led by iwi and the Māori community, committed to revitalising te reo Māori for the Māori people and Aotearoa collectively.

Website: www.tematawai.maori.nz
Email: patai@tematawai.maori.nz
Phone: 04 499 8907
Instagram: www.instagram.com/te_matawai/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/TeMatawai

The Legal Māori Resource Hub

Explore how Māori language has been used in legal contexts over nearly two centuries. A dictionary of Māori legal terms and the Legal Māori Corpus is also available.

Website: www.legalmaori.net

Te Puni Kōkiri/Ministry of Māori Development

Te Puni Kōkiri is the principal advisor on Government-Māori relationships. They monitor policy and legislation, and they provide government with high quality policy advice.

Website: www.tpk.govt.nz

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