New Beginnings Court

Te Kooti o Timatanga Hou

The New Beginnings Court in Auckland deals with offenders who are homeless. The Court currently sits once a month. The aim of the New Beginnings Court is to ensure that the necessary social and health supports are provided to address the underlying causes (legal, social and health-related) of the offending and the homelessness while also holding offenders accountable and ensuring that victim’s issues are addressed.

Picture of Judge Tony Fitzgerald.Te Kooti o Timatanga Hou/The Court of New Beginnings in Auckland deals with offenders who are homeless. It is my privilege to preside at the monthly sittings of the Court.

The Court process involves a non-adversarial, coordinated, inter-agency approach to addressing the legal, social and health-related issues that have led t the participants’ offending and their homelessness. As well as holding them accountable for their offending, and ensuring that victims’ issues are addressed, the Court ensures that the necessary social and health supports are provided to address the underlying causes of the offending and the homelessness.

The Court started in 2010 and evaluations have shown that this approach greatly reduces reoffending rates (by 66%), and saves on nights spent in prison (by 78%) and hospital admissions (by 78%). It is a great example of how the Court can work collaboratively with the community to bring about positive change.

Judge Tony Fitzgerald

District Courts of New Zealand Annual Report 2015