Brown raises issue of land court charges

Saturday July 21, 2018 Written by Published in Politics
New Justice minister Rose Brown. 18072042 New Justice minister Rose Brown. 18072042

New Justice minister Rose Brown raised the issue of complaints from the public regarding the high fees charged by the land division of the High Court at a special meeting with the Ministry of Justice staff yesterday.

In the meeting, which included staff of the Prison Service and Probation Services, Brown said the ministry should review these fees in the very near future.

The meeting was held to introduce Brown, who took over the ministerial role earlier this month, to the staff of various organisations under the Justice ministry.

Acting Justice secretary Nono Tearea said the minister also wanted to meet the staff to acquaint herself with the ministry’s short, medium and long term priorities.

“She said as minister of Justice she will try her best to help out the ministry in terms of its budgetary support and improving the salaries of the staff as she is aware that this is one of the ministries (in which) the staff’s salaries are very low compared to other ministries,” Tearea said.

“She also urged the staff to work together as a team in serving the public honestly and faithfully.”

The meeting was also attended by associate minister of Justice, Tingika Elikana, acting chief executive officer Bob Williams and Justice Craig Coxhead, who has presided in the Land Court over the last two weeks.

“Justice Coxhead stood up to thank the staff especially the Land Court staff as it was a very busy two weeks. The judge quipped that the next time he visits Rarotonga, he hoped he would presiding in a well renovated courtroom,” Tearea said.

“The associate minister, Tingika Elikana gave a speech thanking staff for the opportunity to attend the function. In fact, being a former secretary of Justice, he is very much aware of all the difficulties and problems faced by the ministry and said he will join efforts to help out the ministry.”

Tearea concluded the meeting by pointing out a list of Justice ministry priorities which included amongst other things, the budget for the electoral Court to hear and determine all pending electoral petitions.

The priorities he mentioned included the amendment of the current JP Act regarding appointment of JPs, and the need to review personnel or human resources covering salaries of staff, review and upgrade the Ministry’s IT equipment and networking systems. Other priorities included resourcing, updating, scanning and digitising all ministry, court and survey records, maps and registers.

Tearea also mentioned that it had been a very busy two weeks for the ministry and court, which had included a three-day JPs workshop.

“There are also some issues to be attended to in the future but that will require further discussion with the minister,” he said.

The second part of the function farewelled two law students, Tully Bambridge and Claire Coelho from the Newcastle Law School in New South Wales, Australia.

“They had been here for three weeks and are returning (home) next week.  Both of them thanked their host and each were given presents.

“We wished them the best and safe trip home."

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