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Lay Advocate

NZ Ministry of Justice
Job Category:
Legal & courts
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Lay Advocate role description.pdf (PDF, 125KB)
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Job Description

Lay Advocates

Palmerston North and Levin Youth Courts


We are looking for active members of the community who have a wealth of knowledge about their culture and are passionate about working with young people. Lay Advocates provide the Youth Court with information about the young person's culture and family background, and represent the interests of the young person's family to the Court.

The Youth Court is part of the District Court. It primarily deals with young people aged 14-16, and some 12 and 13 year olds who have been charged with serious offending. The Lay Advocate is appointed by the Youth Court to support the young person's family/whānau and represent the interests of the family/ whānau and their community to the Court

The Lay Advocate is expected to:

  • make sure the court understands any cultural matters to do with the case and provide the court with the cultural context of the young person and their whānau;
  • represent the interests of the young person's whānau, hapū and iwi to the extent that those interests are not otherwise represented in the proceedings.

A Lay Advocate needs to have relevant knowledge and experience of, and standing in, the local community. They should also have a sound knowledge of Māori protocols, Māori history, tribal pepehā and tribal whakapapa (genealogy).

This role would suit a retired person wanting to use their knowledge and experience to support the younger members of their community.

The role of Lay Advocate is based on assignment from a pool of Lay Advocates – it is not a full-time position. Lay Advocate appointments are made by the Youth Court on a case by case basis, so there are not necessarily regular hours. Payment is for services rendered and is paid at a set hourly rate by the Ministry of Justice.

Applicants are welcome to provide a CV with supporting written references by Monday 30 April 2018

For further information, and a copy of the role description, please contact Brian Johnston, email: or phone: 06 952 6215  


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