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Court Registry Officer

Āpiha Whakarite Kōti/​Ture

Alternative titles for this job

Court registry officers assist with the day-to-day operation of courts. They handle court documents, schedules and may support the judge in running court hearings.


Court registry officers usually earn

$43K-$58K per year

Source: Ministry of Justice, 2017.

Job opportunities

Chances of getting a job as a court registry officer are average due to declining job numbers and fewer people leaving the role.


Pay for court registry officers varies depending on experience, but they usually earn $43,000 to $58,000 a year.

Source: Ministry of Justice, 2017.

(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our pay information)

What you will do

Court registry officers may do some or all of the following:

  • process documents, such as marriage certificates, for the public
  • answer questions from the public about court sittings and legal documents
  • process court orders, court summons (when you are called to come to court), warrants to arrest and notices
  • schedule court hearings
  • swear in witnesses and read out charges
  • document court proceedings for transcriptionists (people who record what is said in court)
  • prepare and maintain case files
  • liaise with police, judges and lawyers.

Skills and knowledge

Court registry officers need to have knowledge of:

  • court processes
  • the order of court proceedings
  • legal terms and methods.

Working conditions

Court registry officers:

  • usually work regular business hours, but may work evenings if a court hearing is running late
  • work in offices and courtrooms, although collections registry officers work from home.

What's the job really like?

Missy Tapine-Tumu

Missy Tapine-Tumu

Court Registry Officer

Every day is different

When Missy Tapine-Tumu arrives at work on a Monday, she can count on two things – new people and new cases.

"In my role, I look after the judge, the sound system to record the evidence, and I make sure everything is co-ordinated in the court. I like the variety of work. It chops and changes and there's something new every week."

Treating people with respect and making sure they understand what is going on is important for Missy.

Confidence with communication is important

"You have to be confident to talk in public. You've got a lot of people turning up to court who have no idea how the court system works, so you need to put them at ease. You've got to think about someone else coming in from the outside – it might be the most important day of their life.

"You just need common sense and confidence with public speaking. There are a lot of people you deal with in this job, from lawyers on both sides, the media, family members who are supporting the defendants, and also dealing with the defendants. You just treat them how you would want to be treated."

Entry requirements

To become a court registry officer you need to have:

  • NCEA Level 2
  • a current driver's licence.

However, employers often prefer you to also have a tertiary qualification such as a certificate in administration.

Secondary education

NCEA Level 2 is required to become a court registry officer. Useful subjects include English, history and classical studies, languages, social studies and te reo Māori.

Personal requirements

Court registry officers need to be:

  • accurate
  • organised
  • able to work well under pressure
  • able to relate to people from a range of cultures
  • able to understand complex information and explain it clearly to members of the public
  • confident and capable in front of a large audience
  • reliable and able to keep information confidential.

Useful experience

Useful experience for court registry officers includes:

  • work as a legal secretary or law clerk, or other work in a law office
  • court work
  • administration work
  • work with the public.
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What are the chances of getting a job?

Fewer vacancies due to less turnover and declining job numbers

The number of people working as court registry officers in New Zealand is expected to decline slowly because courts are modernising and computers are taking over many administrative tasks.

In addition, court registry officers are staying in the job for longer, which means fewer vacancies.

According to the Census, 783 court registry officers worked in New Zealand in 2018.

Chances best if you have customer service and administration experience

Chances of getting a job as a court registry officer are best if you have:

  • customer service and administration experience
  • a tertiary qualification.

You are also more likely to find a job in the main centres of Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch, where most courthouses are located.

One employer of court registry officers

All court registry officers are employed by The Ministry of Justice.


  • Collins, S, 'Robots could do 46 per cent of NZ Jobs', 23 March 2016, (
  • Hyde, C, and Thomas, R, '202 Ministry of Justice Jobs to be Disestablished in Work-From-Home Initiative', 4 April 2016, (
  • Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, '2006-2014 Occupation Data' (prepared for Careers Directorate – Tertiary Education Commission), 2015.
  • Ministry of Justice, 'Justice Matters', March 2017, (
  • Ministry of Justice, 'Justice Matters', June 2017, (
  • Ministry of Justice, 'Ministry of Justice Careers Centre', accessed November 2017, (
  • Ministry of Justice representatives, Careers Directorate – Tertiary Education Commission interview, November 2017.
  • Radio New Zealand, 'Dozens of Jobs on the Line at Ministry of Justice', 5 October 2016, (
  • Stats NZ, '2018 Census Data', 2019.

(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our job opportunities information)

Progression and specialisations

Court registry officers can specialise as collections registry officers.

Collections Registry Officer
Collections registry officers advise people how to pay their fines, and negotiate with the public to collect overdue fines.
Missy Tapine-Tumu sitting in a courtroom in front of the judge's chair, with paperwork and a computer

Court registry officers co-ordinate court hearings

Last updated 17 June 2020