Thanks for the service

Retiring Justices of the Peace Anne Adams (left) and Jenny Holst, with Justice of the Peace Coordinator Ralph Martin.

Local women Anne Adams and Jenny Holst are retiring after many years’ service as Justices of the Peace. They have seen a lot of changes in the role over time and both agree that serving their community has been very rewarding.
Anne and her husband Gavin came to NZ from Australia over 50 years ago. In 1998, before the boundaries changed, she was working as the electorate agent for MP Brian Neeson in his Lincoln Road office when he suggested she become a Justice of the Peace, so she had the authority to authorise documents. Anne added this to her other community activities, including with Playcentre and quilting and knitting groups. After moving to Helensville 15 years ago she wanted to become involved in what was going on in the community so joined Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB), where her work as a volunteer also included the Justice of the Peace role. She has now retired because, she says, “I turn 80 next year and I just thought it was time to go. I’m looking forward to having more time to myself.”
Born and bred in Helensville, Jenny is the daughter of Noel Rimmer, a man whose commitment to the district was recognised in the naming of Rimmer Road. “My father used to say your community is only as good as what you put into it,” says Jenny. Brought up with these values, Jenny added the Justice of the Peace role to her busy community involvement after she had moved to the South Head cattle and sheep farm she owns with husband Trevor and was approached by the two Justices of the Peace from there who were leaving the district. She has enjoyed her 20 years in the role, doing most of the work from home, while also being on the Saturday morning roster. “I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to meet new people from South Head I wouldn’t otherwise have met, but I turned 80 this year and I always said I’d stop then,” she says. “It’s come around quickly.”
In the early days of their service the Justice of the Peace role was much simpler than it is now. You had to be nominated then accepted by the Ministry of Justice, but training consisted of being given a folder of material and “left to it.” As Jenny says, “In the early days it was mostly witnessing documents. Now it’s much more complex and you need training.” Anne agrees. “You were more of a support person but also a listener. That was the job really.” Today, training is rigorous and ongoing, giving Justices of the Peace the opportunity to keep up with new information and practices. There is also a Helensville and District support group.
Ralph Martin, who has taken over from Greville Walker as Justice of the Peace Coordinator for Helensville and District, says Anne and Jenny have both done a wonderful job in their years of unstinting service and their work is greatly appreciated.
Looking to the future, Ralph says while Anne and Jenny were meticulous in keeping up with their ongoing training, some Justices of the Peace are not committed and pay their subs to keep the kudos of being able to write ‘JP’ after their name but don’t attend training. “The Justice of the Peace Association is trying now to weed out people who don’t attend training courses and are not accredited.” There is also a drive for more Justices of the Peace in the Helensville area. “We’re pretty well served in South Head, Kaukapakapa, Waitoki and Glorit. The new CAB Chairperson Alan Shilton is a Justice of the Peace at Shelly Beach. We just need some now for Helensville. It’d be great to have some younger ones, as Justices of the Peace now have to retire at 75. You don’t have to wait to be asked, and the only requirement is that you have to be involved in at least a couple of things in the community. We’d love to hear from anyone who wants to take it on.” Contact:

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