The Dargaville community intends to "stand up and protest like hell" against the Government's decision to make Dargaville District Court a hearing only facility.
At a recent public meeting hosted by Kaipara Grey Power, Judicial JP Eric Smitten called the Government's attitude a "fait accompli" saying he was also concerned by the response from Northland MP Mike Sabin to his query on the lack of public of consultation. In a letter Mr Sabin said, since the matter was "administrative and not substantive, full consultation with the public is not necessary."
"If I was a cynic I would say this was just the first step to full closure," said Mr Smitten.
A Dargaville lawyer believes the Government has used "half baked statistics to draw its own conclusions" on the functional use of the Dargaville Court House.
Darrell Hart says the Government had shown little understanding of the unique demographics of the area or acknowledgment the "Centralisation of judicial services elsewhere has not been successful."
Mr Hart said there would be no costs savings achieved by the move, and forewarned, the result would not only mean a loss of accessible justice services, but would add deprivation to the community at large.
Former Kaipara mayor and now regional councillor Graeme Ramsey, who was one of those who battled against signalled closure by the Government 10 years ago, said in a pre-recorded message - if Dargaville wanted to retain its court it needed to be proactive and lobby hard.
FONZ leader Bill Guest agreed saying the area had a history of standing up for itself. "Stand up and protest like hell."
At the meeting a steering committee was formed to voice public opinion to dissuade the Government from its intention.
A joint letter of opposition and a petition containing 1000 signatures, collected in only a few days, will be sent to the Prime Minister, Minister of Courts, Chester Burrows and Northland MPs.
Representatives of eight groups including Northern Wairoa JP Association, Hammonds Solicitors, Kaipara Community Health Trust, Kaipara Abuse Prevention, Farmers of New Zealand and Grey Power have agreed to work to this end.