Trials in two big Auckland courts have come to a halt after staff are believed to have attended a party with a work colleague who had Covid.
Both jury and judge-alone trials at Auckland and Manukau District Courts have been temporarily suspended, with jurors being told to stay home.
A statement sent to Open Justice from The Chief District Court Judge's chambers said the halt on trials was a result of the "impact of Omicron on staffing levels".
Open Justice has been told court staffing levels have been affected following a party that was attended by employees just over a week ago.
Ministry of Justice staff were unable to confirm any details about the party besides saying they would look into it.
A spokesperson was also unable confirm how many staff have tested positive for Covid since the party but the Ministry was monitoring staffing numbers and hoped to provide more information on Tuesday.
"The Ministry of Justice will regularly assess staffing numbers to determine when there is sufficient workforce capacity to support the recommencement of jury trials and judge alone trials."
The Ministry of Justice website posted a message on Sunday saying all jurors summons for service at the Auckland District Court were no longer required to attend on Monday and Tuesday and to check back on Tuesday for further updates.
In Christchurch, lawyers have been told that a Covid-19 case has been detected at the Christchurch Court House. A staff member who was at the justice precinct on Friday, but non-symptomic, has since returned a positive test.
The Ministry of Health has today announced 14,633 new community cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand with the majority in Auckland - 9,305 (RATs and PCR).
Coincidentally the courts' cancellation came on the same day as Attorney General David Parker announced he had caught Covid-19. There is nothing to suggest he was at the party.
The 62-year-old, who is also the Minister for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Revenue, and Associate Finance Minister, said on Twitter that he tested positive on Sunday and has been isolating at home since.
Parker said he had not been in the Beehive since Monday so fortunately he had not been around other MPs or staff while infectious.
There are now 344 people in hospital, including five in intensive care.
Seventeen people who were at the protest at Parliament have tested positive for Covid-19 but the numbers could be much higher as many protesters were reluctant to be tested, the ministry said.
The country has now topped 100,000 cases since the pandemic began.