Public Defence Service

IMPORTANT: Please do not come to the courthouse if you are feeling unwell. Contact 0800 COURTS (0800 268 787) if you cannot enter the courthouse or are not sure whether to attend.

The Public Defence Service (PDS) is an independent criminal law practice providing excellent service to our clients for a just New Zealand.

We provide advice and representation to defendants who have legal aid in criminal cases. We also oversee the duty lawyer services in the courts where we operate.

  • How we can help you »

    The Public Defence Service employs experienced criminal defence lawyers who will act with integrity, skill, and respect for the client.

  • Contact us  »

    All Public Defence Services offices are open between 8.30am and 5pm Monday to Friday. Outside of these hours you can leave a message and someone will contact you as soon as they can.

  • About us »

    We're the largest criminal law practice in New Zealand with over 150 criminal defence lawyers in 10 offices across New Zealand.

  • Legal aid »

    Legal Aid Services give legal aid funding for people who cannot afford to pay for their own lawyer and who are eligible for legal aid.

  • Careers »

    The Public Defence Service is a unit that operates independently within the Ministry of Justice. PDS provides high-quality criminal legal aid services to people who could not otherwise access them.