Notary Public services

Oscar Alpers is a Notary Public and is usually available the same day for urgent notarial services, by appointment.

A Notary Public is a legal official whose role in New Zealand is preparing documents, witnessing signatures and taking sworn statements for international use.

Notaries have been in existence since the days of the Roman Empire.

All Notaries Public in New Zealand are appointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury in England and all are lawyers but few lawyers are notaries.

In the United States, Notaries are not lawyers, their functions are similar to Justices of the Peace in New Zealand and they do not charge fees.

The need for Notaries arises because officials are not readily able to determine the authenticity of documents originating from another country and consequently they are required to be authenticated by some public official. This enables the documents to be accepted in the foreign jurisdiction without further proof of authenticity.
The requirement for authentication of qualifications and academic records by notaries has grown dramatically in recent years because of the use of computer technology to produce fraudulent documents and the offering of forged academic qualifications on the internet.
The role of the Notary in authenticating documents for overseas use is recognised in most countries around the world and is important in enabling international trade, business and personal transactions to be conducted and in many countries foreign documents will be accepted only if certified by a Notary.
The services a Notary provides include:
• Authenticating and verifying original and certified copy documents for overseas use.
• Witnessing formal documents.
• Taking affidavits and declarations.
• Protesting or noting Bills of Exchange (a written order, similar to a cheque, directing one party to pay a certain sum of money to another).
• Preparing and attesting ships protests (a protest against all losses and damages, made by a ship’s master who fears loss or damage from heavy weather or accident during a voyage).
In some cases the signature and seal of the Notary will also need to be authenticated by the Department of Internal Affairs: The authentication process depends on the type of document and the requirements of the country in which the document is to be used.

The growth in world trade, travel and immigration has been matched by increasing simplification of legal requirements and for some years there have been only 6 to 8 Notaries in Christchurch.

A fee is charged on a time basis, usually between $80.00 and $160.00, payable in cash or by cheque or bank transfer. We cannot give quotes prior to the appointment due the time-based nature of the work, but the Notary can give an estimate upon seeing the documents to be notarised.

Oscar Alpers is usually able to make an appointment the same day.

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