The role of the Palmerston North High Court, previously known as the Supreme Court was to try the more serious criminal and civil cases, to administer the probating of wills, the hearing of divorce cases and bankruptcy cases. Other court business included the administration of:
- Writs of Sale
- Chattels and other loan agreements
- Taxation registration
- Mortgage sales and property ratings
- Offenders legal aid
- Land valuation proceedings
- Other miscellaneous court business including companies winding up, aged and infirm persons, matrimonal property applications, changes of name by deed poll, criminal and civil appeals, domestic appeals, and applications by solicitors for admission to the bar. This business was also known as agency cases.