The Government is being warned any moves to shut courts in small towns will be strongly opposed by mayors.
Official figures show district courts in towns like Dannevirke were in use less 24% of the time in the year to May, Taihape (20%) and Feilding (28%).
The Government is making no promises about which courts might remain, as it awaits a report on court services.
But Local Government New Zealand says its critical to see justice done in the community where a crime is committed.
Rural sector chair John Forbes says the last time closures were attempted there was a hard push-back from mayors and he would expect the same again if closures are confirmed.