Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Legal Aid Bill Passed

The Legal Services Bill which passed its third and final reading this evening will ensure that the public gets the best return possible from the money spent on legal aid, Justice Minister Phil Goff said today.

The Bill overhauls the administration of legal aid through the establishment of a new Legal Services Agency. The changes will take effect on 1 February 2001.

"Access to justice is a fundamental principle underlying our justice system," Mr Goff said. "No New Zealander should be denied legal representation solely because of their inability to pay.

"We spend $100 million annually upholding that principle. Legal aid increased in cost alarmingly during the 1990s. It is important, therefore, that legal aid services are delivered consistently and efficiently.

"The present system, which relies primarily on volunteers, is no longer adequate. Despite the valuable work contributed by the vast majority of the volunteers involved, the system has suffered from inconsistent decision-making, poor expenditure control and serious processing backlogs.

"The volunteers will now be replaced by a professional agency, the Legal Services Agency.

"The Labour Alliance Government has made a significant change to the structure of the new Legal Services Agency proposed by the previous government. It will now draw on the major strength of the subcommittee system - that is, local knowledge - through the establishment of a network of regional offices.

"The Select Committee has also recommended that the Agency should be able to establish local consultative groups to advise on the general delivery of legal aid.

"This extra source of advice complements that offered by the Public Advisory Committee and together they will ensure that the Agency will be responsive to local needs.

"Reform in legal aid will progress in two legislative stages. This Bill reforms administration of legal aid. A separate exercise next year will address questions relating to legal aid eligibility criteria," Mr Goff concluded.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Why Shipping Is NZ’s New Trade Problem

So Jacinda Ardern and Theresa May have signed a piece of paper promising peace in our time when it comes to our trade with Britain... Right now, a statement from Theresa May on Brexit has as much credibility as a statement by Donald Trump about North Korea’s plans for scrapping its nukes. Despite her recent crushing defeat in the Commons, May is continuing to playing chicken with Britain’s future, for personal and party advantage.

Brexit is not the only concern... More>>

 

KiwiBailed: KiwiBuild Head Officially Resigns

The head of Kiwibuild, Stephen Barclay has officially resigned from the role. In a statement issued on his behalf, it was announced that he would step down from today [Friday]. More>>

ALSO:

Welfare Stats: Rise In Hardship Numbers Shows Income Inadequacy

The latest Ministry of Social Development quarterly report show that a record number of people have received hardship assistance from work and income, with an additional 40,000 hardship payments made between September and December 2018, compared to the previous quarter of the same year... More>>

ALSO:

DHBs "Prepared": Junior Doctors Strike Again

The needs of acute patients will be met during tomorrow's junior doctor strike, a DHB spokesperson says... Almost 3000 junior doctors are expected to walk off the job, which will affect all DHBs apart from West Coast District Health Board. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On MBIE’s Social Media Scam

Given the ambit of MBIE’s work, almost any form of social activity could qualify as being part of MBIE’s brief, so the privacy threats posed by this training programme are extensive. The current oversight safeguards seem threadbare to non-existent. More>>

ALSO:

JusTrade: New Campaign For A 21th Century Trade Agenda

‘Critique is no longer enough. If anything is to really change, we need to step away from the existing framework and take a first-principles approach to rethinking what will work for the 21st century.’ More>>

Earlier:

Gordon Campbell: Thompson + Clark Are The Tip Of The Iceberg

How can we tell where and how any lines are being drawn? Oversight is not exactly robust. If it were, Thompson + Clark would have been out of contention for state security work ten years ago. More>>

Trainers: Taratahi Institute of Agriculture In Interim Liquidation

Taratahi employ 250 staff and this year has provided education to over 2500 students. Taratahi owns and manages 8 farms throughout the country. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels