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Working Party to examine civil court fees

5 July 2001 Media Statement

Ministerial Working Party to examine civil court fees

No-one will be denied access to the Courts because they can't afford the court fees, says Minister for Courts, Matt Robson.

Today he announced the membership of a working party, set up to examine the possible impact of new civil court fees.

The group will report back on the practical implications of the new civil court fees on court users and on any access to justice issues arising from the changes to civil court fees.

They will examine the criteria and eligibility whereby civil court fees can be either reduced, or waived altogether in some cases, in the High Court and Court of Appeal, and also look at extending this power to the District Court.

"Those who can pay, should pay. But those who can't must not be denied access to the courts because of the court fees," says Matt Robson.

The working party comprises eight representatives drawn from the legal profession, consumer advocates, the small business sector, and Maori and Pacific organisations.

The group is due to report back to the Minister by 20 August 2001. Those wishing to put a view in front of the Working Party may do so by contacting the Strategic Policy Unit at the Department for Courts on 04 918 8800 or by facsimile on 04 918 8710 or by email at:

The establishment of the working party follows on from Matt Robson's decision to put the new civil court fees on hold for three months, until 1 October 2001.


Ministerial Working Party on Civil Court Fees

Bob Henare (Chair)
Commissioner with the Mental Health Commission; Director of the Maori Development Organisation; Chairperson of Capital and Coast District Health Board (DHB); company director.

David Russell
Chief Executive of the Consumers’ Institute

Robert Dobson QC
Secretary of the New Zealand Bar Association

Adrian More, Dunedin Barrister
Convenor of the New Zealand Law Society’s Civil Litigation and Tribunals Committee

Michael Crosbie, Partner of Rudd Watts & Stone
Member of New Zealand Law Society’s Civil Litigation and Tribunals Committee

Sophia Filemu
Deputy Chair of the Pacific Safer Community (Wellington Region) Trust

Keith Huntington
Professional commercial mediator and arbitrator and principal of Dispute Settlements Associates Ltd

Manu Tawhai
Member of Te Ratonga Ture’s Advisory Committee


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