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

 


Family Court To Blame For Its Own Dramas

Family Court To Blame For Its Own Dramas

Friday 6 Jun 2003 Dr Muriel Newman Press Releases -- Social Welfare

If it were not for the secrecy of the Family Court - with the associated delays and costs - MPs would not be asked to intervene in Family Court cases, and National MP Dr Nick Smith would not have found himself facing prosecution, ACT New Zealand Social Welfare Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman said today.

"The public is not only frustrated with the Family Court's lack of openness, but also with the tremendous taxpayer costs involved - answers to my written Parliamentary Questions show that the highest amount of legal aid paid to Family Court lawyers was in excess of $104,028," Dr Newman said.

"This is closely followed by payments of more than $75,000, $64,000 and $59,000. Usually only one party in a case receives legal aid - enabling them to constantly appeal decisions at relatively no cost to themselves - while the other party must exhaust their funds or give up.

"Add to this the secrecy that surrounds Family Court hearings and decisions, and we are left with a public that feels it cannot expect justice from this court. Is it any wonder, then, that people turn to MPs for help?

"Now, Dr Smith faces prosecution for drawing aside the Family Court's curtain of secrecy. Yet this need not have been the case. In other jurisdictions where Family Courts are open and justice is seen to be done, endless litigation at enormous cost to the taxpayer is virtually unknown. It is long past time for New Zealand's Family Court to open its doors to proper scrutiny, so that MPs would not have to put themselves on the line to help New Zealanders who are being denied justice," Dr Newman said.

ENDS


For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>

ALSO:

Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>

ALSO:

Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>

ALSO:

General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news