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Burton: Address to launch LSA's ACC Education Kit

Address to launch LSA's ACC Education Kit

These education kits are valuable tools for helping the many people who source legal information on the issues they cover.

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Level 14, Prime Property Tower, 86-90 Lambton Quay, Wellington

I am delighted to be here today to help launch the ACC education kit, the 5th law related education kit to be developed by the Legal Services Agency.

The aim of this kit is to provide accurate and clear legal information to those who provide advice and support to people with ACC related issues.

I would have to agree that the ACC scheme is not always an easy one to get your head around. A kit that explains the ACC legislation and scheme in a way that can be easily understood will be useful to many. The examples used in the kit to explain how the law applies are based on everyday situations, which will enable those who use it to apply the kit to the specific circumstances in question.

For many people, not being able to access justice derives from not being able to access legal services.

Providing people with the right tools can help them to overcome barriers to accessing legal services. These tools often come in the shape of information about a person's rights and obligations under the law, the services that are available to them and where they can access these services if needed.

The real challenge lies in making that information available, applicable and accessible to those who need it most.

The Legal Services Agency continues to do a good job in meeting that challenge by ensuring law-related information meets these criteria, whether provided by the Agency or through other community organisations.

The Government's policy programme for the justice sector envisages a society and an economy where all families, young and old, are safe and secure, and are able to reach their full potential and prosper.

The justice sector contributes to this goal by aiming to achieve a fairer, more credible and more effective justice system. One of the ways in which the Ministry of Justice contributes to this objective is its work on improving the delivery of legal information in New Zealand. The Ministry's work will ensure that:

* there are no overlaps or gaps in information;
* that the quality and content of information is monitored; and
* there is greater accountability for ensuring all sectors of society are catered for.


This work aligns with the continuing initiatives under the LSA's Law-Related Education and Legal Information Strategy.

As I said earlier this ACC education kit is the 5th such kit to be released by the Agency. The other kits have addressed:

* Enduring powers of attorney;
* Legal aid and other legal assistance;
* Domestic violence; and
* Immigration.


The kits are aimed at some of the most common and pressing issues facing those most in need of legal information and assistance. Another education kit is also being planned, on disability law with a focus on mental health. I am sure that once completed, that kit will also be a welcome resource.

However, it's important to note that the Agency does not produce these resources on its own. I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the tremendous work of a number of people who helped develop this kit:

 Marcus Pawson, who actually wrote the kit;
 Sue North, from ACC's Advocacy Service, who ensured the content was correct;
 Community Law Centres for their input during the consultation phase; and
 Insight Consultants, who produced the kit.


These education kits are valuable tools for helping the many people who source legal information on the issues they cover.

Providing accurate information to those groups in the community who have direct contact with the individuals who need advice is a simple and effective way of removing the barriers to accessing legal services.

I have no doubt that those who use these resources will find them invaluable. So it is indeed a pleasure to be here to help launch LSA's ACC Education Kit.


ENDS

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