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

 


Reforms put children at heart of Family Court

Reforms put children at heart of Family Court

The Government’s reforms of our family justice system come into force on Monday 31 March, Justice Minister Judith Collins announced today.

Ms Collins told the Arbitrators’ and Mediators’ Institute of New Zealand (AMINZ) Breakfast meeting in Auckland this morning that the reforms mark the most significant changes to New Zealand’s Family Court since its establishment 33 years ago.

“Our reforms are the culmination of three years of work to bring New Zealand’s family justice system into the 21st Century,” Ms Collins says.

“The 2011 review of the Family Court – which involved input from Family Court lawyers, Judges, counsellors and psychologists – confirmed what everyone knew and had been unable to address: far too many people were going to court unnecessarily and cases were taking far too long to resolve.

“This Government’s reforms empower people to resolve their parenting matters outside court and minimise the stress children often face when their parents separate. We’re ensuring the Court focuses on those cases that most need judicial expertise, especially those cases involving domestic violence.”

Ms Collins says the centrepiece of the out-of-court system is the new Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) service.

“The FDR service will be fully funded by the Government for those who meet the income threshold for civil legal aid – it’s estimated about 60 per cent of participants will be eligible,” Ms Collins says.

“The Government will also ensure the cost of FDR is affordable for others by providing an option to access FDR for $897 including GST, per case. This will be shared by all parties to the dispute, so an individual will pay significantly less than this amount.”

All couples will be required to complete FDR before they file with the Family Court. However, cases involving urgency – such as domestic violence or if there are concerns for the safety of children – will continue to go straight to the Family Court. FDR will be supported by a free Family Legal Advice Service and an expansion of the successful Parenting through Separation programme. A new Family Justice website was also launched today by the Ministry of Justice as a first port of call for all family justice issues.

Ms Collins says the reforms, and the introduction of FDR, will help to change the way New Zealanders think about family law.

“If we can keep people out of court where possible, if we can get them to take responsibility for their own actions – and put the welfare of their children to the forefront – we will be on the right path to bringing family law into a new era.”


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

AMA: Scoop's 'Invisible Paywall'

Operation Chrysalis: The Final Countdown - Thanks & There's Still Time To Pledge

Phew! We are now counting down the hours to the end of this crowd-funding campaign at 11pm on Sunday. Thankyou to all those Scoop readers and supporters who have pledged already. You have been awesome. But this is not over yet. More>>

 
 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

IPCA Reports: Significant Problems In Police Custody

In releasing two reports today, the Independent Police Conduct Authority has highlighted a number of significant problems with the way in which Police deal with people who are detained in Police cells. More>>

ALSO:

Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security: Inquiry Into GCSB Pacific Allegations

The complaints follow recent public allegations about GCSB activities. The complaints, and these public allegations, raise wider questions regarding the collection, retention and sharing of communications data. More>>

ALSO:

TPPA Investment Leak: "NZ Surrender To US" On Corporates Suing Governments

Professor Jane Kelsey: ‘As anticipated, the deal gives foreign investors from the TPPA countries special rights, and the power to sue the government in private offshore tribunals for massive damages if new laws, or even court decisions, significantly affected their bottom line’. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf: The Myth Of Steven Joyce

Gordon Campbell: The myth of competence that’s been woven around Steven Joyce – the Key government’s “Minister of Everything” and “Mr Fixit” – has been disseminated from high-rises to hamlets, across the country... More>>

ALSO:

RMTU: No Public Submissions On International Government Procurement Deal

“The government is preparing to assent to the Government Procurement Agreement, a World Trade Organisation Treaty which opens up New Zealand Government contracts to foreign companies and closes the door on local businesses and their workers. However the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee is refusing to take public submissions on the decision.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On Pacific Spying

So New Zealand spied on its friends and allies in the Pacific – and has not only been passing on the results to the NSA, but has apparently passed on the details of the Pacific’s relations with Taiwan to our other best friends, the Chinese. On the side, the Key government has also been using the security services to gauge the chances of Trade Minister Tim Groser landing the top job at the WTO... More>>

ALSO:

State Housing Transfer: Salvation Army Opts Out

The Salvation Army has decided against negotiating with Government for the transfer of Housing New Zealand stock.
More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news