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More choice in family justice mediators on offer

More choice in family justice mediators on offer

Justice Minister Judith Collins today welcomed a tender for mediators to deliver a Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) option to help people settle their disputes within the new family justice system.

Ms Collins says the FDR service, which uses trained mediators to help people reach agreement without a lawyer or having to go to court, is the cornerstone of this Government’s recent family justice changes.

“For too long too many cases about how children will be cared for have been decided in court when they don’t need to be. It’s better for children and their families to avoid the conflict, delays and expense of going to court where possible,” Ms Collins says.

Ms Collins says while many people are eligible for fully funded FDR, the Government wants to ensure the service is affordable for everyone.

“Today’s tender means the service will be expanded to allow more mediators to offer FDR services on behalf of the Ministry of Justice,” Ms Collins says.

“These mediators will be able to offer a new FDR option, allowing people who don’t qualify for fully funded FDR services to access mediation at a fixed price of $897 per dispute.”

Ms Collins says the family justice changes are already having an impact, with the first referrals for FDR being received, a 300 per cent increase of traffic to the new website and the first print run of 500,000 publications already exhausted with another 500,000 in distribution.

“While it’s still early days, this is a positive start for people sorting out their disputes themselves. Fewer people going to court when they don’t need to ensures the court remains free to focus on the most serious matters.”

For more information on the tender see http://www.gets.govt.nz – tender reference #42456


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