Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Disputes Tribunal Fees “Barrier To Justice”

The New Zealand Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux has welcomed the drop in Disputes Tribunal fees announced by the government today, but says that until the fees are removed completely, they will continue to act as a barrier for people on low incomes seeking justice.

Nick Toonen, the Association’s Chief Executive Officer, is pleased the government is moving in the right direction.

“We congratulate the Minister for Courts on carrying out a review of the civil court fee structure and for listening to Citizens Advice Bureau and other community organisations about the fact that any fee for the Disputes Tribunal limits access to justice.

“When the fees were increased in 1998, the Department for Courts reported a 10 percent decrease in use of the Tribunal during the first six months, which is exactly what we had anticipated. This is also consistent with our experience of a drop-off in the number of clients wanting to use the Disputes Tribunal. Many of our clients don’t have the money required to take a case to the Disputes Tribunal.

“While we are pleased to see that the cost of lodging a claim for amounts over $1,000 has been reduced, the fact remains that for claims under $1,000 the fee has not changed. We originally called for the fees to be abolished, so the fact that they haven’t addressed this lower end fee is of great concern to us.

“Many of the people who come to Citizens Advice Bureau are on low incomes and have great difficulty in paying this fee. This demonstrates that people on low incomes do not have the same access to justice as those on higher incomes. The Disputes Tribunal was set up to provide an accessible and effective resolution for people with smaller scale civil disputes without the need to involve lawyers, and we believe its accessibility is compromised by the fees.

“We’ll continue to monitor the impact of fees on our clients and advocate for the removal of the Disputes Tribunal fees.”

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Tax Working Group’s Road Map

Trying to analyse the interim report on the Tax Working Group (TWG) is like trying to review an entire All Blacks game, but at the half- time mark.

With so much still to be finalised, Sir Michael Cullen and his colleagues are going to need all the All Blacks’ fabled finishing skills to get a coherent, fiscally neutral package together by the February 2019 deadline. More>>

 

Meth Testing Report: Housing NZ "To Right Wrong"

Phil Twyford “Housing NZ acknowledges that around 800 tenants suffered by either losing their tenancies, losing their possessions, being suspended from the public housing waiting list, negative effects on their credit ratings or, in the worst cases, being made homeless.” More>>

ALSO:

No Reshuffle: Meka Whaitiri Removed As A Minister

Meka Whaitiri will be removed as a Minister with immediate effect... The decision was made after receiving a report into an incident that occurred on 27 August in Gisborne, involving Meka Whaitiri and one of her staff. More>>

ALSO:

Pay Equity Bill: Making History For Women’s Pay

The Equal Pay Amendment Bill, introduced to the House today, will make it easier for workers to make a pay equity claim , using a more simple and accessible process within New Zealand’s existing bargaining framework. More>>

ALSO:

Suffrage 125: NZ A Trailblazer For Women

“We acknowledge the work of Kate Sheppard, Meri Te Tai Mangakāhia, and all of the suffragists who tirelessly campaigned for the vote… Today we also need to ask each other: how we can continue to make our country a fairer and better place to continue the legacy of the suffragists.” More>>

ALSO:

Asylum: Refugee Quota Increasing To 1500

“The quota increase will take place from July 2020. In the meantime, we will work to increase the number and spread of refugee resettlement and support services. We need to make sure we’re prepared for this change in policy.” More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels