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



Media Release

Embargoed until 11.15 am Wednesday 16 January 2008


New Zealand’s system of tribunals needs a thorough spring clean, says Sir Geoffrey Palmer, President of the Law Commission.

There are a large number of tribunals. They have been set up in random fashion over a long period in time.

Some, like the Disputes Tribunal and Tenancy Tribunals, hear a lot of cases. Others hear hardly any. Some may not even be needed anymore.

There is also inconsistency in the way they operate. Their procedures differ without any sensible reason, and rights of appeal from them also differ. This can be confusing for people who bring cases before them.

They have just grown like Topsy. There has been no system, no plan, no coherence.

Information available to the public varies greatly between tribunals. Some have good websites, some do not. The public sometimes do not even know that a tribunal which might help them exists.

There is a further problem in that some tribunals are too closely linked to the agency from which they hear appeals. It is important that tribunals are perceived as being independent. Justice must not only be done, it must be clearly seen to be done, Sir Geoffrey said.

Another issue relates to the way tribunal members are appointed and trained. This is variable, and is not always satisfactory.

The Law Commission is working jointly with the Ministry of Justice on a project to review the tribunal system to get some consistency and rationality into it.

As part of its contribution to this joint programme the Commission has published an issues paper. It sets out the problems, summarises the way in which some other countries have dealt with similar problems, and sets out various options for dealing with the matter here. It seeks comment from the public. The paper is available from the Law Commission in hard copy, and is also on its website.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

111 Support: Govt Axes Mental Health Pilot

The Government’s decision to axe a universally-supported pilot to improve the response to 111 mental health calls is nothing short of disgraceful, especially after Labour pledged to make mental health a priority, National’s Police spokesperson Chris Bishop says.

“It has been revealed that Labour has scrapped a pilot in which a mental health nurse would attend mental health incidents alongside police and paramedics to ensure that people in distress receive timely responses that are tailored to their needs.” More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Nurses Strike

If we’re really looking at the big picture, the claims by nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants are part of a wider struggle... More>>


'First Steps': Summit, Advisory Group For 'Broken' Justice System

Justice Minister Andrew Little has revealed the first steps in fixing our broken criminal justice system, so we can make communities safer... More>>


Housing: Renters Group Pushes For Tougher Laws For Landlords

Dozens of tenants sick of mouldy, cold and outright dangerous homes are backing a campaign for tougher laws for landlords. More>>


Environment Commissioner: 'Confusion' On Biodegradable Plastics

The problem is that whatever impact biodegradable plastics may have on the environment depends very much on what they are made from and, critically, how and where they are disposed of. More>>


Public Media: New 'Innovation Fund' Announced

“The new Innovation Fund will see RNZ commissioning content in a joint venture with NZ On Air. The multi-media content developed with this funding will air on RNZ platforms and be commissioned from the independent production sector using NZ On Air’s existing funding processes,” says Clare Curran. More>>





Featured InfoPages