Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
License needed for work use Register

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


Bill to tackle legal aid growth passes first reading

Hon Simon Power
Minister of Justice

16 August 2011 Media Statement

Bill to tackle legal aid growth passes first reading

Justice Minister Simon Power is encouraging the public to have their say on a bill which is designed to get the legal aid growth curve under control while ensuring access to justice.

The Legal Assistance (Sustainability) Amendment Bill passed its first reading in Parliament today and has been sent to the Justice and Electoral Select Committee for public submissions.

The bill, along with operational changes already under way (including the expansion of the Public Defence Service), is designed to save $138 million over four years by tightening the eligibility criteria for legal aid, changing how legal aid services are purchased, and increasing the payment obligations of legally aided clients.

“This bill is needed to prevent a $402 million budget blow-out in legal aid over five years, after legal aid expenditure rose by 55 per cent, from $111 million in 2006/07 to $172 million in 2009/10,” Mr Power said.

“The changes will not affect cases involving vulnerable parties, care and protection of children, and serious criminal matters, and will incentivise parties to resolve more minor matters between themselves rather than through the courts.”

Mr Power said Budget 2011 included $103.5 million in short-term funding, while longer-term sustainability issues are addressed, both through this bill and a wider review of the purpose of legal aid and associated costs drivers, predominantly in the Family Court.

Previous announcements on legal aid can be found here.


Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The New Government’s Policies Of Yesteryear

Winston Peters is routinely described as the kingmaker who decides whether the centre right or the centre-left has a turn at running this country. He also plays a less heralded, but equally important role as the scapegoat who can be blamed for killing taxes that his senior partners never much wanted in the first place. Neither Ardern nor Robertson for example, really wanted a capital gains tax, for fear of Labour copping the “tax and spend“ label they ended up being saddled with anyway. Usefully though, they could tell the party faithful it was wicked old Winston who killed the CGT... More

Government: National, ACT, & NZ First To Deliver For All Kiwis

The National Party claims the new coalition government will be stable, effective, and will deliver for all Kiwis. "Despite the challenging economic environment, New Zealanders can look forward to a better future because of the changes the new Government will make ... We know that, with the right leadership, the right policies, and the right direction, together New Zealanders can make this an even better country," says Christopher Luxon... More


Green Party: Petition To Save Oil & Gas Ban

“The new Government’s plan to expand oil and gas exploration is as dangerous as it is unscientific. Whatever you think about the new government, there is simply no mandate to trash the climate. We need to come together to stop them,” says James Shaw... More

PSA: MFAT Must Reverse Decision To Remove Te Reo

MFAT's decision to remove te reo from correspondence before new Ministers are sworn in risks undermining the important progress the public sector has made in honouring te Tiriti. "We are very disappointed in what is a backward decision - it simply seems to be a Ministry bowing to the racist rhetoric we heard on the election campaign trail," says Marcia Puru... More




InfoPages News Channels


Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.