Family Courts eyeing another overhaul after new report

Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Monday, 17 June 2019, 9:08AM
Andrew Little says that families going through the system need more advice. (Photo / NZ Herald)

The Justice Minister hopes another overhaul of the Family Courts, will allow more cases to be addressed out-of-court.

Andrew Little has welcomed an independent panel's recommendations on Family Court reforms.

The panel has found many recent changes the last government made to make things easier for families at a difficult time, have had the opposite effect.

Little told Mike Hosking the court system is being clogged up with court cases that could be avoided.

"The big thing we know is that for a lot of parents going through separation, going through Family Court, at the moment the one thing they all lack is advice at the earliest possible stage."

Little says providing families going through separation with more advice could prevent cases going to court.

And he says improving the court process itself could allow cases to be heard more efficiently.

"Free up judge time away from administrative stuff, stop the repeated large number of appearances in front of judges for the same matter."

National's courts spokesperson Chris Penk says that they don't accept that their changes had a negative impact on the courts systems, but they'll be looking at it.

"There's an opportunity to look at how the system can be improved and we will take on board any recommendations out of the report that has just been released."



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