Justice Minister Judith Collins has asked the Justice and Electoral Committee to defer consideration of the Legal Assistance (Sustainability) Amendment Bill, until completion of the Family Court Review.
“Many of the changes in the Bill relate to family matters and it would make more sense to align and take into account decisions arising from the Family Court Review,” Ms Collins said.
The Family Court Review aims to ensure the court effectively meets the needs of users and that services are cost-effective and affordable. The public has until 29 February to submit feedback.
“I have listened to many points made by oral submitters on the Legal Assistance (Sustainability) Amendment Bill and I expect some of these concerns are likely to be similar to those raised in the Family Court Review.
“Delaying the Bill allows us to align decisions around protecting the most vulnerable by keeping both legal aid and the Family Court for those who most need it,” Ms Collins said.
Recommendations from the Family Court Review are expected to go to Cabinet for consideration later in the year. It is expected the Legal Assistance (Sustainability) Amendment Bill will now be considered around this time.