Family Court users asked to have their say

Thursday 23 February 2012, 4:52PM
By Judith Collins

Justice Minister Judith Collins today urged people who have used the Family Court to submit their views on how to improve its services before the Family Court Review closes at the end of the month.

The review aims to ensure the court effectively meets the needs of users and that services are cost-effective and affordable.

“The Family Court can play an important role in New Zealanders’ lives during difficult times, so it’s critical the system is working well for the families and vulnerable people who use it,” Ms Collins said.

The Family Court is the second busiest court in New Zealand. In 2009/10 it provided services to 58,000 families and handled 66,976 applications.

“We’re reviewing the way the court works to make sure it is responsive to people’s needs and that New Zealanders are getting the best value and outcomes from the court.

“We want to hear from people who have used the Family Court – what their expectations and their experiences were, and how they think services could be improved.

“We would like to hear also from lawyers, counsellors, and others providing professional services in the Family Court,” Ms Collins said.

The review was announced in April last year and a consultation paper and online survey were released on the Ministry website last September. The consultation paper can also be viewed at any District Court.

The public has until 29 February to submit feedback that will help shape proposals to be presented to Cabinet later this year.