October 18, 2022
Family court fix too slow
A family law expert says it’s time to reverse the previous Government’s changes to the family court.
University of Auckland Professor Mark Henaghan says the 2014 shake-up took resources and support services away from the court, with then-justice minister Judith Collins claiming it would allow families to look after problems themselves.
That didn’t work, and what could be small problems at family court level can turn into big problems.
While the right to legal representation and some access to legal aid has been restored, Professor Henaghan says current minister Kiritapu Allen needs to move faster.
“There’s always demands on government but this is a fundamental demand because it affects so many tamariki, it affects so many whanau, it affects so many people and it has a spreading out effect and if we can put resources in now and not have3 any more reviews, we can effect turnaround and see things happening,” Professor Henaghan says.
He says all 69 recommendations of the 2019 Te Korowai Ture ā-Whānau report on the impact of the changes need to be enacted with urgency.