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Year-on-year declines in lead legal aid lawyers

12 October 2016

There has been a 26% decline in the number of lead legal aid lawyers offering legal aid services since major changes were made to the legal aid system in 2011/12.

However, after a big drop in the first year after the changes there has been a small but steady decline in numbers. Between 1 July 2015 and 2016 there was a 2.3% decline in the number of lead providers.

Information on lead legal aid lawyers offering legal aid services has been released by Associate Justice Minister Simon Bridges in response to a written parliamentary question from New Zealand First MP Darroch Ball. 

Mr Bridges says the question has been interpreted to be the total number of approved lead legal aid lawyers, including Public Defence Service (PDS) lawyers.

The information has been provided on a regional basis, showing that Auckland had the biggest number of lead legal aid lawyers at 1 July 2016, with 36% of the total, followed by Waikato (13%) and Canterbury (10%).

Note that the information provided appears to contain an error in the number of lead providers in the Waikato, Wellington and Tasman regions. This has been brought to the attention of the Ministry of Justice. The table below reproduces the information as provided, but it is likely that the "Tasman" line is Waikato, the "Waikato" line is Wellington, and the "Wellington" line is Tasman.

Approved lead legal aid lawyers (including PDS) at 1 July
Region201120122013201420152016Change
2015 to 2016
Auckland883663657660664661(0.5%)
Bay of Plenty184158158159155150(3.3%)
Canterbury275191204194191188(1.6%)
Gisborne3929293028293.4%
Hawke's Bay827070686762(8.1%)
Manawatu/Whanganui1008277808078(2.6%)
Marlborough191611121211(9.1%)
Nelson534544464643(7.0%)
Northland8780767272731.4%
Otago13410395858382(1.2%)
Southland5141403838380.0%
Taranaki594947434642(9.5%)
Tasman188158158154151146(3.4%)
Waikato348266256257254239(6.3%)
Wellington108667812.5%
West Coast0121220.0%
Region not specified0121220.0%
TOTAL251219601930190518961852(2.3%)
TOTAL (year-on-year change)(22.0%)(1.5%)(1.3%)(0.5%)(2.3%) 
 
Proportion of lead legal aid providers by region at 1 July
Region201120122013201420152016
Auckland35.2%33.8%34.0%34.6%35.0%35.7%
Bay of Plenty7.3%8.1%8.2%8.3%8.2%8.1%
Canterbury10.9%9.7%10.6%10.2%10.1%10.2%
Gisborne1.6%1.5%1.5%1.6%1.5%1.6%
Hawke's Bay3.3%3.6%3.6%3.6%3.5%3.3%
Manawatu/Whanganui4.0%4.2%4.0%4.2%4.2%4.2%
Marlborough0.8%0.8%0.6%0.6%0.6%0.6%
Nelson2.1%2.3%2.3%2.4%2.4%2.3%
Northland3.5%4.1%3.9%3.8%3.8%3.9%
Otago5.3%5.3%4.9%4.5%4.4%4.4%
Southland2.0%2.1%2.1%2.0%2.0%2.1%
Taranaki2.3%2.5%2.4%2.3%2.4%2.3%
Tasman7.5%8.1%8.2%8.1%8.0%7.9%
Waikato13.9%13.6%13.3%13.5%13.4%12.9%
Wellington0.4%0.4%0.3%0.3%0.4%0.4%
West Coast0.0%0.1%0.1%0.1%0.1%0.1%
Region not specified0.0%0.1%0.1%0.1%0.1%0.1%
TOTAL100.0%100.0%100.0%100.0%100.0%100.0%

Last updated on the 13th October 2016