New Zealand Law Society - Family Court Bill Will Help Tackle Delays

Family Court Bill Will Help Tackle Delays

The New Zealand Law Society Te Kāhui Ture o Aotearoa has welcomed a new Bill that will work towards reducing delays in our Family Court system. Delays in Family Court cases are one of the biggest issues for families and children who experience prolonged distress as a result.

"The introduction of the Family Court (Family Court Associate) Legislation Bill will support many thousands of children and their families across Aotearoa New Zealand and is a welcome relief for a system hampered by delays," says the Law Society Family Law Section Chair Caroline Hickman.

"For many families in New Zealand, accessing the Family Court is a stressful process that is time-consuming, and burdened with delay. The introduction of Family Court Associates around the country to work on cases, primarily in the early stages, enabling them to progress more quickly through the Family Court is something to celebrate.

"The Law Society is pleased that almost all of the recommendations we made to the independent panel were adopted in the 2019 Te Korowai Ture ā-Whānau report. Those recommendations included the establishment of Family Court Associates to reduce the administrative burden on judges.

"Today is a win for all New Zealanders, and particularly those who have struggled under the delay in the Family Court system for too long."

Law Society President Jacque Lethbridge has congratulated the Family Law Section on their hard work.

"Often change occurs because of tireless advocacy by a number of dedicated people who want to see and cause positive change. The Law Society’s Family Law Section has been a tireless advocate alongside many other groups, and the introduction of this Bill is an important step to reverse some of the delays in our legal system."