The Ministry of Justice is undertaking a review of the Police Detention Legal Assistance (PDLA) scheme.
The ministry has approved an increase in remuneration for phone attendance - which is being increased to $75, with face-to-face attendance rates increasing to $53 for day time attendance and $79.50 for after hours.
“The telephone attendance rate has been increased to acknowledge the disruption caused to the providers when making these important attendances, most of which occur after hours,” says Group Manager, National Service Delivery Bryre Patchell.
“The face-to-face attendance rates have been aligned with existing criminal fee rates to achieve consistency across the jurisdiction,” Mr Patchell says.
The ministry will also be reviewing the rosters and list of providers and will provide the Police with updated lists of lawyer availability and contact.
In the longer term, the ministry has decided to undertake a wider review of the scheme and address the issues raised to improve the service.
The New Zealand Law Society has been in discussions with the ministry about ongoing issues with the PDLA scheme.
The new appearance rates will apply to all invoices received by Legal Aid Services from 30 April 2018.