Right to a fair trial under threat

The Government is toying with Kiwis’ right to a fair trial by underfunding legal aid services and shuttering offices across the county, the Green Party said today.

The Ministry of Justice confirmed today that all but two of the country’s regional legal aid offices will be closed, following recent revelations that funding for legal aid has not kept up with demand.

“Ensuring that everyone who needs it has high quality, compassionate legal aid should be a priority for any government, but National’s funding cuts are jeopardising the system," said Green Party Justice spokesperson David Clendon.

“Regions facing closures are already feeling the strain of an underfunded system. Christchurch, for example, has experienced some of the biggest drops in legal aid lawyers among all the regions.

“Legal aid applications are up, but the number of lawyers who are able and sufficiently experienced to provide quality advice for civil, mental health, family and refugee claims are dropping.  

“Last year the Greens called for a select committee inquiry into access to justice and Simon Bridges rejected it wholesale, claiming that the justice system was ‘there for those who wish to avail themselves of it.

“But now we’re seeing an unprecedented number of judges and the legal profession criticise the Government for the way they’ve walled off the justice system for poor and middle-class people.

“National’s cuts to legal aid are supposedly about cost savings, but the real risk is that we are ‘saving’ money at one end of the system and imposing costs on society’s most vulnerable at the other end.

“Kiwis want to see everyone get a fair go in the justice system, but the strain that National is putting on the system is only going to put justice further out of peoples reach,’ said Mr Clendon. 

 

Action

Join our call to stop funding fossil fuels!

Take Action

Action

Virtual Events

We have activists across Aotearoa / New Zealand who are working hard to build a brighter future for our kids and grandkids. This page lists upcomin...
Take Action

Action

Support our Climate Action Plan for bigger bolder climate action

We agree with all five of the School Strike for Climate's demands. Read more and sign the petition.
Take Action

Action

Show your support to end housing inequality

New Zealand’s housing market is becoming increasingly divided between people who own their own homes and those forced to rent for life...
Take Action

Latest Justice Announcements

Story

Justice report highlights systemic racism and inequality: Green Party

The Green Party welcome two reports that speak to fixing our justice system so that systemic racism does not further hurt our Māori communities, an...
Read More

Story

Green Party negotiate further improvements to Terrorism Suppression Bill

The Green Party is pleased with further improvements to the Government’s proposed terrorism law, Green Party MP Golriz Ghahraman said today.
Read More

Story

Green Party welcome Government adoption of foreign donations policy

The Green Party welcome a law change to help protect our democracy from the influence of powerful vested interests by banning foreign donations of ...
Read More

Story

Government overturning complete ban on prisoner voting a win for equality:

The Green Party welcome the Government lifting a complete ban imposed by the previous National Government that stopped people in prison from castin...
Read More

Story

APEC Bill overreaches on gun liberalisation

The Green Party is opposing a Bill that provides for expanded powers for NZ police and foreign security agents, including powers to import and use ...
Read More

Story

Sexual Violence Legislation Bill has its first reading

A Bill to improve the court system’s response to sexual violence has passed its first reading in Parliament today.
Read More

Latest Courts Announcements

Story

Green Party negotiate further improvements to Terrorism Suppression Bill

The Green Party is pleased with further improvements to the Government’s proposed terrorism law, Green Party MP Golriz Ghahraman said today.
Read More

Story

Green Party ensures vital human rights and process safeguards will be inserted in new anti-terrorism law

The Green Party has negotiated important civil liberties changes in the proposed Terrorism Suppression Bill which will now establish human rights a...
Read More

Story

Evidence of collusion with oil and gas industry a wake-up call

“Today’s report from the State Services Commission shows Government departments colluded with private security firms working for oil and gas compan...
Read More

Story

New Waikeria facility a relief valve as work to reduce prison numbers begins

The Green Party welcomes the adoption of a human rights based approach to the upkeep of the Waikeria prison facility, focused on rehabilitation ins...
Read More

Story

Greens welcome chief science advisor’s prisons report

The Green Party is welcoming a report released by the Prime Minister’s Chief Scientist, Sir Peter Gluckman, which acknowledges our justice system i...
Read More

Story

National's human rights stance out of touch and out of date

Paula Bennett’s comment that some people have fewer human rights than others is deeply concerning and reflects the National Government’s backward a...
Read More

Latest Corrections Announcements

Story

Green Party negotiate further improvements to Terrorism Suppression Bill

The Green Party is pleased with further improvements to the Government’s proposed terrorism law, Green Party MP Golriz Ghahraman said today.
Read More

Story

Green Party ensures vital human rights and process safeguards will be inserted in new anti-terrorism law

The Green Party has negotiated important civil liberties changes in the proposed Terrorism Suppression Bill which will now establish human rights a...
Read More

Story

Evidence of collusion with oil and gas industry a wake-up call

“Today’s report from the State Services Commission shows Government departments colluded with private security firms working for oil and gas compan...
Read More

Story

New Waikeria facility a relief valve as work to reduce prison numbers begins

The Green Party welcomes the adoption of a human rights based approach to the upkeep of the Waikeria prison facility, focused on rehabilitation ins...
Read More

Story

Greens welcome chief science advisor’s prisons report

The Green Party is welcoming a report released by the Prime Minister’s Chief Scientist, Sir Peter Gluckman, which acknowledges our justice system i...
Read More

Story

National's human rights stance out of touch and out of date

Paula Bennett’s comment that some people have fewer human rights than others is deeply concerning and reflects the National Government’s backward a...
Read More