Budget 2021 investment supports access to justice and wellbeing

The Budget will support continued improvements to the courts and justice system.

Whakaorongia te mana tangata – uplifting the mana of offenders, victims and whānau will mean court participants and their whānau will have access to tailored services to overcome their social, health and wellbeing needs. This initiative ($13.7m over 5 years) aims to reduce the imprisonment and reoffending rates for Māori by providing a kaitiaki-type service, modelled on the Kaikohe Matariki Court, at three additional sites.

Investment in the Family Court ($15m over 5 years) will create new roles, provisionally titled Family Court Associates, to reduce the amount of time judges spend on straightforward and administrative matters in the Family Court. Faster resolution of cases will help improve the wellbeing of an estimated 16,000 children exposed to Family Court disputes every year.

Budget 2021 continues investment in preventing family violence and sexual violence. Justice receives funding ($1.3m) to provide a strategic, coordinated approach to data and insights to support system change. Improved data and insights will underpin better decisions and directions for the whole system, meaning the right resources and support can be delivered to the right people at the right time in the right way. Investment of $17.1m over 5 years in building partnerships and collaboration will help transform the family violence and sexual violence system, including through effective Māori-Crown relationships.  

The Victim Assistance Scheme receives investment ($3.09m over 5 years) to meet the financial entitlements for victims of very serious crimes, such as homicide. This helps improve wellbeing outcomes for victims of serious crime by covering some of the costs related to the crime, the justice process, and recovery.     

The National Scheduling Team is funded ($5.7m over 5 years) to continue its mahi in the District Court, improving how events are scheduled and managed. Additional funding for Legal Aid ($235.161m over 5 years) will address cost pressures. A baseline increase for the interpreter service ($6.1m over 5 years) will support ongoing access to justice for participants. Together, these initiatives will help us deliver more timely access to justice and enable equitable access for people who would otherwise be unable to effectively participate in court and tribunal proceedings.

Investment in the Māori Land Court Special Aid Fund provides for specialist professional services to support the Court and its participants ($2.5m over 5 years). The Tenancy Tribunal also receives funding ($13.7m over 5 years) to manage the workload created by the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2000.

For more information about Budget 2021 investment in Justice, see:

Budget 2021 Summary Justice and Courts [PDF, 212 KB]

For more information about the Budget 2021 Family Violence and Sexual Violence package, visit violencefree.govt.nz(external link)

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