Frequently asked questions

What is the motivation for this work?

Wayfinding for Civil Justice is an independent Working Group-led and developed project.

The Working Group were asked to lead and implement this project by the Access to Justice Advisory Group. The Advisory Group was convened in August 2020 to implement workstreams arising from a workshop held in March 2020. The March 2020 workshop was convened by Chief Justice Dame Helen Winkelmann and Secretary for Justice Andrew Kibblewhite, bringing together a diverse group of stakeholders in the civil justice system. They chair the Courts Strategic Partnership Group (CSPG), the formal interface between Te Tāhū o te Ture – the Ministry of Justice and the senior judiciary. It is responsible for driving the development and implementation of an access to justice programme focused on civil justice. It is the CSPG who formed the Advisory Group.

We have prepared this consultation draft with the intention that it provides a starting structure, drawing on the mahi of the March 2020 workshop, as well as research generated by various organisations across Aotearoa New Zealand.

Who are we looking to engage with?

We seek the opinions of those who work in organisations and in roles where they see the need to improve access to justice. What goals do you think Aotearoa New Zealand needs to focus on? What principles should guide reaching those goals? How can we better work together to achieve common aims?

This audience includes:

  • institutions and organisations that work in the area of civil justice (including the judiciary, legal professional organisations, government departments, and academics);
  • community groups and people supporting those who see or experience barriers to accessing justice (including NGOs, Māori communities, Pacific communities, Asian communities, rural communities, disability communities);
  • providers of advice, information, and advocacy, including lawyers and non-lawyer service providers (for example, advocates and McKenzie friends);
  • individuals and organisations who are trying to disrupt and/or innovate civil justice;
  • funders of work to improve access to justice.

While it is primarily aimed at individuals and organisations whose mahi is about (either directly or indirectly) improving access to justice, the experiences of those who have been directly affected by a struggle to access justice can also inform the shape of this document. We welcome submissions from people with direct experience of the justice system who would like to share their feedback on this draft Wayfinding strategy document.

How will Wayfinding for Civil Justice be used?

We intend for the framework that is developed through this process to be a useful planning tool and guide for everyone working to improve access to civil justice. Through setting a shared direction, we hope we can minimise effort that might otherwise go into identifying problems and researching where effort needs to be expended. Work to improve access to civil justice can instead be more of a coordinated response, directed at the goals and targets that the sector as a whole has set for themselves.

Wayfinding seeks to provide a framework for this coordinated response, while maintaining the space for all stakeholders to pursue their mahi and initiatives in the way they believe best meets the needs of their communities. Each organisation, group, or individual can use Wayfinding for Civil Justice to select goals that are most relevant to them and work towards them in the way they consider most effective; with the knowledge that others in the sector are doing the same.

We are interested to hear your thoughts on how you might use Wayfinding for Civil Justice in your work, or if you see better ways to achieve its purpose.