Buzz from the Beehive
Measures to raise eligibility thresholds to help more than 90,000 New Zealanders that currently are denied access to legal aid were announced today
Changes to the Legal Services Regulations 2011 and the Legal Services Act 2011 will give effect to $148.7 million of funding in Budget 2022.
The changes are:
- increasing the income eligibility thresholds by 15% from 1 January 2023, making 93,000 more people eligible for civil and family legal aid in the first year,
- removing the legal aid user charge, payable by most civil and family legal aid recipients,
- removing interest on repayment of unpaid legal debt,
- increasing the debt repayment thresholds by 16.5% for debt established from 1 January 2023, relieving financial pressures for around 16,000 low-income and vulnerable New Zealanders, and
- increasing the civil and family legal aid eligibility thresholds and debt repayment thresholds by an additional 1.9% per year with the last increase on 1 July 2025.
Just one other new item was posted on the Beehive website when we checked this morning, this one a speech – the second in four days – by Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta.
This time she used a word – “democracy” – that had been missing from the speech on space policy which she delivered on July 1. Continue reading “Mahuta addresses Diplosphere: ours is a liberal democracy, she says, and other nations can learn from our experience”