We’ve made it easier to apply for legal aid

29 November 2017

We’ve made it easier for our customers to apply for legal aid for civil and family matters as part of our commitment to providing people-centred justice services, combining five forms into one.

The work was carried out in consultation with the New Zealand Law Society and legal aid providers in September, and the new forms are now in use.

Feedback has been very positive.

‘I think the new form is great!’ says one provider, ‘The irrelevant questions are gone, and it will be much easier for clients to understand and complete correctly and honestly.’

‘Our consultation told us a lot about what we needed to improve,’ says Bryre Patchell, Legal Services Commissioner. ‘Like more plain language, removing the densely-worded cover page, and making it an editable PDF that people can complete on their computer laptop and then email in.’

The length has been considerably reduced by reframing the structure, how questions are asked, and ensuring information gathered is only for granting purposes. The old forms ran to 26 pages; the new form is eight.

‘Co-designing the new form helped us focus on the needs of customers and providers to ensure the simplified form is easier to use. It’s also more timely to process by the Ministry,’ says Bryre. ‘These changes mean that we will continue to become steadily more efficient and effective at what we do.’

‘Thank you to everyone who has taken part in the review’ says Bryre.

Watch a quick video on YouTube(external link) highlighting the changes.

Read more about Legal Aid.

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