In 2015 Cabinet decided to mandate three-yearly legal aid reviews to allow any changes to legal aid policy settings and their associated costs to be considered as part of the Budget process.
In 2018, the Ministry conducted the first of these. The review looked primarily at settings in regulations (e.g., eligibility, debt/repayment, provider quality assurance and remuneration).
The review found that some policy settings are out of pace with inflation and cost of living, and that some low-income earners are missing out on qualifying for legal assistance.
The Ministry is currently looking at how some of the findings of the review could be implemented through its access to justice work programme.