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Ed Sheeran

Korowai new style for Family Court

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Justice Minister Andrew Little is welcoming an independent report calling for a joined-up family justice service linking different groups like the Ministry of Justice, lawyers, iwi and kaupapa Māori organisations.

The panel headed by former human rights commissioner Ros Noonan was asked to review National's 2014 family justice system reforms.

It concluded the reforms didn't work and had become about the convenience of judges and court staff as opposed to the interests of children and families.

Mr Little says the Family Court has remained monocultural while other courts have embraced aspects of tikanga Māori, so calling the report Te Korowai Ture-a-Whānau is a call for change.

"Not only does the Family Court have to go beyond just the strict what happens in court and understand there is a range of services they need to provide to support people but also to reflect Te Korowai is now a New Zealand style of providing judicial services and support through judicial processes," he says.

Mr Little has asked officials to develop a workable programme for change before the end of the year.



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