Wayfinding for Civil Justice - imagining a better way of working together to improve access to civil justice in Aotearoa New Zealand

In March 2020, the Rt Hon Dame Helen Winkelmann, Chief Justice, and Andrew Kibblewhite, Secretary for Justice convened a Workshop, bringing together a diverse group of stakeholders in the civil justice system. They heard from people working in the civil justice system that it is complex and multi-faceted; different people and organisations are experts in different parts of the system.

For the system to work effectively from a user perspective, there needs to be a degree of coordination and coherence to guide our way to improved access to justice. The Chief Justice and Secretary for Justice invite you to be part of the creation of a national strategic framework, to guide how we work together to improve access to civil justice in Aotearoa New Zealand.

A Working Group of people passionate about improving access to justice has been called on to guide and develop this work. The Group consists of Dr Bridgette Toy-Cronin, Hon. Raynor Asher QC, Wi Pere Mita, Gabrielle O’Brien and Anne Waapu. You can read more about them here.

The Working Group is currently developing a draft framework, Wayfinding for Civil Justice. This framework aims to:

  • encourage a unified and coordinated approach to improving access to civil justice
  • use the resources the sector has as strategically as possible
  • provide clear signals to funders of access to justice mahi (government and non-government) about what work is ongoing, where the gaps are, and where co-ordination can be achieved.

Wayfinding for Civil Justice is not a government strategy. This mahi has the support of the government in the form of seed funding, communication support, and enthusiasm, but this is a stakeholder strategy being led by a representative working group.

Wayfinding for Civil Justice will only be fit for purpose if it reflects people working in the civil justice sector’s expertise and experiences.

The Working Group plans to circulate the consultation draft of Wayfinding for Civil Justice and engage stakeholders in early 2022. Please watch this space for opportunities to share your views and experience, and be part of designing how we can better work together to improve access to civil justice.