New Zealand Legal Services: What is Civil Legal Aid?
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New Zealand Legal Services: What is Civil Legal Aid?

November 27, 2019


Kia ora. Welcome to this video series produced by the University of Otago Legal Issues Centre. This video is about legal aid. What is legal aid? It is financial help for people who can’t afford a lawyer. For most civil cases, that is, cases that aren’t a criminal prosecution, legal aid is a loan. This means that at the end of the case you might have to pay back the loan and you might be charged interest. What is legal aid for? Legal aid is usually only for when you have a dispute in a Court or sometimes a tribunal like the Family Court Employment Court District Court or High Court. Who can get legal aid? Legal aid is for people who cannot afford a lawyer. The government uses your income level
and also your assets to decide whether you can afford a lawyer. In 2017 for a single person the maximum amount you could earn was $23,326. this is called the threshold. The threshold also depends on the people you support. If you have people that live
with you, like kids, the threshold is a bit higher. So, can everyone who earns less than the threshold get legal aid? No. The government will also look at the cost of your case the chance of your case succeeding the part you have to play in the case and any special circumstances. I want to try and get legal aid. What should I do? You can download the form from the
Ministry of Justice website but, before you start filling it out, you will need to find a lawyer to help you complete the form. The lawyer must provide
information about whether or not they think your case will succeed. So you can’t get legal aid without finding a lawyer first. How do I find a lawyer? Not all lawyers do legal aid work they must be on a special register. To find out who these legal aid lawyers are, you can ask at your local Community Law Centre, or go to the Ministry of Justice website and search the legal aid provider list Thanks for watching this video! We hope you found it useful. Ka kite anō. Don’t forget to subscribe to
this channel so you’re the first to know when we release new videos.

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  1. I have been trying to get a civil legal aid lawyer for 12 years to deal with a gross violation of my human rights.  I have been to community law and they say I definitely need a lawyer and I have a letter from a recent criminal lawyer (I am being terrorised by police for legally protesting about not being able to get the health care I am entitled to because I am being discriminated against) saying I have serious unmet legal need.

    I have a case, I can get the legal aid, but where do I get the lawyer, I have asked dozens, I now self-harm when I get rejected over and over and over and over again.  I am very unwell because and ACC not providing care I am entitled to has caused me harm according to a psychiatric report.

    I can also get no mental health care from mental health services and was recently assessed and rejected, I continuously have police at my home, I am very scared, for WELFARE CHECKS because I phone health or justice agencies begging them to make ACC reinstate my care – they just phone police, but nobody helps me.

    I won two ACC reviews in 2010 2011 so I can't file an appeal, because I won, but they won't reinstate my care and I want to die, I am bulimic, I can't participate normally in my community, with my family and my now very few friends. 

    Why did you post these videos – this is just for people who have disputes that aren't important – why havn't you done any about the gross violatino of Magna Carta Justice Winkleman identified with regard to disabled poor people being persecuted and terrorised by big businesses and the New Zealand government?

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