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Lay Advocates in the Family Court

Lay Advocates in the Family Court

Lay Advocates in the Family Court

Ministry of Justice

Closing Date : 06 Apr 2020

The Ministry of Justice are looking for active members in the community who have a wealth of knowledge about their culture and have a passion for working with children, young persons and their families. Lay Advocates provide the Family Court with information about the child or young person and their families culture, background and represent their interests to the Court.

The Family Court is part of the District Court. It primarily deals with children, young people and families/ whānau. The Lay Advocate is appointed by the Family Court to support the child or young person and family/whanau and their community to the Court.

The Family Courts currently seeking Lay Advocates are located in:

  • Christchurch
  • Invercargill
  • Nelson
  • Dunedin
  • Hamilton
  • Taumarunui
  • Masterton

The Lay Advocate is expected to:

  • make sure the Court understands any cultural matters to do with the case and provide the Court with the cultural context of the child, young person, family and their whānau
  • represent the interests of the child or young person and their whānau, hapū and iwi to the extent that those interests are not otherwise represented in the proceedings
  • act as a support person for the child, or young person and their whānau and help them navigate and understand Court process and procedures.

A Lay Advocate needs to have relevant knowledge and experience of, and standing in, the local community. They should also have a sound knowledge of Māori protocols, Māori history, tribal pepehā and tribal whakapapa (genealogy).

This role would suit a person wanting to use their knowledge and experience to support the families of their community.

Lay Advocate appointments are made by the Family Court from a pool of Lay Advocates on a case by case basis. The Court will appoint a Lay Advocate who best suits the role in relation to the child or young person and their family/whānau. This means that this role is not a full-time position as the workload varies depending on the needs of the Court.

Payment is for services rendered and is paid at a set hourly rate by the Ministry of Justice.

Applicants are welcome to apply by emailing your CV with covering letter and appropriate supporting information by 5pm Monday, 6 April 2020 to: 

subject title: Family Lay Advocate Application (and please specify the location that you are applying for).

Should you have any questions or seek further information, please contact, subject title: Lay advocate recruitment enquiry (Location).


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