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About Legal Aid

What is Legal Aid?

Legal Aid is an essential part of our legal system supporting access to justice.  It is a government service which provides legal services for people who cannot afford them. 

Where Legal Aid is granted, payment of legal fees is made directly to Hine Eagle as your approved legal aid lawyer.

If you have made an appointment to see us regarding Legal Aid please provide your proof of income and government issued photo ID (Passport, drivers licence) at your first appointment.

If you qualify for Legal Aid, you will be informed by the Legal Services Agency of the fee that has been approved for our services and any contribution or other obligations you may have.  If you apply and your application for Legal Aid is declined, Hine Eagle will seek payment of its reasonable fees at the author’s usual hourly rate, plus GST and disbursements, from you directly.

Legal Aid User Charge


A user charge fee of $50.00 (including GST) has been introduced for some family and civil legal aid cases.  If Legal Aid confirm a user charge is payable by you, this is the only payment that we receive directly from you while those matters are funded. We will issue an invoice to you accordingly.

The user charge fee has been introduced to encourage people to resolve disputes out of court where appropriate.

*July 2022 update*

In the New Year 2023, Legal Aid User Charges are being phased out. This means that if you are applying for Legal Aid in 2023, you will likely not be subject to a user charge fee. We note that this is not retrospective, and any applications for Legal Aid prior to the New Year may still be subject to the User Charge fee. For more clarity around this, and to see if this pertains to you, please contact Legal Aid directly.

There are some matters that don't require a user charge please click here for more information.

At present we are able to offer legal aid in the following areas:

Family Legal Aid

  • Oranga Tamariki

  • Day-to-day Care & Contact/Guardianship

  • Family Violence

  • Family Proceedings/Guardianship

  • Paternity

  • Personal Property Rights

Criminal Legal Aid

  • Bail

  • Violence Charges

  • Sexual Cases

  • Dishonesty Offences

  • Traffic Offences

  • Drink Driving

  • Limited License / Work License

  • Drug Offences

  • Conspiracy Charges

  • Fisheries Charges

  • Sentencing

  • Trials

  • Appeals

Family Legal Advice Service


For more information regarding the changes to day-to-day care & contact and guardianship matters please click here.  Before asking the Family Court to help you agree about caring for your children, (by asking for a Parenting Order or the court to vary/change a Parenting Order) you may need to have taken part in Parenting Through Separation.

The programme is run by the Ministry of Justice.


Will I have to repay any of the Legal Aid?


The Ministry of Justice may put conditions on a grant of legal aid. 


These may include:

  •   Repaying aid from the proceeds of the case

  •   Authorising a charge on property


Legal Aid does not have to be repaid for the costs associated for applying for a Protection Order.

Can a grant of Legal Aid be withdrawn?


Legal Aid may be withdrawn in certain circumstances like your financial circumstances change, but also if conditions of the legal aid are not met.  It is up to the recipient of Legal Aid to keep Legal Aid updated as to their personal and financial circumstances.

Can I get Legal Aid?


The Ministry of Justice decides who gets Legal Aid based on the clients financial circumstances and the merits of their case.  There are different financial thresholds for legal aid, depending on your circumstances.

Please contact our office or see the Ministry of Justice web site for more details.


Fees for Family Court Services (as at 1 July 2012)


Court fees apply when making an application to the court and for hearing time.  Additionally, parties to Care of Children matters are obliged to contribute to the costs of Lawyer for Child/ren.  Where a party is Legally Aided they can apply to waive these fees.


All fees must be pre-paid.  If you cannot afford one of these fees you can apply to the court to cancel (waive) the fee.  For more information please click here.


Fees (All fees include GST)

Application for a Parenting Order                                                                $220.00

Application to change or cancel a parenting order                                $220.00

Application relating to relationship property                                            $700.00

Hearing fees (only apply to relationship property matters)                   $906.00 (per half day)

Application to dissolve a marriage or civil union (divorce)                    $211.50

For more information please see the Ministry of Justice Web Site - Court Fees section.

Applications for Waiver, Refund and Postponement of Fees

Applications for waiver, refund and/or postponement of a court fee should be made on the relevant approved application form.

Where the applicant is an individual who has been granted legal aid, is waiting on a decision in respect of an application for legal aid, is in receipt of a benefit or has previously been granted a fee waiver in respect of the same proceedings see the Ministry of Justice Applying for help to pay Court Fees page.


Financial eligibility for Legal Aid


Please see the Ministry of Justice website Eligibility for Legal Aid Funding


Legal Aid Application Forms are available from the Ministry of Justice Web site


For more information see the Ministry of Justice website:


 For further information please contact our office.

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