Funding for legal support is usually not available in the early stages of a coronial process. Legal aid funding is only available if the coroner decides to hold an inquest.
Given the unique circumstances of this case, the Ministry will fund a small number of lawyers to provide free legal advice and support during the Chief Coroner’s investigation into the masjid attacks. Although the Ministry is paying for these lawyers, they will act independently for you and are bound by the usual lawyer-client confidentiality rules. You can also choose which of the funded lawyers you want to use.
The funded lawyers are there to support the families to participate fully in the coronial process. There are no restrictions on the type of legal services the lawyers can provide you as long as it is within the scope of the coronial process. This can include legal advice, assistance and representation. You can find additional examples of the types of services the lawyers can provide in the FAQs.
At this stage, these lawyers have been prioritised for the families of the Shaheed. However, the Ministry recognises that other victims may also need advice and may want access to lawyers. If you are not a family member of the Shaheed but would like to access this support, please get in touch with the Office of the Chief Coroner by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (09) 916 9151. These requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Lawyers confirmed to assist
There are six funded lawyers available to assist you — they are Hanne Janes, Joshua Shaw, Anne Toohey, Aarif Rasheed, Nigel Hampton and Kathryn Dalziel.
You can find information about Hanne, Joshua, Anne, Aarif, Nigel and Kathryn, including how to contact them, on our website at:
If you'd prefer to use a different lawyer
If your preferred lawyer is not on the list of funded lawyers:
- You can choose to use one of the funded lawyers; or
- You can still use your preferred lawyer. However, the Ministry will not be able to pay for their service.
Finding out more about the funded lawyers
The Ministry has prepared answers to some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the panel of lawyers. You can find these FAQs on the Ministry website at:
Translations of these FAQs are also available on our Ministry website at:
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