Frequently asked questions

If the information you're looking for isn't on this page, or if you have any other questions, please contact the Office of the Chief Coroner by emailing coronial.response@justice.govt.nz or phoning (09)916 9151.

On this page, you'll find answers to some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the Ministry-funded panel of lawyers for the masjid attacks coronial process.

For language translations of these FAQs, please go to our Language and translation support page.

Question

Answer

Who can access the lawyers on the Ministry of Justice-funded panel?

You can access the lawyers if you are a family member of the Shaheed.

Can I access the lawyers on the panel if I was Bullet-Injured or present during the attacks, but am not a family member of the Shaheed?

At this stage, the lawyers have been prioritised for the families of the Shaheed.

We recognise that other victims may want access to one of the panel lawyers. If you are not a family member of the Shaheed and would like access to this support, please get in touch with the Office of the Chief Coroner by emailing coronial.response@justice.govt.nz  or calling (09) 916 9151.

Can organisations access the panel lawyers?

No, organisations won’t have access to the panel lawyers – they’ll need to arrange and fund their own lawyers.

What’s the process for nominating a lawyer?

The Ministry has already chosen three lawyers to help you understand the coronial process. Having these lawyers available from the start means you can ask them questions straight away.

The Ministry will be choosing a small number of lawyers for the panel based on nominations from the families of the Shaheed. If the families of the Shaheed would prefer to be supported by a lawyer they already know or have identified, they can ask the lawyer whether they would like to apply to be part of the panel.

To do this, the families of the Shaheed will need to:

  • talk to their preferred lawyer and ask them if they would be interested in being on the panel

  • fill out and sign the Nomination form with the help of their preferred lawyer.

If their preferred lawyer confirms they are interested in being on the lawyers panel, the preferred lawyer will need to:

The Ministry will consider the lawyer’s Expression of Interest and decide whether to add them to the panel.

It’s important to remember there are limited spaces available on the panel for lawyers nominated by the families of the Shaheed. This means the Ministry won’t be able to choose every lawyer who applies to be on the panel.

Who decides which lawyers will be on the panel?

The Ministry of Justice will decide which lawyers will be on the panel. If the families of the Shaheed would prefer to be supported by a lawyer they already know or have identified, they can nominate a lawyer to be added to the panel. The Ministry will look at the Nomination forms to understand why you would like to use the lawyer. The Ministry will also consider other factors, like what experience each lawyer has and their availability.

What criteria did the Ministry of Justice use to select the three lawyers already on the panel?

Hanne Janes, Joshua Shaw and Anne Toohey have been chosen because of their experience working with the Coroners Court. We believe they have the right expertise and knowledge to support you through the coronial process.

Do I have to use one of the lawyers from the panel?

No, you don’t have to use one of the lawyers from this panel.

The panel is fully funded by the Ministry of Justice, which means the lawyers on the panel are free of charge for you to use if you are eligible for the support. Please be aware that if you decide to use a lawyer who isn’t on this panel, the Ministry won’t be able to fund this for you.

Can different people from the same family access different lawyers from the panel?

We recommend that one person from each family is a main contact for the lawyer. You may already have a family representative who can do this for you.

We understand there might be situations where there is more than one family representative and in cases where their interests are not aligned, they may require different arrangements. We can work with the families of the Shaheed in these situations to help meet their needs. Please get in touch with the Office of the Chief Coroner by emailing coronial.response@justice.govt.nz  or calling (09) 916 9151.

We do ask that you tell your chosen lawyer if this is the situation in your family. It is helpful for them to know if your family is being supported by more than one lawyer.

Can I change my lawyer later if I want to?

Yes, you can choose to change to a different lawyer from the panel. We do ask that you tell your lawyer about your decision to change so they can offer their services to another family of the Shaheed who may need them.

Does my lawyer have to be in the same town/city as me? What if they aren’t?

No, your lawyer doesn’t have to be in the same town/city as you.  The Ministry of Justice will pay for your lawyer to travel to meet you in person if they are a lawyer on the Ministry-funded panel.

You might not always need to meet your lawyer in person. A lot of the time you may only need to use the phone, video calls or emails when talking to your lawyer. If your lawyer does need to travel to meet you face to face, you don’t need to organise this – your lawyer will make the arrangements.  

Do I need to pay if I need an interpreter when I meet with my lawyer?

No, you won’t have to pay if you need an interpreter to help you when you meet with your lawyer. Please let your lawyer know you need language support before you meet them so this can be arranged for you.

Is there a limit to the number of families of the Shaheed that any one lawyer can support?

No, there’s no limit to the number of families of the Shaheed that each lawyer is allowed to support. However, lawyers may make this decision on their own depending on their workload.

If you’re worried about how much time a lawyer will have available to you, you might like to contact them to talk about it before you make your choice.

We recommend you always contact your lawyer as soon as you can. Letting them know you’d like to talk helps them to plan so they have plenty of time available to support you.

Is there a limit to how much time I can spend with my lawyer?

No, there’s no limit to the amount of time you can spend with your lawyer. However, if you think you may need a lot of time with your lawyer, we recommend that you contact them as soon as you can. Letting them know what you’d like to talk about helps them to plan and make plenty of time available to support you.

Can my lawyer help me at any stage in the process?

Your lawyer is available to you while the Chief Coroner decides on the next steps in the coronial process. There’s no timeframe for when this decision will be made.

What legal support can the panel lawyer give me? 

The panel lawyer can:

  • give you information and advice about the current stages of the coronial process

  • write on your behalf to the Chief Coroner

  • get relevant case information from the Coroner or other agency on your behalf.

Is there anything the panel lawyer can’t help me with? 

The panel lawyer can’t give you support with anything that’s not relevant to the coronial process. For example, they can’t give you advice on:

  • immigration issues

  • any issues regarding the sentencing of the offender.

Who can I contact to get more information about this process?

If you’d like more information about how the panel will work before you decide on a lawyer, please email the Office of the Chief Coroner at coronial.response@justice.govt.nz or call (09) 916 9151.

If you’ve already chosen a lawyer from the panel and you have a question about working with them, you can contact the lawyer directly. You'll find their contact details on our website at People supporting the coronial process.