12 Mar 2012

Family Court 'playground for relationship warfare'

9:14 am on 12 March 2012

The Principal Family Court Judge says some claimants are using the court as a playground for their relationship warfare.

Judge Peter Boshier's submission is one of more than 200 to a Government-ordered review into why the court's costs have risen by about $53 million since 2005.

The judge says low-level disputes are clogging up New Zealand's second busiest court and need to be diverted away from it so judges can concentrate on more complex cases.

He says Family Court judges also need more power to tell people when enough is enough, and limit or even reject them from taking unworthy or repeat cases.

Judge Boshier believes focused reform would be appropriate.

However, he cautions against sweeping, cost-cutting changes to the court, which he says has been a victim of its own success.