Misuse of enduring powers of attorney: report tabled

  • Margaret Wilson

Friday, 4 May 2001Media Statement

The Associate Justice Minister Margaret Wilson has tabled a Law Commission study of misuse of enduring powers of attorney. Enduring powers of attorney are often arranged to allow someone to handle the affairs of a person suffering some incapacity.

One proposal is for a 'Commissioner for the Aged'. Margaret Wilson says that while the proposed position's title does not seem appropriate, the government will be considering this and other proposals in the report.

"The main point made by the Law Commission is that people concerned about the way their affairs are being handled should have simple access to someone who will help, and advocate for them if necessary," said Margaret Wilson.

"There is merit in this and in the other issues raised by the report, which seeks to end abuse of a process which is based on trust and is an important part of providing appropriate support for the aged.

"The Law Commission's concerns are not with the thousands of people who willingly and honestly represent their aged relatives or friends but with the few who misuse their powers. The report clarifies the issues and allows the government to consider the policy options," said Margaret Wilson.

Media Contact: Colin Feslier 021 864 811 04 471 9337
Background: The Law Commission reviews the law in specific areas selected by it or the Minister. The Commission is also empowered by its statute to assist Government Departments and Crown Entities in reviews of the law, and it is regularly called on for assistance by parliamentary Select Committees.