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Prisoner's rights

Housing and debt

Giving other people power to deal with issues on the outside

Can I give other people the power to deal with my bank, my landlord, Work and Income, etc.?

Yes, you can give written permission to other people (for example, a family member or trusted friend) to deal with issues on your behalf.

Check what paperwork is needed for the agency you want the person to be able to deal with. For example, Work and Income has a special form you have to sign. Many banks have a special form too. Other banks require a power of attorney.

What is a power of attorney?

A power of attorney is a legal document giving another person power to do things for you. (It can give them the power to take money out of your bank account, or set up a phone account in your name, for example.)

Should I give anyone a power of attorney?

You should only give power of attorney to someone you trust absolutely. Anything they do as your “attorney” has legal effect. You have to be sure that they will do what you tell them to do.

Also, even if you try to cancel the power of attorney, they could still do things that would get you in trouble (for example, they can borrow money in your name and you will have to pay it back).

How can I give someone power of attorney?

You should get help from a lawyer to prepare the document. You are giving someone a lot of power so you need to get advice first. There are no simple, publicly available forms to use.

See “Decision making and powers of attorney” in the Community Law Manual for more detailed guidance.

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Housing and debt

Where to go for more support

Community Law


Your local Community Law Centre can provide initial free legal advice and information.

Also available as a book

Lag Law: Prisoner's Rights

Lag Law answers heaps of common questions you might have if you’re going to prison, you’re in prison, or you’re getting out of prison. It talks about your rights in prison, and sets out the laws and rules that affect you when you’re put in prison . 1 free copy for people in prison and the whānau of someone in prison. If that’s you, email laglaw@wclc.org.nz for your free copy

Buy Lag Law: Prisoner's Rights

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