A decision whether to extradite a former Catholic brother facing sex charges in Australia has been referred to the Minister of Justice.

Australia has been trying to extradite Bernard Kevin McGrath, 66, from New Zealand to face 252 child sex abuse charges.

Early last year Christchurch District Court Judge Jane Farish ruled McGrath should stand trial across the Tasman.

However, her decision was appealed to the High Court at Christchurch, which then referred the case back to Judge Farish, ruling that she needed to again look at whether the case should be referred to the Minister of Justice for a final decision on McGrath's extradition.


Today at Christchurch District Court, Judge Farish referred the decision to Justice Minister Judith Collins.

A spokeswoman for Ms Collins' office confirmed the referral had been made today.

Judge Farish said she was satisfied there were extraordinary and compelling reasons for the decision to be made by the minister, Radio New Zealand reported.