The New Zealand government is taking legal advice on whether a former Catholic brother should be extradited to Australia to face child sex charges.

The Commonwealth of Australia has spent more than 18 months trying to extradite Bernard Kevin McGrath, 66, from New Zealand to face 252 child sex abuse charges.

The case has bounced between several judges here but the final decision now lies with Justice Minister Judith Collins.

"I will receive advice from officials and carefully consider Mr McGrath's submissions," she told APNZ today.


"It is not appropriate for me to comment further while Mr McGrath's case is being considered."

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, 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.

And in January, Judge Farish referred the decision to Ms Collins, saying she was satisfied there were "compelling and extraordinary circumstances" for the decision to be made by the minister.

Over the past few months, McGrath's lawyer Pip Hall QC had been seeking permission for more time to make submissions, and the issue had been set for a High Court hearing in Christchurch tomorrow (WED), but the request for more time was granted and the hearing cancelled.

It's now left with Ms Collins to make a decision.

No timeframe has been given.

McGrath is living in Christchurch on bail.