Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Unreliable Ministry Figures a Smokescreen

Media Release 20 December 2012


Unreliable Ministry Figures a Smokescreen


“Figures showing a reduction in Community Law clients are just plain wrong and are being used as a smokescreen at a time when decisions are being made on Community Law’s future funding”, says Liz Tennet, CEO of Community Law Centres o Aotearoa (CLCA), the national body representing 24 Community Law Centres around New Zealand.

Statistics released by the Ministry of Justice show a decline of 37,356 in client numbers from June 2009 to June 2012.

“The figures are absolute rubbish”, says Ms Tennet. “At a time of economic recession, the number of clients being assisted by the 24 Community Law Centres has actually gone up”.

“What the Ministry figures don’t count are a significant numbers of clients given assistance over the phone, and the half million hits per year from New Zealanders seeking information off the Community Law website, http://www.communitylaw.org.nz/

“But what is most disturbing is the unreliability of the Ministry’s own database and the Ministry–directed changes over the last four years to the way Community Law Centres must record their statistics. In 2009 the figures included website hits, in 2012 they do not. In 2009 the figures included pamphlet and leaflet distribution at expos and shows, in 2012 they do not.

“The Ministry’s database is a dog. It is now over 7 years old, it has been very difficult to amend entry errors, it has created inaccuracies and it has caused immense frustration to the sector. The Ministry has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars upgrading the database, but it is no longer fit for purpose.

“One of New Zealand’s 24 Community Law Centres, Community Law Wellington and Hutt Valley, submitted to MoJ its final Quarterly Reports each year showing the following number of clients assisted:-

• 2009 – 4424 clients

• 2010 – 5242 clients

• 2011 – 6061 clients

• 2012 – 6522 clients


“These numbers show no relevance to the numbers recently released by MoJ off their database. The Ministry numbers are patently wrong.

“The Ministry itself has acknowledged the unreliability of its database and has agreed there needs to be introduced a new client management system for Community Law. This has been agreed by a joint Ministry/Community Law Working Party.

“Community Law has had no funding increase over the last four years and through efficiency gains has decreased its average cost of service delivery from $95.36 per hour in 2008/09 to $70.41 per hour in 2011/12. This has been delivered as a result of a substantial increase in the number of service delivery hours.

“Community Law also delivers huge value. 1200 volunteer lawyers massively expand Community Law’s footprint and provide additional value of $3.8m per year. Community Law Casework alone is valued at $36.23m per year and Community Law’s early intervention service has been estimated to save at least $7.3m per year of taxpayer court costs from just a 1% reduction in the use of courts.

“The Ministry of Justice is demonstrating itself as another Government Agency with deficient data collection”, says Ms Tennet.


ends


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Drone Strikes And Judith Collins‘ Last Stand

The news that a New Zealand citizen was killed last November in a US drone attack in Yemen brings the drones controversy closer to home.

To the US, drones are a legitimate response to the threat posed by the al Qaeda organisation and its franchisees... To the US, the drones carry the added advantage of not putting US troops at risk on the ground, and minimises the need for putting them in large numbers in bases in the countries concerned, always a politically sensitive point.

The counter-argument, well articulated by security analyst Paul Buchanan on RNZ this morning, is that this particular drone attack can be said to amount to an extra-judicial execution of a New Zealand citizen by one of our military allies, in circumstances where the person concerned posed no threat to New Zealand’s domestic security. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Policies: Labour’s Economic Upgrade For Manufacturing

Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today announced his Economic Upgrade for the manufacturing sector – a plan that will create better jobs and higher wages. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Life And ACC Work Of Sir Owen Woodhouse

With the death of Sir Owen Woodhouse, the founding father of the Accident Compensation Scheme, New Zealand has lost one of the titans of its post-war social policy. More>>

ALSO:

Bad Transnationals: Rio Tinto Wins 2013 Roger Award

It won the 2011 Roger Award and was runner up in 2012, 2009 and 08. One 2013 nomination said simply and in its entirety: “Blackmailing country”... More>>

ALSO:

Select Committees: Tobacco Plain Packaging Hearings

The Stroke Foundation is today backing the Cancer Society and Smokefree Coalition who are making oral submissions to the Health Select Committee in support of proposed legislation to remove of all branding from tobacco products. More>>

ALSO:

Milk: Oravida Asked For Cabinet Help

New evidence released by New Zealand First today reveals Justice Minister Judith Collins used her position to manipulate the Government to help her husband’s company, Oravida, after the Fonterra botulism scare, says New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters. More>>

ALSO:

With Conditions: Ruataniwha Consents Approved In Draft Decision

The Tukituki Catchment Proposal Board of Inquiry has granted 17 resource consents relating to the $265 million Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme in a draft decision that would open more of the Hawke’s Bay to irrigation. More>>

ALSO:

Fast Lanes, Campervans: Labour 'Making The Holidays Easier For Kiwi Drivers'

The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Royalty And Its Tourism Spin-Offs

Ultimately the Queen’s longevity has been one of her most significant accomplishments. A transition to Prince Charles while the monarchy was in the pits of public esteem in the mid to late 1990s would have been disastrous for the Royal Firm. Far more congenial representatives have now emerged... More>>

ALSO:

Privacy (Again): ACC Demands Excessive Privacy Waivers

Labour: “This is just another example of ACC under National deliberately acting to deny treatment and compensation... Those who did fill in the form have effectively been victims of yet another ACC privacy breach. This time Judith Collins knew it was happening..." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news