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 Pharmac, Gough Whitlam And Sleater-Kinney

Ridiculous reported comments on RNZ this morning by Trade Minister Tim Groser, as he sought to dampen down concerns about the leaked draft of the IP chapter of ther Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations. According to Groser, ‘extreme’ positions are common at the outset of negotiations, and these get whittled down over the course of negotiations. Fine.

Except that we’re not at the outset of these negotiations. The outset was six years ago, and negotiators were hoping to have some sort of ‘framework’ deal finished in time for the APEC meeting in a few weeks’ time. These ‘extreme’ positions are what we’ve reached near the intended end of the negotiations.

Still, Groser did promise that the cost of medicines would not rise as a result of the TPP trade deal. Great. But this is not what politicians in other countries are saying. More>>

.

 
 

Parliament Today:

'Feed The Kids' Bill: Metiria Turei To Lead Fight On Feeding Hungry Children

Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira. More>>

Parliament Today: State Opening Of Parliament

The House sat at 10.30am on Tuesday before MPs were summoned to hear the Speech from the Throne in the Legislative Council Chamber. More>>

ALSO:

Tertiary Education: Students Doing It Tough As Fees Rise Again

The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. More>>

ALSO:

Housing, Iraq: PM Press Conference – 20 October 2014

Prime Minister John Key met with press today to discuss:
• Housing prices and redevelopment in Auckland
• Discussions with Tony Abbott on the governmental response to ISIS, and New Zealand’s election to the UN Security Council More>>

ALSO:

Labour: Review Team Named, Leadership Campaign Starts

Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review. He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban.

ALSO:

Roy Morgan Poll: National Slips, Labour Hits Lows

The first New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll since the NZ Election shows National 43.5% (down 3.54% since the September 20 Election). This isn’t unusual, National support has dropped after each of John Key’s Election victories... However, support for the main opposition Labour Party has crashed to 22.5% (down 2.63% and the lowest support for Labour since the 1914 NZ Election as United Labour). More>>

ALSO:

In On First Round: New Zealand Wins Security Council Seat

Prime Minister John Key has welcomed New Zealand securing a place on the United Nations Security Council for the 2015-16 term. More>>

ALSO:

TPP Leak: Intellectual Property Text Confirms Risk - Jane Kelsey

The US is continuing its assault on generic medicines through numerous proposed changes to patent laws. ‘These are bound to impact on Pharmac if they are accepted’, according to Professor Kelsey... Copyright is another area of ongoing sensitivity... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news