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 Anne Tolley’s
Callous Folly

Years ago, I remember someone in the Heath Ministry telling me off the record that regulatory oversight in this country largely consisted in ‘waiting for something to turn green or fall off somebody’ before the authorities would swing into action...

Last week’s conflict between Social Development Minister Anne Tolley and District Court judge Carolyn Henwood illustrated quite a few of the flaws in the system. More>>

 

Members’ Bills: Greens' Domestic Violence And Loans Bills Pulled From Ballot

Jan Logie’s Domestic Violence-Victims' Protection Bill introduces workplace protections for victims of domestic violence, including allowing victims to request paid domestic violence leave for up to 10 days... Gareth Hughes’ Bill allows Kiwis with student loans to defer their student loan repayments into a first home savings scheme. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA: Police Did Not 'Deliberately' Use Pepper Spray On 10-Year-Old

"When spraying the man, the officer did not properly consider the necessity of using pepper spray in a confined space, the likelihood that it would affect the other innocent passengers or the fact that he was using a more powerful spray." More>>

ALSO:

Donor Bill Passes: Full Income Compensation For Live Organ Donors

Unanimous cross-party support for the Compensation for Live Organ Donors Bill represents a critical step in reducing the burgeoning waiting list for kidney donations, according to Kidney Health New Zealand chief executive Max Reid. More>>

ALSO:

Earthquake Response: Emergency Legislation Prepared

Three new Bills have been drafted in the wake of the magnitude 7.8 earthquake on November 14 to ensure the government can enable affected communities to respond quickly and efficiently. More>>

ALSO:

Housing MPs: New Building(s) For Parliament

A new building will be erected on Parliament grounds to house Members of Parliament and their staff who currently work in leased accommodation in Bowen House. The plan has cross-Party support, apart from NZ First, said Parliament’s Speaker, Rt Hon David Carter. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news