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CAB finds new home close to home

Citizens Advice Bureau Whangarei

24 November 2019

Citizens Advice Bureau will be keeping a close eye on the Old Town Hall repairs from their new home right next door in the old Public Trust building at 69 Bank St.

The bureau has been operating remotely since the fire, responding to enquiries left on phone messages and by email.

Coordinator Moea Armstrong said it was a relief to have a computer and a phone on a desk again and for the team to settle in to another beautiful old building in the CBD.

She said the 40 CAB volunteers had willingly adapted to working in the cloud, using different technology to keep the service operating as best as possible, but were now happy to have moved in to their new digs.

“The building has a lovely feel to it just like the Old Town Hall – the workmanship and attention to detail, and a vibe that is somehow slower and unrushed – high-ceilinged rooms, vaults and wide corridors that have been used for almost a century, and the Otis lift is a classic.”

She said the building suits the friendly personal service that CAB aims to provide, although there are several steps up to the building’s lift. People can arrange for a volunteer to meet them in the Library if this is an obstacle.

The entrance is between Shosha and the Thai’s Chef on Bank St, opposite the IRD, and the bureau is spread over rooms on the first and second floors next to the lift and stairs. The therapeutic service providers in the rest of the building had given them a warm welcome, she said.

There has already been a free legal advice clinic held in the new premises and there is another scheduled for next Tuesday evening. The bureau’s beneficiary advocate has been as busy as ever since the fire.

The phone number remains 09 4388046, and email is whangarei@cab.org.nz. Cellphone calls to the 0800 367 222 number are free, and anyone can access information at cab.org.nz. All the services CAB provides are free, confidential, and independent of government or business.

She said they will be keeping in close touch with the other Municipal Building tenants who have relocated upstairs in the Civic Arcade further down Bank St, using the meeting rooms there for training new intakes of volunteers and regularly upskilling existing volunteers.

Volunteers had paid close attention during a fire drill in the new building last week, and she urges other CBD workers to ensure building evacuation plans are up to date with the Fire Service.


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