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Citizens Advice Bureau Awareness Week

Citizens Advice Bureau Awareness Week

Five things to know about the Citizens Advice Bureau

1. Anyone can contact the CAB to find out about anything. “Our name can be a bit misleading, says Kerry Dalton Chief Executive of Citizens Advice Bureau New Zealand, because you don’t have to be a NZ citizen to use the CAB. Our service is free and open to all.”

2. Our service is available in 25 different languages”, says Ms Dalton. “CAB Language Link is a specialist service, Auckland-based but accessible nationwide, which is provided by a team of trained native speakers. Many of our bureaux around the country also have volunteers who speak another language, so if you aren’t confident in English there’s a good chance we’ll be able to help you in your own language.”

3. The CAB service is provided by 2400 volunteers throughout NZ. They’ve all undergone intensive training and also get regular on-going training on ensure they keep up to date with legislation and policy changes”, says Ms Dalton. Last year our volunteers helped with 520,000 client enquiries. Some of the most common questions we got were:

• I bought a phone recently, and now it’s not working right, what can I do?

• My landlord refuses to refund my bond, is there anything I can do?

• My partner and I are separating and need to sort out the shared care of our children. How do we go about that?

• My neighbour keeps parking in our shared driveway, what are my rights?

• My boss keeps changing the hours I’m working, is that OK?

4. Ms Dalton says that some people don’t realise that Citizens Advice Bureau is an independent service. “We aren’t a government agency and we aren’t aligned with any businesses or organisations. So you can be sure that when you visit a bureau you will get balanced, objective information and options to help you decide on your next step.”

5. “We’ve also got have an enormous wealth of information online, which complements our volunteers’ knowledge and skills. From our you can find services and information on all manner of topics, from coffee groups and clubs to join - to how to write a letter of complaint or deal with a dispute. If you can’t find what you’re looking for on our website, or you still have questions after reading the information, you just can’t beat talking to someone about it. And that’s what the CAB is for.”


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