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First Dedicated Māori Caucus Hui for Community Law Centres

MEDIA RELEASE

20 May 2013

First Dedicated Māori Caucus Hui for Community Law Centres

Te hui tuatahi a te hunga Māori o te kāhui Community Law Centres o Aotearoa ka tū ki Te Rotorua-nui-a-Kahumatamomoe hei te 23 ki te 24 o Haratua 2013.

From May 23 to 24 2013, the Māori Caucus of Community Law will meet at Ōwhata Marae, Rotorua, for its first dedicated hui in the history of Community Law.

The purpose of this hui is to strengthen and enhance Community Law’s ability to meet the high unmet legal needs of Māori throughout Aotearoa, to look at how Community Law can better support its kaimahi Māori, and to develop kaupapa Māori legal services throughout the country. Paula Bold-Wilson, Chair of the Māori Caucus, says “We’re really excited to finally have the chance to come together, and identify strategies which will provide greater access to justice for our people.”

The Caucus says now is the right time to tackle this kaupapa, especially while the future of the only specialist Māori law centre in Aotearoa - Ngāi Tahu Māori Law Centre - is uncertain, and when Community Law is pushing for more cohesive services across the country. The Māori Caucus fears that the legal needs of Māori in general, and specifically in relation to land are not being acknowledged. A lot of work is needed to ensure that these needs are recognised and met. “We need to ensure that all Māori, no matter where they live, can access kaupapa Māori legal services, including land law services,” says Paula Bold-Wilson.

Confirmed speakers include Annette Sykes and Moana Jackson, who have long histories with Community Law, and Tiaki Hunia of the Māori Trustee. The hui is being generously sponsored by the Coalition of Community Law Centres, Community Law Centres o Aotearoa, Bell Gully, Chapman Tripp, Hopetoun Legal, the Otago University Faculty of Law, Sarah Armstrong - Barrister, Te Hunga Rōia (the Māori Law Society) and Wackrow Williams and Davies.

The Caucus looks forward to updating the community on developments after the hui.

If you would like to know more about this hui please contact Paula Bold-Wilson (Chair of Māori Caucus) on (09) 835 2130 or paula@waitakerelaw.org.nz


Note to editors:

• In 1984 CLCs formed the Coalition of Community Law Centres Aotearoa, to act as an umbrella body for most centres. The Māori Caucus was created in 1987 through the Coalition of Community Law Centres.

• Māori members of Community Law Centres’ staff and governance throughout the motu form the Māori Caucus of the Coalition of Community Law Centres Aotearoa.

The Māori Caucus works to ensure that Community Law:

• Upholds its Treaty obligations

• Is a force for Treaty-based change in Aotearoa

• Contributes to law change that works against the social exclusion and disadvantage of Māori.


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