Funding for Community Law offers certainty
$4.3m budget funding for Community Law offers certainty for New Zealand’s most vulnerable
The most vulnerable New Zealanders will continue to have access to free legal services thanks to the Government’s ongoing commitment to top up Community Law’s funding.
Yesterday’s budget delivered $4.3 million in funding over the next four years for Community Law, preserving the $11 million in annual funding for that period.
Community Law Centres o Aotearoa Chief Executive Elizabeth Tennet says the increased funding recognises that Community Law’s traditional funding mechanism does not by itself deliver the amount needed to support the valuable work its does in communities across New Zealand.
“This top up is savvy investing by the Government and means Community Law can plan ahead with certainty.”
Ms Tennet says the budget announcement was timely while Community Law was looking to advance discussions with a number of high profile, socially-responsible private sector organisation to further increase its overall funding. The sector is also looking ahead to participation in initiatives using the Investment Approach announced recently by the Government.
“Community law provides assistance to around 1 million New Zealanders each year, including delivering services to the most vulnerable and powerless members of society. In doing so, we deliver real value in terms of creating better social and financial outcomes for people and communities.”
Ms Tennet says Community Law supports individuals and families to resolve their problems early, thereby reducing family stress, violence and other social costs.
“By addressing – and stopping – legal problems from escalating, Community Law helps to free up the legal system from costly interventions or court costs further down the track. This saves government substantial funds and has flow-on benefits for government agencies and the wider community.”
Community Law also praised the additional funding for legal aid.
“For a healthy democratic society, all New Zealanders should have access to legal help – regardless of their financial or social circumstances.”