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Community Law Ready To Implement Kaupapa Maori Plan

MEDIA RELEASE

2.30pm, June 24, 2019

Community Law stands ready and willing to implement a key recommendation of today’s Inaia Tonu Nei Report on the justice system - to establish Kaupapa Maori Legal Services across its 24 Community Law Centres.

In welcoming the Inaia Tonu Nei Report, Community Law Centres o Aotearoa co-Chair Jason Pou said establishing nationwide kaupapa Maori teams had already been identified as the top priority for Community Law.

“Keeping the same old system and getting the same old bad results is no longer an option, if wellness is what we want for our society,” said Jason.

“Many Maori don’t know about the free legal advice from our community law centres – for others, it’s a service they would feel comfortable using if it was more culturally-appropriate.”

CLCA CEO Sue Moroney said some community law centres have trialled kaupapa Maori services, with great results.

“The trials show us that if Maori know about and trust our services, then we can get legal support and education to them at the right time, leading to better outcomes for everyone.”

“Getting timely legal support when things go wrong with day-to-day issues like housing, employment, family issues and consumer credit can stop a bad situation from spiralling out of control,” says Sue. “This is a much more cost-effective early intervention option for New Zealanders, than paying the financial and social costs of creating more victims and more prisoners.”

“We agree that fundamental change like this is required from Government if we are to improve access to justice for all, therefore improving the well-being of our entire community.”

ENDS


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