Busi­ness as usual at law ser­vice

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

The Whi­tireia Community Law Cen­tre has had its fund­ing re­in­stated, but its fu­ture di­rec­tion and setup re­mains cloudy.

Kapi-Mana News re­vealed in July that the cen­tre, which saw 5800 clients in the last fi­nan­cial year, was hav­ing $50,000 of its $344,000 bud­get with­held by the Jus­tice Min­istry be­cause of ‘‘de­fi­cien­cies’’ in some per­for­mance re­quire­ments. The ar­eas of ad­vice, in­for­ma­tion and ed­u­ca­tion were be­low min­istry tar­gets.

The cen­tre’s manag­ing so­lic­i­tor Louis Le­ung said last week the $50,000 had been re­in­stated but he could not re­veal any­thing other than talks were on­go­ing about its fu­ture op­er­a­tion.

‘‘There are a few things up in the air right now, per­haps a re- fo­cus­ing of our ser­vices, and al­though we know the community is in­ter­ested, we are not at lib­erty to say any­thing else.

‘‘We are ne­go­ti­at­ing fur­ther fund­ing.’’

Mr Le­ung would only say re­ceiv­ing the $ 50,000 was great news and it was busi­ness as usual for the law cen­tre.

‘‘We are still in op­er­a­tion and still able to pro­vide a full ser­vice to the peo­ple of this community, noth­ing changed there.’’

Whi­tireia Community Law Cen­tre has eight lawyers and two ad­min­is­tra­tion staff.

New Zealand has 26 community law cen­tres, which are fac­ing sim­i­lar de­ci­sions on strate­gic di­rec­tion.

Along with min­istry sup­port, they get fund­ing through grants and from the Lawyers and Con­veyancers Spe­cial Fund.

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