The CAB is concerned about the unintended consequences of the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill
on the funding of CABs.
In our submission
on the Bill we expressed concern that the Bill could lead to withdrawal of Council funding for the CAB.
Citizens Advice Bureau in New Zealand has a long standing relationship with local government. The first CABs in NZ were established by Auckland Council in the early 1970’s and Councils have continued to play a key role in supporting Citizens Advice Bureaux, as the primary funder of most CABs in NZ. The CAB is recognised by local Councils as playing a valuable role in supporting informed and vibrant communities.
We are very concerned that this Bill could lead to withdrawal of Council funding for the CAB. This is because of the uncertainty around the changes to the purpose of the Act and the lack of clarity around what local public services are.
If this happens the CAB would not be able to continue delivering its service, depriving local communities of a service which currently assists with over 500,000 enquiries a year and contributes thousands of hours of volunteer time and expertise.
In our submission we recommend that the Bill is amended to reassert the current wording of the purpose statement in the Local Government Act 2002. We also asked that specific reference is made to the Citizens Advice Bureau as a service that Council’s may fund.