2024-25 Community Law Manual hits the streets!

The latest edition of the one and only Community Law Manual has hit the streets this week after an official launch on the Monday breakfast show at Radio Active FM in Wellington.

To mark the occasion breakfast host Sunaina interviewed Ben Drury (left) and Piata Inch (right) about the flagship Manual’s purpose and content, along with asking questions about their respective roles as Legal Resource Writer and Sales and Sponsorship Coordinator, and about Community Law Wellington and Hutt Valley which is one of 24 Community Law centres spread across Aotearoa.

This year’s Community Law Manual is the seventeenth edition produced for nationwide sale and distribution since the first appeared in 1998.

Ben Drury said producing the Manual “really is a team effort”. Ben spoke to the collaborative work done by qualified lawyers and volunteers to ensure the summaries of legal information being provided are accurate and that the Manual communicates the law in easy-to-follow plain language.

Ben described a core purpose of the Community Law Manual as giving everyday people an ability to inform themselves about their legal rights and to figure out their next steps from there.

“Whether you’re starting or finishing a job, renting a house, or interacting with the Police there will be relevant information for you in the Manual,” said Ben.

“At just over 1000 pages it really is comprehensive, with 35 chapters arranged under 10 topics: Taonga Māori: Language, Land and the Law; Government and the Legal System; Criminal and Traffic Law; Individual Rights and Freedoms; Family Law; Health and Disability; Schools, Jobs and Benefits; Consumer Rights and Money; Community Life; Immigration and Refugees”.

Piata Inch, who originally joined the Community Law Wellington and Hutt Valley centre as an intern in 2023, said sales of the popular reference Manual are now open – both through direct enquiries and the Resources/ Bookshop page at communitylaw.org.nz

“In parallel to our sales and negotiable discounts on bulk orders, we also run a scheme where individuals and law firms (such as Simpson Grierson, Russell McVeagh, Clifton Chambers, Thorndon Chambers and Cunningham Taylor Law, to name a few) sponsor copies of the Law Manual for a wide range of non-government organisations around the motu who might struggle to afford the reasonable $150 cost. Because we believe that this is a publication that everyone should have access to, we are always looking for more sponsors to ensure a print copy can be easily located everywhere in Aotearoa.

Piata’s email address for buyer or sponsor enquiries is publications@wclc.org.nz

The 2024-25 edition of the Community Law Manual features various changes and updates. These include: A new chapter on rights at School and Kura that was added in response to community feedback; a full review and updating of the five chapters on Criminal Law; general important edits throughout to keep content up-to-date and correct; and a new approach to grouping directly useful listings of sources of further information from other organisations and government agencies. 

We acknowledge the support we receive from YourBooks and our printers Touchprint NZ, and a grant made by the Nikau Foundation towards the production costs of the Manual.

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