Community Law elects new co-chairs for national body

Community Law Centres o Aotearoa, the national body that represents the interest of Community Law Centres across the country, has elected two new co-chairs, Jenny Hughey and Jason Pou.

They take the reins from Cameron Madgwick, who stepped down at the organisation’s recent AGM after more than 20 years volunteering with Community Law. His co-chair Bernadette Arapere retired in July.

Hughey is a long-time volunteer in the community law movement and is currently on the board of Community Law Canterbury. She is Community Governance Manager at Christchurch City Council and has had leadership roles in a range of community organisations including mediation, women’s, community justice and school trustee boards.

Pou is a current board member of the Rotorua District Community Law Centre and is a trustee on a number of charitable trusts. In his legal practice – Tu Pono Legal – he regularly advises small to medium sized businesses, iwi trust boards, runanga and not-for-profit organisations.

Community Law Centres o Aotearoa Chief Executive Liz Tennet says the organisation was privileged to have two strong leaders stepping up at a time when Community Law was looking to a more secure future with increased funding earmarked by the coalition government.

She paid tribute to Madgwick’s contribution of many years and the highlights of his time with Community Law.
“Cameron has been with the organisation since he was a student, volunteering at the Wellington & Hutt Valley Community Law Centre. He has played a significant role in establishing the national body, maintaining funding for Community Law Centres in a constrained funding environment, and securing significant recurring non-Government funding through the Lawyers and Conveyancers Special Fund.

“He has left Community Law in a strong position to provide more and better services to clients – delivering access to justice for all New Zealanders.”

Media contacts:
Liz Tennet, CEO Community Law: 027 295 0928,
Jenny Hughey, Co-chair: 027 529 8885
Jason Pou, Co-chair: 021 243 2175
Cameron Madgwick, former co-chair: 021 674 671

Twenty-four Community Law Centres work out of over 140 locations across New Zealand to provide free legal help and advice to those who are unable to pay for a private lawyer or who do not have access to legal aid. This advice covers all aspects of New Zealand’s legal system, including family law, employment issues, housing problems, consumer advice and criminal law. As well as around 170 staff, Community Law’s services are boosted by over 1,200 volunteer lawyers who run clinics and deliver free advice and assistance.

About Cameron Madgwick
Cameron first got involved with Community Law as a volunteer lawyer at the Wellington & Hutt Valley Community Law Centre when he was a student at Victoria University. He became the organisation’s Chair in 2008. In 2010 Cameron’s significant practical and governance experience in the community law sector enabled him he to play a leading role in the collective renegotiation of Community Law Centres’ national funding contract with the Ministry of Justice, working with and on behalf of all Community Law Centres to ensure that their interests were properly protected in the contracting round. This led the following year to Cameron helping the 26 Community Law Centres around the country develop a governance structure for a national association. He was subsequently elected Chair of this body – Community Law Centres o Aotearoa (CLCA) – a position he has held until November 2017.
Cameron is currently Chief Executive Officer of PEPANZ after many years in the energy sector. He is Chair of Laura Fergusson Trust and the Petroleum Skills Association of NZ. He is two-time recipient of the CLANZ community contribution award.

About Jenny Hughey
Jenny is a long-time volunteer in the community law movement. She is currently on the Board of Community Law Canterbury and was previously a member of Marlborough Community Law Board. Jenny is passionate about social change and working towards a fair and just society. Jenny has taken a leadership role in a range of community organisations including mediation, women’s, community justice and school trustee boards. She has worked in the union movement, employment, human rights and education law. She currently works in local government. She was appointed as a Commissioner on an environmental inquiry in Australia and has undertaken a range of inquiries and investigations across government and in the private sector. Jenny holds an LLB and a Masters of Laws (First Class Honours) from the University of Auckland.

About Jason Pou
Jason established Tu Pono Legal in 2014 following six years of partnership at Aurere Law. He is a litigator with experience in most Courts from the District Court to the Supreme Court, the Māori Land and Appellate Courts, the Waitangi Tribunal, Environment Court and the Employment Relations Authority.
In addition to litigation, Jason has experience in a range of corporate, commercial, environmental and treaty negotiations where he takes a solutions-based and practical approach to achieve outcomes.

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