The Community Law Story

At Community Law we’re proud of our history and kaupapa. Here’s an insight into who we are and why we work to improve access to justice in Aotearoa

Community Law Centres o Aotearoa

Every Community Law Centre in New Zealand is a member of our national body, Community Law Centres o Aotearoa (CLCA). CLCA aims to:

  • Represent the interests of Community Law Centres
  • Provide information, networking, advocacy, communication, support and liaison services
  • Assist coordination between Community Law Centres
  • Facilitate and support centres to maintain high quality services
  • Seek resources
  • Represent centres as a collective to negotiate funding arrangements with the government
  • Affirm and adhere to the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi / the Treaty of Waitangi.

Māori Representation

Recognising the Treaty principle of partnership, and because Community Law wants to provide the best service possible for Māori, we have recently changed some of the ways we work.

In 2015, CLCA constituted a new Board structure. Out of 7 board members, 3 dedicated Māori representatives are elected (1 from each of the following categories):

  • Community Law Centre governance
  • Community Law Centre management
  • Independent.

The Board itself then elects 2 co-chairs, one of whom must come from the 3 Māori elected positions stated above.

Ngā Kaiāwhina Māori Hapori o te Ture (NKHMT), the Māori Caucus made up of Community Law Centre Māori staff and Governance representatives, plays a pivotal role in nominating Māori candidates for all the above positions. It also meets annually at its own Hui prior to the National Community Law Annual Hui.

Kaitakawaenga/National Māori Coordinator

Community Law has a Kaitakawaenga/National Māori Coordinator, whose role is to ensure Community Law works more closely and more effectively with Māori communities, including through iwi and other Māori and community organisations.

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