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Community Law Manual 2020-21


The Community Law Manual 2020-21 is a trail-blazing resource that helps people living in New Zealand (and their advocates) help themselves.

The Manual contains over 1000 pages of easy-to-read legal info, on just about every area of community and personal life. Re-released every year in July, the Manual provides comprehensive answers to common legal questions.

This edition has a brand new chapter on Activism and the law – created in collaboration with well-known community leaders and legal experts including Moana Jackson, Pania Newton of Ihumātao, Carywn Jones and Valerie Morse. As well as major re-writes to Criminal Courts, Employment, Tenancy and housing, Credit & Debt chapters, to make them even more practical and accessible.

To order your copy of the Manual and pay by direct bank transfer or cheque, please email us at for payment details. If you would like to pay by credit card, please use the online bookshop.

By buying a copy of the Community Law Manual, you are directly contributing to a fairer, more accessible justice system, and to better results for people with less. (You are of course also getting a hard copy of the Community Law Manual, a good-looking and very useful book to have at hand when you, your family, or people you work with need some help. And you are improving the chances that we can continue to make this information available, next year and beyond!)

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Problems at School: A Practical Guide to Your Rights and Obligations

Problems at School: A Practical Guide to Your Rights and Obligations

Problems at School is the brand new, updated version of Schools and the Right to Discipline, our established source of practical and reliable information about legal issues in New Zealand’s schools.

The book provides students, parents and advocates with knowledge about their options when facing any problems they might have at school, such as suspensions, stand-downs, truancy, bullying, fees and special education needs.

The latest edition features completely updated information, and new sections on many issues such as:

  • School zones and enrolment schemes
  • Cyberbullying
  • Trespassing
  • School searches and confiscating items
  • The New Zealand Curriculum, including information about sexuality education, religious education, and te reo Māori in schools
  • Issues facing transgender students
  • Health and safety issues, including administering and storing medication, food allergies, and education outside the classroom


  • $30.00 for government and commercial agencies
  • $15.00 for non-profits and community groups (email: to order)
  • Free for students and parents (email: to order)
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Lag Law: Your rights inside prison and on release

Lag Law answers heaps of common questions you might have if you’re going to prison, you’re in prison, or you’re getting out of prison.

It talks about your rights in prison, and sets out the laws and rules that affect you when you’re put in prison. Lag Law is for:

  • people in prison
  • your whānau and wider community
  • prison staff
  • your lawyer or advocate
  • organisations who work with people inside prison or who are being released from prison

What they say about Lag Law

“The book is brilliant for me in terms of what our clients’ rights are and it benefits our reintegration planning. We have given a copy to each of the Community Navigators in the regions – they are thrilled with it and find it so informative in ‘normal’ words.” Ariane, prison reintegration worker

Where else can I get help?

Your local Community Law Centre is always a good first place to start. Community Law Centre lawyers and advocates visit most prisons in New Zealand, and your family or friends outside prison can also get help from the local centre on your behalf.

1 free copy for people in prison and the whānau of someone in prison. If this is you, please email for your free copy.

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Planning Your Future: The role of enduring powers of attorney

This booklet provides information on how you may arrange to have your affairs managed if you lose your mental capacity.

You can do this by organising an enduring power of attorney for your personal care and welfare and for you property. The booklet also describes what happens if you don’t have an enduring power of attorney and lose mental capacity. It’s aimed at the general public, has a question and answer format and is useful for planning your future.

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Managing a Community Venue


This booklet is a must-have resource for those involved in local community centres, sports clubs or other community venues.

Updated in 2016 “Managing a Community Venue” provides information on a variety of topics within which community organisations must operate. Although it has been written for Wellington’s community centres, it contains useful and practical information for community organisations throughout New Zealand.

Content includes:

  • Treaty of Waitangi principles and their implementation
  • Health and Safety law
  • Legal structures (incorporated, unincorporated and charitable trusts)
  • Governance and good practice obligations
  • Advice on how to deal with the media
  • Useful technological platforms (electronic databases and social media)
  • Employment
  • Appendices containing a number of helpful documents and templates


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