Law centre funding reinstated

BY KRIS DANDO
Last updated 11:00 20/11/2012

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The Whitireia Community Law Centre has had its funding reinstated, but its future direction and setup remains cloudy.

Kapi-Mana News revealed in July that the centre, which saw 5800 clients in the last financial year, was having $50,000 of its $344,000 budget withheld by the Justice Ministry because of "deficiencies" in some performance requirements. The areas of advice, information and education were below ministry targets.

The centre's managing solicitor Louis Leung said last week the $50,000 had been reinstated but he could not reveal anything other than talks were ongoing about its future operation.

"There are a few things up in the air right now, perhaps a re-focusing of our services, and although we know the community is interested, we are not at liberty to say anything else.

"We are negotiating further funding."

Mr Leung would only say receiving the $50,000 was great news and it was business as usual for the law centre.

"We are still in operation and still able to provide a full service to the people of this community, nothing has changed there."

Whitireia Community Law Centre has eight lawyers and two administration staff.

New Zealand has 26 community law centres, which are facing similar decisions on strategic direction.

Along with ministry support, they get funding through grants and from the Lawyers and Conveyancers Special Fund.

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