Real Voices, Real People, for all People!
What are We?
Citizens Advice Bureaux New Zealand is a national not-for-profit organisation with 83 locations around New Zealand. We provide free, independent and confidential information and advice across a wide range of topics. Our volunteers receive comprehensive training and have access to a range of resources to be able to assist and empower clients with knowledge of their rights and responsibilities.
In the tenth anniversary of the year of the Volunteer, Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) volunteers will have contributed approximately 600,000 hours of voluntary work to their local communities throughout New Zealand. We have more than 2600 volunteers throughout the country from all walks of life, from more than 35 nationalities.
At Citizens Advice Bureau Ōtaki, we currently have 29 volunteers. It is now in its 36th year since it was opened in 1980.
When you contact a CAB you will receive a free and confidential service of information, advice and support.
We aim to enable you to deal with your own problems. We listen, we thoroughly research options and we explain the information in a way that you can use it. If it’s appropriate, we act on your behalf.
On any given day, a volunteer working their shift might be asked any potential question under the sun — from requests for directions, to request for legal appointments, referral to a JP, enquiries about rights in relationship issues, landlord and tenancy problems, Work and Income support, Consumer issues, neighbourhood disputes, employment issues and emergency housing, to name some.
The ability of volunteers to untangle knotty issues is a skill that comes from in-depth training and ongoing support. They are trained where to find any answer and make sure their clients’ situation gets properly addressed.
Volunteers are fully supported with initial learning and ongoing training as they move from being observers through to probationary interviewers to, finally accredited bureau interviewers.
Raising issues locally and nationally
We also work to strengthen our communities by identifying and raising issues at a local and national level. CABNZ coordinates the process for submission making by our organisation on national-level issues.
In the most recent submission (January 2016) re Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill, we hold that good quality rental housing and secure tenancies are cornerstones of a fair and well-balanced rental market. We support the measures in the Bill to require landlords to install smoke alarms and insulation and argue for a warrant of fitness as the best means of enforcement.
We help people of all ages and walks of life. Find out more about us. Contact us by phone, email or drop in at our bureau.
During the Awareness Week, we will have a stall outside our premises on Thursday 17 March where you are welcome to make enquiries or just have a friendly chat.
See us then!