First Dedicated Maori Caucus Hui for Community Law Centres to be held in Rotorua

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Owhata2Te hui tuatahi a te hunga Maori o te kahui Community Law Centres o Aotearoa ka tu ki Te Rotorua-nui-a-Kahumatamomoe hei te 23 ki te 24 o Haratua 2013.

From May 23 to 24 2013, the Maori Caucus of Community Law will meet at Owhata Marae, Rotorua, for its first dedicated hui in the history of Community Law.

The purpose of this hui is to strengthen and enhance Community Laws ability to meet the high unmet legal needs of Maori throughout Aotearoa, to look at how Community Law can better support its kaimahi Maori, and to develop kaupapa Maori legal services throughout the country. Paula Bold-Wilson, Chair of the Maori Caucus, says Were really excited to finally have the chance to come together, and identify strategies which will provide greater access to justice for our people.

The Caucus says now is the right time to tackle this kaupapa, especially while the future of the only specialist Maori law centre in Aotearoa – Ngai Tahu Maori Law Centre – is uncertain, and when Community Law is pushing for more cohesive services across the country. The Maori Caucus fears that the legal needs of Maori in general, and specifically in relation to land are not being acknowledged. A lot of work is needed to ensure that these needs are recognised and met. We need to ensure that all Maori, no matter where they live, can access kaupapa Maori legal services, including land law services, says Paula Bold-Wilson.

Confirmed speakers include Annette Sykes and Moana Jackson, who have long histories with Community Law, and Tiaki Hunia of the Maori Trustee. The hui is being generously sponsored by the Coalition of Community Law Centres, Community Law Centres o Aotearoa, Bell Gully, Chapman Tripp, Hopetoun Legal, the Otago University Faculty of Law, Sarah Armstrong – Barrister, Te Hunga Roia (the M?ori Law Society) and Wackrow Williams and Davies.

The Caucus looks forward to updating the community on developments after the hui.

If you would like to know more about this hui please contact Paula Bold-Wilson (Chair of M?ori Caucus) on (09) 835 2130 orpaula@waitakerelaw.org.nz

Note to editors:

  • In 1984 CLCs formed the Coalition of Community Law Centres Aotearoa, to act as an umbrella body for most centres. The Maori Caucus was created in 1987 through the Coalition of Community Law Centres.
  • M?ori members of Community Law Centres staff and governance throughout the motu form the Maori Caucus of the Coalition of Community Law Centres Aotearoa.
  • The Maori Caucus works to ensure that Community Law:
  • Upholds its Treaty obligations
  • Is a force for Treaty-based change in Aotearoa
  • Contributes to law change that works against the social exclusion and disadvantage of Maori.

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