Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Citizens Advice Bureau for free advice

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Louise Boswell (Manager), Susanna Leung (Chinese Interviewer), Brenda Whiting (Interviewer), Vani Kapoor (Migrant Coordinator), JL Holyoake (Chair), Tricia Burns (Information Officer).

It’s nearly 40 years since the Pakuranga Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) opened in a prefab in a Pakuranga car park. Countless people have been helped through this not-for-profit-organisation with the focus on bringing about positive social change.

Launched in Auckland in 1970, CAB has more than 80 branches throughout the country. It is a trusted source of dependable information, offering free and confidential advice.

In December, a special event will be held at Te Tuhi to celebrate the anniversary with the former Mayor of Howick, Mr Morrin Cooper, as guest speaker.

Louise Boswell, Manager of CAB Pakuranga and Botany, has been at the helm of the local service for four years and the Information Officer, Patricia Burns has worked there for over 30 years. The core office staff of three is supported by a band of about 60 volunteers.

“We have a very strong group – ranging in age from 18 through to 86. Many go through an intensive training and they are then mentored by experienced volunteers for their first 12 sessions.

“Others assist with social media and administrative tasks,” Louise explains.

Services offered at CAB are:

  • Healthcare
  • Education
  • Clinics – Justice of Peace, Immigration, Legal, Gambling, Counselling
  • Taxes
  • Tenancy & Disputes Tribunals
  • Consumer rights
  • Income support and benefits
  • Immigration
  • Housing and tenancy
  • General matters such as contacts for local clubs and transport timetables

For immigrants who find English difficult, CAB provides help through Language Connect — a service available in more than 25 languages.

Their team also includes interviewers fluent in Mandarin, Cantonese and Hindi.
CAB’s service provides immigration services, assisting newcomers in overcoming challenges such as accommodation, education and employment.

It also organises workshops and seminars on employment, driving, education and health.
The popular workshops on employment cover CVs, job searching, New Zealand employers, interview skills and coaching.

Both Botany and Pakuranga offices have Justice of Peace services and free legal guidance from lawyers. And for those with emotional issues, free professional counselling is available.

Citizens Advice Bureau,
Library Building, Aylesbury Street, Pakuranga.
Open 9am-4.30pm Monday-Friday
Phone 09 576 8331 or toll free on 0800 367 222.


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