Kāore i te mārama? Pātai Te Pou Whakawhirinaki o Grey Lynn/Ponsonby. Not sure?
Ask us at CAB Grey Lynn/Ponsonby.
Last November we in Auckland celebrated the 50th birthday of the Citizen Advice Bureau and the opening of the very first CAB branch in Ponsonby in 1970.
During this year of our anniversary, we acknowledge the thousands of skilled CAB volunteers and staff throughout Aotearoa who dedicate their time to providing free confidential advice and access to the rights and services people need.
We celebrate the countless hours of advice to the public, providing information on everything from housing and consumer rights to immigration and employment.
We celebrate also our funders, especially our core funder Te Kaunihera o Tamaki Makaurau Auckland Council and Te Puna Tahua Lotteries Grants Board, who ensure we have had the funds and premises to serve our clients over this last 50 years.
And we celebrate our clients – all those who stay here in this community, whether citizens or not. Sometimes people think they must be a “citizen” to use our service, but we welcome every single person - those who are born here, those who are not, residents and visitors. Coming to see us or contacting us is the first step to resolve a matter, and that takes a leap of faith telling that story to another person.
Our volunteers are diverse, skilled, experienced and empathetic to any story or situation that comes their way. They undertake an intensive training process that ensures they are ready for any issue and they provide options based on information that is constantly updated by a specialist team in our national office.
Our service is free, trustworthy and totally confidential to our clients. People can pop in and see us and there is no set time slot, no one hurrying anyone along.
Your issue is what is important and we will work with you however long it takes. By confidential, we mean, we do not ask you your name and nor do we pass on your name to any other party or agency. However, if you do want us to discuss your matter with a third party, we can do that. For example, if you have an issue with a power company bill or an immigration matter or Work and Income, we can with your express authority, talk about your specific issue.
We take the time to listen and aim to ensure that you get the information you need – whether it’s about your rights in a particular situation or to find a specific service, we will find a way forward. We can help people find a local dance group, or how to find someone they have a dispute with when they do not know their address.
We help people who have issues with their landlord or their neighbours or their employers. By the same token, we help people who have issues with their tenant or their employees. The latest residential tenancy legislation is an example where we have over the last month received many calls relating to notice periods, new rules around fixed tenancies and the prescribed reasons that landlords have to follow when giving notice to tenants.
We also have up-to-date information on your rights relating to the Covid-19 pandemic, whether it be business support from government, immigration matters, issues with travel providers and we have been assisting the Auckland Regional Public Health service with their clients’ non-health related needs if required by the Government to self-isolate.
A people-centred face to face service is valued more now than ever with both government and private sector agencies actively promoting online and telephone communication. You can of course also call us on the phone, or contact us via our website by using live chat or sending a message.
The work of CAB has contributed to positive social change for half a century in an ever-changing world. We look forward to serving our community in Grey Lynn Ponsonby for another 50 plus years.
Lesley Bradley, Manager of Citizens Advice Bureau, Auckland, Grey Lynn/Ponsonby Branch, 510 Richmond Road, Grey Lynn. T: 09 376 0392, www.cab.org.nz
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