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Local authorities
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Help with rights and the law

Advertising Standards Complaints Board

Investigates complaints over advertisements being dishonest or offensive.
Tel: 04 472 7852

Age Concern

Promotes the quality of life and well-being of older people, and advocates positive healthy ageing for people of all ages.
Tel: +64-04-471 2709

Banking Ombudsman

Helps resolve disputes between banks and customers. If conciliation proves unsuccessful, can make binding awards of compensation.
Tel: 04 471 0006
Freephone: 0800 805 950


Works within the community to provide a range of care, education and support services for children and their families.
National Office
Tel: 04 385 7560

Broadcasting Standards Authority (BSA)

Sets standards for radio and television broadcasting in areas such as levels of violence, good taste and decency, sexism and racism, privacy and maintaining fairness, balance and accuracy.
Tel: 04 382 9508
Infoline: 0800 366 996

Budget Advice Services

Advice on how to budget and manage your money better. Your local Budget Advice Service is in the white pages of your phone book.

Citizens Advice Bureau

See advertisement below.

Combined Beneficiaries Union

Supports beneficiaries and keeps them informed of rights and entitlements to benefits.
Tel: 09 376 4760

Commerce Commission

Protects consumers' rights. May take action against misleading offers, false labelling, unsafe products, and fraudulent marketing schemes.
Tel: 04 924 3600 0800 943 600

Commissioner for Children

Speaks up for the rights and interests of children when they are forgotten by others.
Tel: 04 471 1410

Community Law Centres

Can help you get legal advice and information.
Mangere Community Law Centre
Box 43-201, Mangere, Auckland
Tel: 09 275 4310
Grey Lynn Neighbourhood Law Office
Box 78-045, Grey Lynn
Tel: 09 378 6085
Youth Law Project
Box 7657, Wellesley St, Auckland
Tel: 09 309 6967
Maungarongo Ki Otara
Box 61-112, Otara
Tel: 09 477 0855

Rotorua District CLC
Box 879, Rotorua
Tel: 07 348 8060
Wairarapa Law Centre
Box 271, Masterton
Tel: 06 377 4134
Hamilton District CLC
Box 1319, Hamilton Tel: 07 839 0770
Wanganui Iwi CLC
Box 611, Wanganui
Tel: 06 349 0007
Te Amo Kura O Heretaunga
Box 5081, Flaxmere
Tel: 06 879 7625
Huakina Development Trust
Box 319, Pukekohe
Tel: 09 238 0250
Whitireia Law Centre
Level 3, Pember House, Hagley St, Porirua
Tel: 04 237 6811
Wellington South CLC
Box 24-005, Wellington
Tel: 04 499 2928
Nga Ture Kaitiaki Ki Waikato
Community Law Centre
P O Box 22728, Otahuhu, Auckland
Tel: 09 276 2934
Marlborough CLC
Box 584, Blenheim
Tel: 03 577 9919
Christchurch CLC
Box 2912, Christchurch
Tel: 03 366 6870
Dunedin Community Law Centre
52 Filleul St, Dunedin
Tel: 03 474 1922 Fax: 03 474 9521
Ngai Tahu Māori Law Centre
Box 633, Dunedin
Tel: 03 477 0855
Southland CLC
Box 552, Invercargill
Tel: 03 214 3180

Consumer Affairs

Advises on breaches of rights relating to warranties, hire purchase agreements, etc. See phone book for offices in Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch.
Head office: Tel: 04 474 2750

Duty Solicitor

Can advise on whether you need a lawyer, if you are charged with a criminal offence, and help you to apply for legal aid if you cannot afford a lawyer. Ask to see the Duty Solicitor when you arrive at court.

Family Court

To dissolve your marriage, go to your local Family Court office. They will give you the papers. It is very simple and you do not need a lawyer. The Family Court can also help you if you are served with Family Court papers and do not have a lawyer.

Health and Disability Commissioner

Takes enquiries and complaints about health and disability services. Provides a national free advocacy service.
Tel: 0800 112 233

Human Rights Commission

Protects individuals and groups from abuses of human rights. Also educates on human rights issues and promotes peoples' respect for those rights.
Tel: 0800 4 YOUR RIGHTS
0800 496 877

Immigration Appeals Authorities

One authority deals with refusals to allow residency and another with orders to leave the country.
Check your phone book for local numbers, under the Department of Labour.
Head Office:
Tel: 04 914 4299


Insurance & Savings Ombudsman

An independent service for resolving insurance and savings disputes, which is free to consumers. Tel: 0800 888 202. Website:

New Zealand Law Society

The professional association for lawyers. Contact your local Law Society: they can tell you the names of lawyers in your area, or can help if you are dissatisfied with your lawyer and want to complain, and they will help you.
Tel: 04 472 7837

The Ombudsmen

Can investigate when central or local government agencies choose not to release information.
Tel: 0800 802 602 or:
Tel: 09 379 6102
Tel: 04 473 9533
Tel: 03 366 8556

Police Complaints Authority

Investigates complaints that police officers have acted improperly in some incident. If officers have abused their powers, they can face disciplinary action.
Tel: 04 499 2050 or 0800 503 728

Privacy Commissioner

Issues codes of practice on privacy issues, educates regarding privacy law and investigates alleged breaches of privacy.
Tel: 0800 803 090

Securities Commission

Promotes private capital investment in New Zealand by improving the efficiency and fairness of securities markets.
Tel: 04 472 9830

Tenancy Services

Advises on problems with renting a dwelling. Can advise you of your rights and responsibilities, and help solve disputes.
Tel: 0800 TENANCY 0800 83 62 62
+64 4 237 1050 from overseas

Tenancy Tribunal

Part of the Courts system; deal with disputes less than $3,000. Disputants represent themselves, no lawyers are involved, and rulings are binding.
Look in the phone book under Courts

Waitangi Tribunal

Examines claims of breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi. When appropriate, recommends to the government what action should be taken to provide redress.
Tel: 04 913 3000

Women’s Refuges

Provide shelter, advice and assistance to women and children affected by domestic violence; run a 24-hour crisis phone service.
Look in your local Telecom phone book under “W”
National Office: Tel: 04 802 5078

Citizens Advice Bureaux

Citizens Advice Bureaux – Ng Pokap Whakahoki Ptai mai i te Iwi Whnui – provide free, confidential and impartial information, advice, advocacy and support to individuals, and use our experience with clients to advocate for socially just policies and services in New Zealand.

The national network of 87 Citizens Advice Bureaux aim to empower individuals to deal with their own problems and to strengthen communities by identifying and raising local and national issues. The person to person information, advice, advocacy and support service provided by 2750 bureaux volunteers is unique in New Zealand, as is our ability to provide a national snapshot of community issues and concerns.

Trained CAB volunteers can help people with information on almost any issue including consumer rights, work and unemployment, budgeting, finance and tax, health and counselling, housing and tenancy and much more.

Many bureaux also provide free legal services, a link to free budgeting services and services in a variety of languages.

To contact your local CAB:

  • call toll-free on 0800 FOR CAB (0800 367 222) to be connected with your nearest bureau
  • check in the white pages under ‘C’ for the address of your local bureau

Log onto for general information and bureau contact details, including email addresses.











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