CAB back in Botany

Columns
Monday, February 15, 2016

After a 12-month hiatus, a Citizens Advice Bureau has been re-installed at the Botany Town Centre.

Its new premises next to the Botany Crime Watch Patrol offices at the back of the Foodcourt were officially opened last Friday and it opened for business on Monday.

Botany MP, Jami-Lee Ross said the new office was in a prominent location with a lot of foot traffic.

“The people who draw support from the CAB are more than we realise. You are the unsung heroes. The people who draw on your support without paying a single cent would call you miracle workers.”

Mr Ross said despite people living in the south-east being more affluent and with high house prices, “we don’t realise there are people in the Howick Ward who need a lot of support. Even in an affluent suburb there are people in need of support. Let’s not forget that”.

After the opening he told the Times the CAB services were especially important in an area of high migrant numbers.

“We often have high numbers of people living in single households. Some may be benefit-dependent, trying to move up, and dealing with renting, buying houses and neighbourhood issues.

Howick Local Board chairman David Collings expressed the community’s appreciation to Botany Town Centre manager, Bronwyn Anchor and AMP Capital for their support and making the space available on a five-year lease for free.

The board provided funding for the purchase of office equipment.

“It’s important to stress the support you [the CAB] give to people in the community on immigration, legal and consumer matters,” he said.

“There may also be some synergy with Botany Crime Watch Patrol next door.”

Since the beginning of last year volunteers at the Pakuranga Citizens Advice Bureau have been providing assistance to Botany area clients.

Louise Boswell, manager of the Pakuranga CAB says since the closure of Botany, the Pakuranga bureau has been the nearest to service Botany, Flat Bush and Ormiston clients and the increasing population in those areas.

“Botany Town Centre was aware of this need through the phone calls and requests they also received,” she says.

“Knowing that we have a home for the next five years to cater for the local community needs is very satisfying to us. Providing another Botany JP service desk is catering to another increasing need in this area,” she says.

“We will also host an immigration clinic by appointment on Fridays fortnightly with an adviser to assist with immigration concerns and queries.

“New migrants need a lot of assistance to adjusting to life in New Zealand when they are settling in and the bureau can provide assistance with all manner of information and migrant workshops available in the area.”