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Maaori Legal Services funding
23 September 1999
Latest update, from Nekeneke News 153 ...
MAORI LEGAL SERVICE TO BE FUNDED AGAIN
The Legal Services Board has lashed out at criticism over its decision to axe Maori Legal Service funding, but says full funding is now likely to be restored.
The board last month withdrew funding from the Wellington-based Maori Legal Service - Nga Kaiwhakamarama I Nga Ture. It then put the service into recess until concerns over its accounts were resolved.
Board executive director Dave Smith said the board this week agreed to backpay the service funding for August and had agreed to pay it $7300 on a month-by-month basis until a long-term funding application was drawn up.
The service had previously received $16,000 a month and the board hoped this sum would again be granted. Retrospective top-ups might also be possible.
An application for a $75,000 grant for the service was also being considered.
Mr Smith said the board had only been fulfilling its obligations under the Legal Services Act. The act said community centre funding was designed for individuals with no other source of income or access to legal help.
The board believed money granted may have been diverted to fight a few big Treaty of Waitangi cases which had access to legal aid. It might have also been used to help organisations, such as trust boards, which also had access to other funds, including legal aid.
Link to further information on the funding cuts.