Remember the Citizen’s Advice Bureau
Next Time You’re In A Quandary

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This is a “shout out” to remember the existence of a fabulous, no-cost service available to any member of the New Zealand public seeking an authoritative pointer in the direction of the correct service, information, Government department, or put-it-right strategy.

I recently became aware of just how valuable this great force of volunteers can be, when I came across an elderly lady in my neighbourhood who had (in my opinion) been, to put it somewhat euphemistically, the victim of a lack of follow-through and concern on the part of certain parties benefiting from her recent purchase of a retirement unit.

Because I’m still – on her behalf – investigating this woeful set of circumstances, I won’t go into the detail of the case, but what I certainly will do is take this opportunity to comment on both the quality, and the personalised and ready nature, of the local Citizens’ Advice Bureau’s (CAB) assistance.

“Don” – one of the volunteer-advisers my town is lucky to have on board at our local CAB – was a wealth of both general information and, as it turned out, specialised real estate knowledge.

If I hadn’t thought of the local CAB as an initial port of call, I may well have paid for the same advice from a local law firm – which may, ironically, not have been as insightful, useful, free of self-interest, or patiently-delivered as that which I and the elderly home owner received from Don.

So that’s my shout out. And a well-deserved one it is. Oh, and PS:  If you don’t know a lot about the Citizen’s Advice Bureau movement, it has a fascinating history. Read about it here.

Disclaimers:  (1) This is an article about the New Zealand CAB movement. Other jurisdictions may or may not provide free service. (2) It’s a commentary based on my experience with one office of the CAB.

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