Community Law Centres o Aotearoa

Every Community Law Centre in New Zealand is a member of our national body, Community Law Centres o Aotearoa (CLCA). CLCA aims to:

  • Represent the interests of Community Law Centres
  • Provide information, networking, advocacy, communication, support and liaison services
  • Assist coordination between Community Law Centres
  • Facilitate and support centres to maintain high quality services
  • Seek resources
  • Represent centres as a collective to negotiate funding arrangements with the government
  • Affirm and adhere to the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi / the Treaty of Waitangi.

Māori Representation

Recognising the Treaty principle of partnership, and because Community Law wants to provide the best service possible for Māori, we have recently changed some of the ways we work.

In 2015, CLCA constituted a new Board structure. Out of 7 board members, 3 dedicated Māori representatives are elected (1 from each of the following categories):

  • Community Law Centre governance
  • Community Law Centre management
  • independent.

The Board itself then elects 2 co-chairs, one of whom must come from the 3 Māori elected positions stated above.

Ngā Kaiāwhina Māori Hapori o te Ture (NKHMT), the Māori Caucus made up of Community Law Centre Māori staff and Governance representatives, plays a pivotal role in nominating Māori candidates for all the above positions. It also meets annually at its own Hui prior to the National Community Law Annual Hui.

Kaitakawaenga/National Māori Coordinator

A new national employed position has been created for a Kaitakawaenga/National Māori Coordinator, whose role is to ensure Community Law works more closely and more effectively with Māori communities, including through iwi and other Māori and community organisations.


Our board members

Cameron Madgwick (Co-chair) – Wellington


Cameron has previously practiced in utility companies, a large national law firm, and in several jurisdictions, and now works as the CEO of an industry association. He has volunteered at Community Law Wellington & Hutt Valley for over 20 years and is currently its chairperson. Before his election to CLCA he led the re-negotiation of the funding contract for Community Law. In addition to work with Community Law Centres, Cameron chairs the Laura Fergusson Trust, a provider of residential and day-based services to people with disabilities to enable them to pursue a supported and independent lifestyle. Cameron is also the Chair of an industry training organization. Cameron brings considerable commercial, strategic and governance experience to the role.


Bernadette Arapere (Co-chair) – Wellington


Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngāti Maniapoto. Bernadette was admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand in 2005. She works as Crown Counsel in Public Law at Crown Law. She has provided advice to a wide range of clients in the areas of civil litigation, property, trusts, Māori land, relationship property and Treaty of Waitangi litigation and settlement negotiations. She has appeared in the High Court, District Court, Māori Appellate Court, Māori Land Court, Waitangi Tribunal and in Arbitration. Bernadette is a trustee Te Manawanui Trust and was formerly the deputy chairperson of Raukawa ki te Tonga Trust (mandated iwi organisation for Ngāti Raukawa fisheries). She is a member of Te Hunga Rōia Māori o Aotearoa (the Māori Law Society) and Te Pouhere Kōrero (the network of Māori historians).


John Worden – Hawke’s Bay


John has extensive management experience with the RNZAF, his last position being Deputy Chief of Air Force. Following that he was a member of the management team at the Legal Services Agency, with responsibility for funding Community Law and contracting with legal aid lawyers. He also has project management experience, having completed three significant organisational change projects. John is chairperson of Hawke’s Bay Community Law Centre and of DOVE Hawke’s Bay, a family violence services provider.


Robyn Rauna – Gisborne


Robyn has a law degree, a post graduate diploma in management studies and an MBA from the University of Waikato. She operates her own consultancy business and is involved in a range of iwi activities, including being a negotiator for the settlement of the historical Treaty claims of Te Aitanga a Māhaki. Robyn is on the Tairāwhiti District Health Board and a trustee for Eastern & Central Community Trust. She managed the Tairāwhiti Community Law Centre for three years and prior to that chaired its governance board for eight years. She was Housing New Zealand’s Rural Housing Manager for the East Coast/Eastern Bay of Plenty region and is currently working with Te Puni Kōkiri. Robyn brings to CLCA an extensive knowledge of the law centre movement and of the machinery of government.


Caryl O’Connor – Otago


Caryl is a qualified lawyer and manages Community Law Otago. She has extensive governance experience including with the Dunedin College of Education Childcare Management Committee, the Dunedin Parents Centre, and the YWCA of Aotearoa New Zealand – Auckland, and advises many Otago community groups on establishment and governance issues. She has a strong grounding and education in tino rangitiratanga and kāwanatanga concepts and application in relation to the articles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.


Paula Bold-Wilson – Auckland


Paula manages Waitematā Community Law Centre – Te korowai ture o Waitematā, and has a Bachelor of Social Practice, majoring in Community Development. She has been involved in many community initiatives, including working with socially-excluded young people, a campaign against Synthetic Cannabis (Legal Highs) and Safer Communities groups. She has held many governance positions including Community Waitakere, Henderson Budget Services, Family Action, New Windsor School and TIASA; and also held many Māori advisory positions including co-convenor for NKHMT, the Mayoral Task Force on Family Violence – Te Tātai Atawhai, UNITEC’s Māori Early Childhood Centre and other educational groups.


Jason Pou, Rotorua

Jason is on the board of the Rotorua District Community Law Centre, and is a trustee on a number of charitable trusts. In his legal practice he regularly advises small to medium sized businesses, iwi trust boards, rūnanga and not for profit organisations.


Andrew Jack, Wellington


Dr Andrew Jack is the Chief Censor at the Office of Film and Literature Classification. His previous roles included Chief Legal Adviser in Police and leading a national team of lawyers, prosecutors, and other technical specialists in the NZ Customs Service. He holds a PhD in Law, a Master’s degree in Arts and a Master’s degree in Public Policy. He is very supportive of the work of Community Law and has been a volunteer for Community Law Wellington & Hutt Valley.

Contact Community Law Centres o Aotearoa

Elizabeth Tennet


Chief Executive Officer
Community Law Centres o Aotearoa
Level 8, 203 Willis Street, Wellington
PO Box 24005, Wellington 6142
Aotearoa New Zealand

Julia Amua Whaipooti

Julia Whaipooti

Ngāti Porou
Kaitakawaenga | CLCA National Māori Co-ordinator
Community Law Centres o Aotearoa
Level 8, 203 Willis Street, Wellington
PO Box 24005, Wellington 6142
Aotearoa New Zealand

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