Auckland councillors need to keep funding the city’s Citizens Advice Bureaux which provide critical services to communities across the city, says the Public Service Association Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi.
The council will meet next week to consider the 2023/2024 draft budget, which is proposing funding cuts of up to $2m for the city’s 32 Citizen’s Advice Bureaux as part of plans to lower debt and reduce rates rises for the city.
"Now more than ever as communities face big challenges from the current flooding emergency as well as the cost-of-living crisis, Citizens Advice Bureaux are stepping up and providing valuable support to so many communities," said PSA National Secretary Kerry Davies.
The free service is supported by over 800 volunteers.
"Our message to Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown and all councillors is simple. In a time of crisis, don’t cut the very services that help people and contribute so much to community wellbeing."
Barbara Guy has worked for Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) Waitakere Te Pou Whakawhirinaki o Waitākere for over 25 years.
She is the Manager Kaiwhakahaere at CAB Massey, in the middle of the Auckland floods.
She says the proposed cuts to a vital community service supporting Aucklanders affected by floods and COVID is "a kick in the guts.
"West Aucklanders are coming to Citizen Advice Bureaux desperate because their houses are unliveable, they have nowhere to go, and their landlords are still demanding rent," she said. "How is it acceptable for Auckland Council to rip away a safety net for vulnerable Aucklanders who can’t otherwise get the support they need?"