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 practised 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 is Crown Counsel in Public Law at Crown Law. She conducts litigation and provides advice across a range of Public Law matters and specialises in natural resource issues including land law, biosecurity, heritage and conservation matters. Bernadette has a background in general practice, Māori land and Treaty of Waitangi litigation. She has served as a trustee of various trusts. She is a member of the selection committee for legal aid providers for the Māori Land Court and Waitangi Tribunal and a member of  Te Hunga Rōia Māori o Aotearoa (the Māori Law Society) and Te Pouhere Kōrero (the network of Māori historians).



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.


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

Andrew Jack

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.

Allan Hall, Gisborne


Allan Hall is a retired Gisborne Solicitor who specialised in Family Law and Māori Land Law, was Gisborne Coroner and a Gisborne District Councillor. He now provides pro bono support to Tairawhiti Community Law Centre, is Co-Chair of a local advisory committee for CCS Disability and is President of Gisborne U3A.

Jenny Hughey, Canterbury

Jenny is a qualified teacher and holds a BA and an LLB.  She has spent over 30 years working towards social justice. She has volunteered in community law for many years and was on the Board of Marlborough Community Law. She has worked in the unions, the human rights commission, in prison advocacy, local government and in community organisations. She has held a range of appointments including as an official visitor in prisons, a commonwealth inquiry commissioner, an investigator under Whistle Blower provisions and a University Halls of resident mediator in Australia. She has consulted widely on employment related matters.  She is currently the chair of Mediation Services, a free community mediation provider, and a Governance Board member on Community Law Canterbury. She is also studying towards an LLM at University of Auckland.

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

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