Welcome to

Te Ara Ture

a bridge to law

We connect volunteer lawyers with disadvantaged kiwis to make the justice system fairer and more accessible. Together, we improve people’s lives and strengthen our society.

How can we help?

The justice gap

We need your help to close the justice gap. Together we'll build a better Aotearoa New Zealand.

A system in crisis

  • Legal problems cause serious harm, including poverty, homelessness, social exclusion and family breakdown
  • Yet 50% of the population lack meaningful access to justice

Pro bono makes a big difference

We target pro bono in the right places:

  • serious issues
  • genuine need

This delivers great outcomes:

  • stronger families
  • stronger communities
  • fewer downstream costs for society

Pro bono is great for lawyers too

  • Pro bono improves job satisfaction, recruitment and retention
  • It develops skills and confidence of lawyers
  • It builds your reputation and connections (with clients, the profession, government and the community)

Examples of our work

At the coal face

Most legal problems happen to disadvantaged individuals.  Our main work links these people to volunteer lawyers for one-off bits of help. Examples of this work include:

  • A sole parent could not drive her sick child to hospital because she could not finish her court sentence.  The lawyers helped her change her sentence and get back on the road.
  • A survivor of serious family violence got a relationship property settlement with the help of her pro bono lawyer
  • A person with a serious disability got a share of her father's estate after being abandoned as a child
  • The sole carer for an elderly parent could keep giving support because they got a limited licence
  • A disability support organisation avoided a significant risk when it got help with an employment issue
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Public interest

We take public interest cases. These cases support a functioning democracy and economy.  Examples of this work include:

  • A legal team brought an urgent challenge against Immigration New Zealand. This saved lives by getting travel visas for 70 Afghan nationals with ties to New Zealand. It also had wide-ranging implications for the way all visas are processed.
  • A team comprised of a Queen's Counsel and a leading firm have challenged the lawfulness of employment terminations due to covid-mandates.  This is an important check on the proper exercise of power by government and employers.
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Building capability

We help build capability within legal assistance organisations. Examples of this work include:

Simpson Grierson provided detailed, written guidance to Community Law Centres in response to the covid traffic light system.  This happened within 3 days of the system being announced.  The information was also posted as FAQs on the Community Law website (which receives 1.5m hits a year).

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"Thank you so much for all your help. It is so wonderful to know that there are people out there who care enough to help people in our state."
"Thank you one last time for your support with finding a pro bono lawyer for me. I felt vindicated when the lawyer accepted my case. The final outcome I found surprisingly gratifying."
"I really appreciate the way community law centre and Te Ara Ture helped me. I cannot forget it in my life."

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