Citizen’s Advice Bureaus (CABs) began in England just before the Second World War to help people cope with the trauma and confusion caused by the conflict. Initially they were places that people could go to for help tracing missing relatives in bombed areas or learning about new wartime regulations.

By peacetime, CABs had become an integral community service, evolving into a trusted resource for all sorts of information and guidance. They have always offered a free service and been staffed by loyal, trained volunteers.

New Zealand’s first CAB opened in Ponsonby in 1970, and there are now more than 80 all around the country. CAB Browns Bay is in the Community Centre on Glen Road.

Maurice Hanvey started volunteering there just over a year ago and in that time the queries he has handled have included concerns about multiple speeding tickets, clarification of the definition of “pet ownership”, information To arrange an appointment please call Sharon Rabone on 0800 278 432 or 021 618 913 or email Luxury apartments featuring contemporary design and outdoor living ready to move into right now! These brand new homes offer all the mod cons, indoor garaging, lift, heated indoor pool, spa entertaining areas, gym and more. 3-7 Woodlands Cres, Browns Bay, Auckland. about how a new migrant should open a bank account, and numerous “neighbourly” issues.

“No, I don’t have an encyclopaedic brain,” smiles Maurice, “but we do have an excellent database on our website that we can refer to. If the query can’t be answered that way, then we’ll broaden our search online, and of course each of our volunteers tends to have their own particular field of expertise and knowledge.” Indeed, before he retired, Maurice himself was a chartered accountant as well as owning/ operating a couple of successful businesses.

Unusually for a non-profit organisation, CAB Browns Bay is not currently seeking volunteers. “We actually have a waiting list, which is a nice position to be in!” says Maurice. “We’re always busy too, but we would love to help even more people. So please drop in or give us a call.”

Do you have a problem or concern? Would you like some impartial advice from a friendly team?

Browns Bay CAB is open Monday to Friday, 9.00 am until 4.30 pm. There is a Justice of the Peace on site for a couple of hours every day.

For more information: W: Ph: 479 2222 E:

(First published and permission to post by ShoreLines Magazine)