We may be in the information age where answers seem to be just a quick Google search away, but that isn’t stopping people across the Western Bay turning to Citizens Advice Bureau Tauranga (CABT) for information and support.
And there’s a good reason why. While the internet is a powerful tool, there’s nothing quite like a friendly face, an understanding ear, and some personalised guidance when dealing with a daunting problem.
No Question Too Big or Small
Citizens Advice Bureau Tauranga has been providing free advice, guidance and support to our community for over 40 years. A hub of information about anything and everything you could possibly imagine, their service ensures people have the knowledge and confidence to find their way forward – whoever they are, whatever their problem.
Whether it’s information on opening a bank account, clarification on a term in a contract, or advice on dealing with disputes, no question is too big or too small.
With 53 volunteers responding to over 13,000 requests for information each year, via phone call, email and in person, there’s never a quiet day at the bureau. And for those who want to quickly find their answer online, the Citizens Advice Bureau website is another valuable tool with over 300 different subjects covering issues such as housing, immigration, travel, taxes, employment rights and consumer rights.
Advice for Anyone and Everyone
Bureau Manager Kim Saunders says the team at CAB Tauranga is all about empowering people to solve issues with the information and resources available to them.
“Often people will sort it out in their own way, they just need someone to listen who’s not going to judge them, who’s not involved in any shape or form.”
“It’s really special to see the impact it can have on someone’s day, sometimes even on their life, getting that helping hand. We all have issues we have to deal with in life, it’s important for people to know they’re not on their own. And we are here for anyone and everyone—you don’t have to be a citizen to use our advice bureau.
Supporting Our Community
TECT funding was sought to update the slow, outdated computers used daily by volunteers responding to calls and emails. With new computers installed, volunteers now have easy access to information on the Citizens Advice Bureau national database; ensuring daunting problems can be quickly turned into manageable, solvable situations for those in need in our community.
Kim says CAB Tauranga are grateful for TECT’s support with the ever-growing demand and increasingly complex calls.
“We can’t thank TECT enough for helping us to assist people as quickly as possible when they are often at their most vulnerable. More and more people are calling in from all over the Western Bay, so we are also hoping to expand in the future. Currently we have a main office in Tauranga city and satellite office running two mornings a week in Papamoa.”