19 Dec 2014

Community organisation defends cutbacks

6:45 am on 19 December 2014

A community organisation says it has been forced to make some hard decisions about what services it has got rid of.

Michelle Kidd

Michelle Kidd Photo: RNZ

It comes after Auckland lawyers rallied to keep a court social worker employed after her role at Lifewise was disestablished this month.

Michelle Kidd is a Whakatohea descendant and a majority of those she works with are tangata whenua.

Some lawyers were unhappy with news she may no longer be at the court, so decided to set up Te Rangimarie charitable trust to fund her role.

Tony Bouchier, a lawyer and the Criminal Bar Association's president, said her position was far too important to lose, and the trust had been given its seed funding.

In a written statement, Lifewise said it had limited resources and there were many needs in the community. It said that has led it to make some hard decisions around which services it can and cannot run.

Lifewise has offered support to the development of the Rangimarie Trust.