Community Lore

Storytelling and the Law

Welcome to the Community Lore blog, an online magazine that shares stories about the law. But not just any story – your story. Whether it be poetry, short story or long-form essay, we welcome submissions from students, volunteers, lawyers, front-line advocates and aspiring writers everywhere. Send our editor an email:

Afterwork by Michaela Keeble

Posted on June 17, 2017

“As UNHCR refugees the Syrians were entitled to try and bring family members to New Zealand under the family reunification scheme. The workload Miriam shared with four other part-time staff was building.” Miriam got home from work, slipped her key into the lock and dropped her backpack on the floor before properly entering the small

The Flying Rats Part 3 By Michaela Keeble

Posted on June 15, 2017

We play netball every Wednesday. We have a name but no team uniform, unless you count saggy leggings and stained t-shirts as generally unifying elements. We are The Flying Rats, after the pigeons that smother our alley like we’re some kind of inverse Trafalgar Square. We play in the lower grades of Wellington’s lunchtime league. Our

The Flying Rats Part 2 By Michaela Keeble

Posted on June 15, 2017

The alley hangs between two city buildings. One of them is well-maintained and freshly painted, and its owner charges standard city rental to the law firms and accounting practices that rent out its fifteen floors. The other building is old and run down, its landlord – a slum lord – charging cheap rent to the

The Flying Rats Part 1 by Michaela Keeble

Posted on June 15, 2017

Jase sits on a hand-painted stool in the middle of the alley, smoking. Pigeons coo and mingle around him; he doesn’t kick them away. The stool is spectacular, the mottled rainbow creation of one of the artists who works in the community studio upstairs. Jase found it on the roof, toppled over and abandoned, and when

Spotlight on RILAS

Posted on May 16, 2016

Vulnerable migrants As highlighted by Seema’s story, we can provide some assistance to women who are experiencing family violence and whose visa status is dependent on their relationship with their partners. The visa options available to people in these situations depend on the immigration status of their partners: people who leave a violent relationship with

Tenancy conditions and how CLWHV can help

Posted on September 3, 2015

In recent news there have been calls for all rental properties to meet a set of minimum standards. This was highlighted because of a coroner’s finding that the poor condition of a state house had attributed to a toddler’s illness and subsequent death. Moe mai rā e te puawai purotu. In April this year, the

When horseplay becomes forced play

Posted on August 6, 2015

Stop bullying happening at work What has become known as “ponytail-gate” roused two general categories of opinion: the first group considered the incident as one of innocent banter, while the second group viewed it as an serious case of workplace harassment. It stimulated a high level of discussion over what ultimately constitutes workplace bullying or harassment,

Unsafe relationships

Posted on August 6, 2015

According to Are You OK, more than half of all reported violent crime in New Zealand is family violence. 75% of serious assaults, 45% of abductions, kidnappings, and threatening behaviour, and 33% of sexual assaults fall into the category of family violence. In 2013, police recorded 95,101 family violence investigations, and it is estimated that

Renting? It’s more than just a flat

Posted on August 6, 2015

Make sure your landlord respects your rights Recent deaths of state housing tenants have resulted in anger and uproar about poor conditions of rental housing in New Zealand. This has exacerbated the policy debate about how strictly New Zealand’s rental market should be regulated to ensure that houses are safe enough to inhabit has been

International Child Abduction

Posted on August 6, 2015

How the headlines happen Caring for children after a separation is complicated enough. Add international travel into the mix and things can get really messy, really quickly. At least 120 Kiwi children get caught up in international custody disputes each year. In many cases, the parent, who is often from overseas, does not initially intend to

Online schemers, scams and shams

Posted on August 3, 2015

Online scams currently cost New Zealanders upwards of $400m each year. The internet has allowed scammers from overseas to easily maintain anonymity and operate with impunity. NetSafe, an NGO that promotes safe use of online technologies, says that most people do not report falling victim to a scam. Even so it receives 20 to 30


Posted on May 18, 2015

Supporting low income workers who experience harassment and bullying Harassment experienced by low income workers has been in the news recently after the experience of Amanda Bailey became public in what has been dubbed ‘ponytail-gate’. Community Law Wellington and Hutt Valley (CLWHV) sees a wide variety of low income workers. They come to us to

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