A successful call for volunteers to boost a Covid-retrenched team has enabled the Citizens Advice Bureau Far North to resume its pre-pandemic hours.

The addition of 11 trainees had restored bureau worker numbers to 38, allowing the service to resume opening its doors from 9.30am to 3.30pm, from Monday next week, chair Gay Ansley said.

When the bureau restored face-to-face interviews in June more than 10 per cent of the pre-Covid contingent chose to retire or resign, and consequently it was forced to reduce its hours to 10am to 1.30pm.

In her annual report for the year ending June, Ansley paid tribute to the unity and diversity at the bureau's core, which led to "great teamwork."


"This year has been different from our normal, therefore we have had to be more resilient in the way we deliver our service to the public," she said.

Treasurer Jean Creighton reported that although the year had been "like no other," the bureau's financial position remained stable, however, adding her thanks to the Far North District Council, Lotteries Board and COGS for their generous support.

Meanwhile the volunteers had stepped up to the task of delivering the service remotely from their homes during the alert level 4 lockdown. The top four categories nationally during the lockdown were conditions of work, illness and disease, legal services and rental housing. The predominant enquiries dealt with over the last year were legal, family and personal, and community, family and personal rising to second ranking compared with fourth the year before.

The CAB Far North board for the new year is Gay Ansley (chairperson), Maree Collins (treasurer), Jean Creighton (minute secretary), Jan Barnett, Marianne Kelly, Sue Davy and Lynn Stevenson.

The free CAB Far North service is available at its office in the Proctor Library, 6 Cobham Road, Kerikeri, freephone 0800 367 222, email farnorth@cab.org.nz, or online at www.cab.org.nz All information is confidential and impartial.