NFP - General Terms

NFP - General Terms

To make an application to Te Ara Ture you must accept the terms and conditions outlined below and in our Privacy Policy.

You should agree to these terms and conditions in writing by signing a copy of the Acknowledgements and Authorisations. You will be deemed to have accepted these terms and conditions if your referral agency sends us an application on your behalf (even if you do not sign the Acknowledgements and Authorisations).

Acknowledgements and Authorisations

By making an application to Te Ara Ture you acknowledge:

  1. Te Ara Ture will try to find you a volunteer lawyer who will do agreed hours of legal work for free.

  2. You might be charged for other costs connected to your legal matter. For example, you will need pay filing fees if your matter goes to Court or court ordered costs. You acknowledge the volunteer lawyer will tell you about any costs before they are incurred.

  3. Your lawyer/client relationship with the referring organisation will come to an end.

  4. There is no guarantee Te Ara Ture will accept your application or a volunteer lawyer will offer you help.

  5. The main terms of service as described in the Client-General Terms form have been explained to you and you have been advised to read them.

  6. The sharing of personal information you have authorised is different from the usual duty of strict confidence for lawyers and that this increases the risk you could be identified or your legal position harmed.

  7. You have been given a copy of or a link to the Te Ara Ture Client – General Terms prior to accepting them.


  1. You authorise the sharing of personal information on the terms outlined in the Client -General Terms and Privacy Policy.

  2. Instruct and authorise the referral agency to refer your matter to Te Ara Ture.

General Terms

  1. Information Sharing Disclosure Statement

    1. Te Ara Ture can only provide an effective service if it collects and shares personal information about its users. It needs to collect and share personal information for three reasons:

      1. to match cases with Pro Bono Providers;

      2. to plan its services; and

      3. to report to its funders and other stakeholders about its activities.

    2. The main people or agencies involved in collecting or sharing personal information for these purposes include but may not be limited to the following:

      1. You personally;

      2. Legal Assistance Organisations (for example, your community law centre);

      3. Te Ara Ture;

      4. Pro Bono Providers (i.e. lawyers of firms registered with Te Ara Ture); and

      5. Any other person or agency authorised by you.

    3. Te Ara Ture’s Privacy Policy and this Information Sharing Disclosure Statement explain how Te Ara Ture collects, uses, stores, shares, discloses and otherwise handles personal information in accordance with the New Zealand Information Privacy Principles which are contained in the Privacy Act 2020. The Privacy Policy should be read in conjunction with this Information Sharing Disclosure Statement. A copy of this Privacy Policy can be found here

    4. Applications, Matching and Referrals:

      1. Personal information about you must be shared so that Te Ara Ture can assess your eligibility, determine what assistance is required, and match your case with appropriate Pro Bono Providers. Te Ara Ture must share information with registered Pro Bono Providers so they can make informed choices about whether to offer you help.

      2. Te Ara Ture will collect your identity information (name, aliases, address, DOB, and contact details) and non-identity information (i.e. information about your matter and financial situation). This information will be collected from us or directly from you.

      3. In the event you are eligible for services, Te Ara Ture will then create an Opportunity (defined under Definitions) in the Portal. The Opportunity describes the area of law, the type of assistance required, and enough facts about your situation to describe the legal problem in a general way. The Opportunity will only disclose non-identity information. The Opportunity will be visible to any Pro Bono Provider whose profile matches your matter. While Te Ara Ture will take reasonable care to prevent people identifying you through this disclosure, the facts surrounding your case may be sufficient for a user of the Portal to identify you.

      4. Te Ara Ture will disclose your identity information only once it has received an Expression of Interest (defined under Definitions) from a Pro Bono Provider. The identify information will only be disclosed to the Pro Bono Provider making the Expression of Interest. The purpose of disclosing this information is to allow the Pro Bono Provider who has expressed an interest to conduct a conflicts of interest check. At this point, the Pro Bono Provider will be able to identify you.

      5. Te Ara Ture will only disclose detailed and substantive information about your matter once it has confirmed that the Pro Bono Provider has no conflict of interest. This information may be disclosed for the purposes of assessing whether to offer services or to facilitate the referral when the Pro Bono Provider has agreed to provide you with pro bono legal services. The Pro Bono Provider agrees to receive all substantive information above in strict confidence.

      6. Once the Pro Bono Provider has completed their onboarding processes you will enjoy all the privileges and protections that govern lawyer/client relationships with your new lawyer. The only exceptions are those outlined below in paragraphs 1.4.7 and 1.5.3 below.

      7. In some cases, the parties outlined in 1.2 above may need to discuss your matter to reframe the scope of service, make backward referrals (for example, a referral from a pro bono provider back to Te Ara Ture or a Legal Assistance Organisation), or improve the effectiveness of the services you are receiving. This will involve sharing information about how your matter is progressing, what progress has been made, and whether there are any unexpected delays, and if so, how those delays were resolved, and when a resolution is expected.

    5. Service Design and Reporting:

      1. To ensure services are effective and adequately resourced, Te Ara Ture needs to collect and use information for auditing, research, planning, and reporting purposes.

      2. Te Ara Ture will collect demographic information about you through its onboarding and referral processes.

      3. Te Ara Ture wants to collect information about the work the Pro Bono Providers did for you and the outcomes they achieved for you. Te Ara Ture will collect this information through regular reporting by the Pro Bono Provider about matters it has worked on. Reports will include the following information about your matter:

        1. who worked on your matter;

        2. the number of hours worked;

        3. the work product produced; and

        4. the outcomes achieved.

      4. Te Ara Ture will not disclose any of this information about you other than in a de-identified, aggregated manner. In the event Te Ara Ture wishes to report narrative information about your case that could be used to identify you, it will seek your express consent prior to doing so.

    6. Portal:

      1. Te Ara Ture makes referrals via a software program that manages the referrals of Opportunities to Pro Bono Providers.

      2. The Portal can be used by registered users to:

        1. Process applications

        2. Post and send Opportunities in the Portal;

        3. manage Expressions of Interest;

        4. manage workflows around the placement and management of Opportunities;

        5. communicate with Pro Bono Providers about Opportunities;

        6. transfer documents and information to Pro Bono Providers; and

        7. view and report on activity in the Portal.

      3. Information stored in the Portal may be stored off-shore on third party servers. The Privacy Act 2020 treats such third parties as Te Ara Ture’s agents. Information held on third party servers is deemed to be held by Te Ara Ture.

    7. Risks:

      1. The nature of our service means we must share information about you with other people or agencies, including Pro Bono Providers. This means the usual standards of confidentiality will not be present with regards to providers of legal services you interact with. It also means there is an increased risk of accidental disclosure, identification of you, or damage to your legal position.

      2. There is a difference between duties required of lawyers to protect confidential information and the practices outlined in this Information Sharing Disclosure Statement. A lawyer usually has a duty to protect and to hold in strict confidence all information concerning a client, the retainer, and the client’s business and affairs acquired in the course of the professional relationship. By authorising the collecting and use of personal information in the manner outlined above you are increasing the risk that your information will enter the public domain or your legal interests could be harmed in some way.

  2. Terms and Conditions of Referral

    1. Reason for Referral:

      1. Your referring agency cannot undertake legal work on your matter because we lack the capacity or the expertise. If you wish to pursue this matter further, it would be in your best interest to have the assistance of a private lawyer. It appears you cannot afford a private lawyer and, with regards legal aid, either you are ineligible or a legal aid lawyer could not be found to take your case.

      2. Te Ara Ture may be able to find a private lawyer willing to provide legal services for free or a substantially reduced feed. An initial eligibility assessment of your matter suggests that you may qualify for pro bono legal services through Te Ara Ture.

      3. You expressed your interest in applying to Te Ara Ture for a possible referral of your matter to a Pro Bono Provider.

      4. You instructed your referral agency to apply to Te Ara Ture on your behalf.

    2. Main Terms of Referral:

      1. The referral agency agreed to apply to Te Ara Ture on your behalf.

      2. By making the application the referral agency and Te Ara Ture do not guarantee it will be accepted or you will be offered help.

      3. Te Ara Ture retains the right to decline applications.

      4. Before deciding whether to accept an application, Te Ara Ture may contact you or us for further information. In the event the application is accepted, Te Ara Ture will present the Opportunity to registered Pro Bono Providers who match the area of law and opportunity type filters.

      5. By presenting an Opportunity, Te Ara Ture does not guarantee that you will be offered help from a Pro Bono Provider. Any offer of help is entirely at the discretion of Pro Bono Providers who receive the Opportunity, and will depend on matters such as capacity, time frames, and other policy preferences of the Pro Bono Provider. In the event an offer of help is made, Te Ara Ture will introduce you to the Pro Bono Provider.

      6. By instructing the referral agency to make this referral you are terminating your lawyer/client relationship with them.

      7. You acknowledge no lawyer/client relationship is formed between you and Te Ara Ture. Te Ara Ture is not a lawyer or law firm, and does not provide legal services.

      8. Any lawyer/client relationship formed between you and the Pro Bono Provider is only formed once all client on-boarding steps required by the Pro Bono Provider have been completed, including but not limited to the acceptance of their terms of engagement. This will only happen after you have been introduced to the Pro Bono Provider by Te Ara Ture.

      9. The scope of work agreed by the Pro Bono Provider may vary to the scope of work outlined in the application. The final scope of work will be agreed and documented in the pro bono provider’s terms of engagement presented to you.

      10. Te Ara Ture is intended as a service of last resort. Te Ara Ture will retain in its absolute discretion the right to decline an application. Without limiting that discretion, Te Ara Ture may decline a referral where the client has means to pay for a lawyer, is eligible for legal aid, is vexatious, is pursuing a matter on the basis of principle, or where in Te Ara Ture’s view, the matter is not a reasonable use of pro bono resources.

    3. Pro Bono Provider Costs:

      1. The hours of legal service provided by the Pro Bono Provider, within the scope of work, will be undertaken:

        1. for free (in the case of individuals); or

        2. at a reduced fee within the range of 0% to 50% of their standard hourly charges (in the case of bodies corporate, including charities, other not for profit or social enterprises).

      2. You may be responsible for certain other costs associated with your matter.

      3. The Pro Bono Provider accepts the placement on the basis that:

        1. you will not have to pay the first $200 of internal cost disbursements which include, but may not be limited to, postage, photocopying and printing); and

        2. you will have to pay external cost disbursements of the Pro Bono Provider of progressing your matter which include, but may not be limited to, court filing fees, expert witnesses, interpreters and travel expenses which the law firm could incur on your behalf.

        3. Any costs in addition to the above may be passed on to you by the Pro Bono Provider. These costs will be disclosed to you before they are incurred and/or covered in your terms of engagement with the Pro Bono Provider.

    4. Court Ordered Costs:

      1. In the event of a court proceeding, unsuccessful parties may be ordered to pay the opposing party’s legal costs which may amount to many thousands of dollars. If you are the unsuccessful party then you will be required to pay those costs. The Pro Bono Provider, Te Ara Ture and the Legal Assistance Organisation will not be liable for those costs.

      2. In the event of a court proceeding (or matters where a court proceeding is intended) you and the Pro Bono Provider may enter into a costs agreement that provides for the recovery of the Pro Bono Provider’s costs. The Pro Bono Provider may only recover costs from a third party, and only if the work performed for you results in an Entitlement to Costs.

      3. An “Entitlement to Costs” means any of the following during or at the end of the work performed by the Pro Bono Provider:

        1. either,

          1.  a court or tribunal judgment, award or order for costs in your favour; or

          2. an agreement that your costs or disbursements or both will be paid by the opposing party; and

        2. you are able to recover some or all of the Pro Bono Provider’s standard hourly costs and disbursements from the opposing party.

      4. To avoid doubt, the Pro Bono Provider cannot recover costs from you unless you have first recovered costs from the opposing party.

  3. Other Terms:

    1. These further terms shall apply:

      1. Te Ara Ture and Legal Assistance Organisations are not responsible for any deadlines associated with your matter. Te Ara Ture will act as quickly as it can, within reason, but it does not provide any guarantees about the time frame it can process applications, post Opportunities and complete referrals.

      2. The Pro Bono Provider is not responsible for any deadlines associated with your matter until its on-boarding processes have been completed.

      3. The Legal Assistance Organisation and Te Ara Ture are not responsible for any of the activities by and between you and the Pro Bono Provider who has accepted the matter. The Pro Bono Provider is solely responsible for providing pro bono legal services to you.

      4. Te Ara Ture and the Legal Assistance Organisation have no liability, in whole or in part whatsoever now or in the future, in their service of referrals from you to the Pro Bono Provider. In the event you institute a legal cause of action against Te Ara Ture and/or the Legal Assistance Organisation, you acknowledge and agree that you will indemnify Te Ara Ture and the Legal Assistance Organisation for any and all costs and expenses incurred in defending such action.

      5. These terms and conditions are subject to change at the sole discretion of Te Ara Ture and the Legal Assistance Organisation. The amended conditions enter into force on the date of their publication on the website.

  4. Definitions:

    1. In this document, unless the context requires otherwise:

      1. Expression of Interest means an expression of interest submitted by a Pro Bono Provider in relation to an Opportunity.

      2. Legal Assistance Organisation means a legal services organisation that refers matters to Te Ara Ture or posts matters directly on the Portal, including community law centres and other organisations that provide free legal services.

      3. Opportunity means a request for legal assistance posted on the Portal by a Legal Assistance Organisation. For clarity, this includes, without limitation, requests to provide legal assistance to a client by providing advice or representation, and non-client-based requests such as requests for assistance regarding law reform advocacy and legal resource review.

      4. Portal means the software programme operated by Te Ara Ture that manages the placement of pro bono Opportunities with Pro Bono Providers (and includes any subsequent releases, updates or patches to the Portal).

      5. Privacy Policy means Te Ara Ture’s privacy policy available at

      6. Pro Bono Provider means a person or organisation offering pro bono services that is a registered user of the Portal.

      7. Te Ara Ture means the legal matter referral service program operated under Community Law Centres o Aotearoa Incorporated through a contract with the Ministry of Justice. Te Ara Ture is not a separate legal entity to Community Law Centres o Aotearoa Incorporated.