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  • Rosemary McDonald,

    NO 6 COURT BEFORE THE HON. JUSTICE ELLIS
    10.00am
    CIV-2010-485-379 “X” & ORS v ATTORNEY GENERAL & ORS
    (T Ellis) (M Coleman, D La Hood)
    Multiple claims relating to the treatment of
    Patients in psychiatric care p.7

    Oh look! There's M Coleman....fearless Crown Lawyer who fought so long and hard against paying family carers...and lost.

    The one who said in the High Court in Auckland in October 2010, about family carers...."These people have a sense of entitlement."

    I'd love to hear the arguments she's got this time to defend the indefensible.

    Great post Hilary...and Himself and I are seriously considering popping on down at the end of next week (when we've sorted out some similar shit of our own) and showing some support.

    Coincidentally Hilary, I am slowly writing a statement trying to explain the effect the 'family carers policy' has had on me...as the partner of someone who has measured very high and complex care needs. There is one section that might fit here....

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1253 posts Report Reply

  • Moz,

    "These people have a sense of entitlement."

    As a lawyer she no doubt assumed the "based on law" part of her statement was implicit and obvious.

    I'm happy to hear that this is happening. Hopefully another win, and by the time that happens we have elected a government who accepts that the law applies to them too.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 951 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Moz,

    “These people have a sense of entitlement.”

    As a lawyer she no doubt assumed the “based on law” part of her statement was implicit and obvious.

    When she said that, it was in the context of discussing one of the parent plaintiffs.

    That plaintiff, at one stage been paid as the carer...and at an hourly rate much higher than the usual rate.

    But, instead of saying " This person has a sense of entitlement" ( which to some of us could be seen as a correct statement), she said " These people have a sense of entitlement.", making the statement about ALL the plaintiffs, which was certainly not true.

    I took the opportunity to remind her of that statement after the Appeal Court hearing in early 2012...and, by god, she remembered saying that...and of course gave the explanation given above...she was referring to that one particular plaintiff.

    I asked her why she said "These people...." and she just wafted off....

    These lawyers....they like to think they are so clever, with their carefully constructed little verbal grenades.

    Didn't work with the Judges though did it?

    And the Decision...actually did use the word 'entitled' in respect to funding for care.

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1253 posts Report Reply

  • Angela Hart, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    And the Decision…actually did use the word ‘entitled’ in respect to funding for care.

    but it wasn't followed up in law, quite the contrary

    Since Apr 2014 • 604 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    I asked her why she said "These people...." and she just wafted off.

    I'm ... not shocked to hear that, and in fact pretty much the contrary. I find myself periodically thinking "why is billions of dollars for bloody useless military toys so unquestionably necessary, when ensuring that people have basic necessities is optional?" and feeling quite grumpy.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 951 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Angela Hart,

    Yep...they moved very quickly to dilute entitlement, removed entitlement for some, and removed rights for all.

    Contrary alright.

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1253 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Moz,

    and feeling quite grumpy.

    Me too.

    I am telling my self that my nearly eight years of solid grumpiness at the Ministry of Health:Disability Support Services will end once I've put it all on paper.

    Like a purge.

    12 pages so far....

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1253 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    The legal system is just another part of the bureaucracy. It should be working for the good of us all.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3052 posts Report Reply

  • Nick Russell, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    You do realise that it is possible for reasonable people to disagree about what constitutes the good of us all, right?

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 89 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to Nick Russell,

    I mean it that it is part of the public service with all that entails. Shouldn't be working against the rights of citizens. This is a general comment about the legal system. It is not something above us all.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3052 posts Report Reply

  • Robert Harvey,

    I mean it that it is part of the public service with all that entails. Shouldn't be working against the rights of citizens. This is a general comment about the legal system. It is not something above us all.

    I may be wrong, but I think Hilary has made a very profound point here. Perhaps someone trained in the philosophy of law(?) could comment? The three-way separation of powers (police, judiciary, parliament) are all meant to be working for the common good, aren't they? Which fairly clearly makes them part of the "public service". Yet this aspect seems to be ignored in much of their operation, especially the contention-based activities of the legal system, in which advantage is sought absent of any reference to the public good.

    Westmere • Since Nov 2006 • 48 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    I mean it that it is part of the public service with all that entails. Shouldn't be working against the rights of citizens. This is a general comment about the legal system. It is not something above us all.

    Yes. And thank you for this, Hilary.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3881 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    It's not the legal system working against rights; it is the Ministry legal team who are arguing they have no obligations to behave with a basic degree of humanity. Quite sociopathic, really.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19264 posts Report Reply

  • Martin,

    Great post thanks Hilary. Its interesting that such an unfriendly sounding place/room is where life-giving and/or life-extinguishing decisions are made about us.

    I think Sacha makes a good point about the MoH's team of henchmen & henchwomen

    Palmerston North • Since Mar 2015 • 25 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald,

    I have heard of a couple of people threatened with trespass for merely trying to come into the building. One angry person went back the next day and sorted it out with the security guard, but a woman tearfully told me she has been permanently trespassed, she says, just for wanting to watch the proceedings.

    http://www.funniestmemes.com/wp-content/uploads/Funniest_Memes_i-m-so-angry-i-made-a-sign_3523.jpeg

    CARE NOT CONFINEMENT

    SAFETY NOT SECLUSION

    THERAPY NOT TORTURE

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1253 posts Report Reply

  • Angela Hart,

    Thanks Rosemary , those lines are my new e-mail sig for all correspondence with the Ministry of Health and its contracted organisations.

    Since Apr 2014 • 604 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    I'm not so sure that the legal team are such villains. After all they have chosen to work in the public system and forgo the big remuneration of the private sector. That programme about the law that used to be on TV7 and was hosted by Greg King had some interesting interviews with lawyers about their work and motivations and they were almost always honourable and concerned with ethics and justice.

    The trouble is that in the public system the ideas of public service and public good are currently unfashionable. It is about rationing, denying, limiting resources, and above all not upsetting the Minister or Cabinet.

    The new NZ Disability Strategy, which is currently being rewritten, quite blatantly has Cabinet as the main target for pleasing. Disabled people and families are 6th in the hierarchy. So the system itself is disabling and punitive Agents of the system have a tough time fighting that and keeping their jobs.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3052 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    currently unfashionable

    We all know this has been going on for longer than the current government. And Hannah Arendt would have something to say about people who choose to do evil things while serving a public organisation.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19264 posts Report Reply

  • Angela Hart, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    The new NZ Disability Strategy, which is currently being rewritten, quite blatantly has Cabinet as the main target for pleasing. Disabled people and families are 6th in the hierarchy. So the system itself is disabling and punitive Agents of the system have a tough time fighting that and keeping their jobs.

    You have put your finger on it, this does seem to be the situation. It means people disengage because they see how nearly impossible it is to get change for the better.

    We provided submissions for the draft disability strategy and went to one of the meetings. We see how the meeting feedback has been ignored in the draft and think what is the point of giving further credence to the process by submitting again on the draft. Consultation? It is NOT consultation, it’s a sham.

    Whatever integrity and honesty might once have been in the system is gone as people do what is required to keep their government (taxpayer) funded jobs.

    Ultimately there comes a point when so many are disenfranchised that a revolt occurs. Cynical me whispers that there is the reason for so much money now being allocated to the armed forces.

    Since Apr 2014 • 604 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald,

    I remember this case working its way through the Human Rights Review Tribunal way back when I worked for the HRC, with the Crown Law reps cock-blocking all the way. Mad bitchfacing action. And that was under Labour. I seem to recall (happy to stand corrected) that they threatened even then to just bypass the Tribunal result with legislation. So much for our democratic recall. Fuck this fucking bullshit.

    http://publicaddress.net/system/cafe/onpoint-what-andrew-geddis-said-but-shorter/?p=286380#post286380

    I remember reading this, after sitting through some of the Atkinson court sessions and reading the arguments put forward by these Public Servants, and after sending a rare cyber hug to Tze Ming Mok I got wondering at how these people could keep it up for so long.

    All those years before it got the the HRRT, the High Court and the Court of Appeal…the sustained attacks on New Zealanders living with disability and their chosen family carers.

    Such commitment to the task of undermining the value and safety of care provided by family.

    And throughout the early mediation through the HRC…the mad bitchfacing cock-blocking…reports of abuse, neglect and torture at the hands of Misery of Health Contracted Providers were largely dismissed and ignored. What finally got the Miserly’s attention was not the welfare of the vulnerable residents but ‘administrative irregularities’, and in the case of Parklands, it was the paperwork auditors that pushed the panic button on resident welfare.

    Oh the fucking irony that the self same lawyer who cast aspersions on family carers’ motives is now defending those who’ve neglected and abused…..

    I bet my boots that there is hard evidence that this shit happened to these poor sods..patient records and the like…so what is being argued here?

    That the abuse was somehow ok? Part of the treatment? SOP for those who react aggressively out of frustration?

    Or responsibility cannot be laid at the door of any one person or organisation?

    In my less angry, and more constructive moments, I really do think we need to have some sort of Truth and Reconcilation process.

    Signed....Revolting Me...

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1253 posts Report Reply

  • walrus, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    I bet my boots that there is hard evidence that this shit happened to these poor sods..patient records and the like…so what is being argued here?

    That the abuse was somehow ok? Part of the treatment? SOP for those who react aggressively out of frustration?

    Mainly the latter two, I think. I think it will be "they did their best, and that's all anyone can ask for". This is something we tell children and something which is generally regarded to be true. It is NOT true. Beyond doing your best, there is recognising that your best is not good enough and making way for or seeking help from someone who can do better. But they will say that neither the workers nor the institutions knew any better way. They might even claim that no better way exists. But I expect we will be asked to accept their very deep, painful regrets and understand that they shouldn't be punished when they were really trying SO hard to look after these sick, broken people...

    Auckland • Since Jan 2015 • 13 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    I agree with this post. The authorities don't know how to deal with this increase in scrutiny.
    http://thespinoff.co.nz/featured/12-08-2016/exclusive-leaked-draft-report-calls-2016s-landmark-mental-health-journalism-biased-and-inaccurate/

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3052 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    Oh my goodness....journalism is alive and still kicking...

    From the leaked draft report from DAHMS intended for MAHS...

    There has (apparently) been “a growing level of inaccurate and biased media coverage of issues” and a lack of effective “counter discourse” to the coverage due to lack of funding and pressures within the Ministry of Health.

    DHB leaders are worried about interest groups who repeatedly call for inspections and inquiries and allegedly run “personalised social media campaigns targeting individual clinicians, service leaders and staff”.

    Now the last time I heard such twaddle was ...hmmm...oh, that's right, after that pesky Kirsty Johnston back in May 2013.

    The New Zealand Disability Support Network's CEO Claire Teague responded with..

    May has been an extraordinary month for disability providers in the media.
    I understand that residential providers had received letters advising them of a wide-ranging request under the Official Information Act in October 2012 for any identified issues with service providers.
    The results of some of these releases and follow-up requests regarding complaints or incidents are currently being played out in the media. We’ve responded to the media when our views have been sought.
    There seems to be an on-going play-out of issues that started in April 2013.
    The history of concerns and final closure of Parklands was the first significant media coverage of a residential provider that clearly had poor and on-going performance issues, and unacceptable practices.
    NZDSN had actually met with MoH officials in September 2012 to discuss our concerns about the time it took for decisive action to be taken to close a seriously underperforming provider.

    No mention of Te Roopu Taurima (a member of NZDSN, unlike Parklands...but in July...

    It is a very busy time with a number of really important pieces of work happening in the sector. The recent media revisiting of a number of incidents that have occurred over the last four or five years seems to have abated.
    I’m concerned at the apparent lack of balance and natural justice of some media coverage, while others have really done a lot of preparation to present different viewpoints, such as the Radio New Zealand Insight programme.
    We’ve had a meeting with MoH officials to discuss what we can collaboratively do to restore a perceived lack of confidence in providers. We will also be meeting with the external review panel in August...

    Now the Natrad programm she refers to (I think) is this...

    ...and oh how they try and dilute the seriousness of the complaints...aided and abetted by an 'disability advocate', who laid the blame on 'resourcing'...

    "They were not surrounded with the supports they needed. They weren't given the right process and as a result they got left to flounder. And flounder they did - until they got audited and it got sorted out."

    (Well, not quite, despite a shit ton of 'extra resources'...the July 2015 audit still found, despite sackings and training and changes in management...."there is still an abusive tendency evident...".)

    Claire Teague, again, in November 2013....

    The disability sector seems to have been featuring quite a lot in the media this month with a feature and story collating complaints dating back over the past five years.
    Though the majority of these were not substantiated and others that have been well and truly aired over the last year, it still is not a good look for the sector.
    We look forward to the report from the external review of the Ministry of Health, Disability Support Service’s performance and quality management processes for purchased provider services, and hope that through this process we will have some positive initiatives to create a path forward to restore any reduction of public confidence in service provision.

    Sterling work...you (mostly female) journalists!

    You know you're doing your job when you get reactions like this.

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1253 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Just been reading a book that is very relevant to this case. Former Mental Health Commissioner Mary O'Hagan's 2015 autobiography Madness Made Me, covers much fascinating information about her life in the mental health system and the rise of the psychiatric consumer movement. She was also influential in writing Article 14 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities about the importance of liberty and security.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3052 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Spotted this useful paper at the Autism NZ conference this weekend. It is by someone who knows a great deal about autism and behaviour issues. I'm not attending the conference but I'm sure Angela will give an enlightening presentation to those who are.

    http://www.autismnz.org.nz/conference-2016/programme/evidence-based-practice-for-severe-behaviour-in-individuals-with-autism.-what-we-are-doing-and-what-should-we-be-doing

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3052 posts Report Reply

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