She was impressive – and showed a degree of grace that perhaps some of the party’s activists could take a lesson from.
Interesting that the Ministry says that it estimated the number of disabled New Zealanders who might potentially be Ministry funded service users in 2008 using the 2006 NZ disability census data, that is, based on the portion identifying as severely disabled with a long term impairment. They conveniently forgot about allowing for the proportion of this group covered under ACC, probably a significant proportion.
And they ignored the obvious method of determining who might potentially be funded under the Ministry if family carers were paid, which is the number of (non disabled) people receiving MSD caregiver's allowance, which has now been rolled into SLP. This number would have been accurate, except for the 272 (or more) families receiving "non-compliant" payments.
It seems every statement the Ministry makes must be carefully scrutinised, the public can no longer be confident of the integrity or accuracy of the information the Ministry provides to the Courts.
This kind of misinformation supplied by an individual should result in perjury or contempt proceedings, but a Government Ministry can do it with impunity, and expect the deception to go unchallenged, because we expect Government services to model integrity and honesty.
Your letter from Jill also implies that a significant number of severely disabled non ACC New Zealanders had not had NASC assessments that showed they were eligible for funded support services in 2008. That is a terrible inditement of the Ministry's system, from its own high ranking spokesperson, is it not?
Thanks Hilary, I'll be going to that meeting.
There was a session in Wellington to get the policy of political parties on physical accessibility of buildings among other things. National's representative astounded the group by saying that "love has consequences" when he was asked about the existing situation where a disabled person can lose their entire income if he or she moves in with a partner. This is a person/party so out of touch as to be inhuman.
Every effort is made to keep people in the community setting where possible. That's the default position.
yes and no, I'm afraid. If you happen to be a high needs disabled person there is in fact considerable pressure on you and your family to accept residential care of one type or another rather than be supported in your own home. This is first hand experience speaking, as well as the experiences of my high needs friends.
It's easy to believe all the nice words, as in the Disability Strategy, but the practice doesn't bear them out, unfortunately.
However I realise you are talking about the narrower field of mental health which might just possibly be an exception.
The issue is risk not resources.
It's much more complicated than that.
Although various funding agencies are contributing to Ashley's care to the tune of about a million, these funds can only be used in specific predetermined ways.
If it were the case that a key decision maker with oversight of Ashley's care was able to allocate up to a million in the most appropriate ways to obtain best care for Ashley and best safety practices for staff, that could and, I think, would be done. But this million is not like that, it is an estimated part of the cost of running the establishment which is imprisoning Ashley, plus the costs of medication and other aspects of his care, none of which approach meeting his needs. What it does is manage the safety and expectations of those charged with his care at the cost of his mental health and physical health and his human rights.
So it is an issue of resources because standard funding arrangements and bureaucratic systems ignore exceptional cases like Ashley and cannot easily be modified to meet the need. If you have unusual needs the health, disability and social welfare system we have developed does not cater for you. And you don't have to be as exceptional as Ashley to be in the too hard basket either. Ashley represents the tip of an iceberg.
can never get an opportunity to actually talk to the MP privately.
which I once thought was a right of citizenship, so that your local MP can actually represent you and possibly help with intractable problems you are experiencing
The difficulty of seeing your MP is probably true. I'm in West Auckland and when I made an appointment to see my MP, Paula Bennett at that time, the person I actually saw was her employee. I never spoke with her direct. The effectiveness of face to face interaction and potential to increase her visceral understanding was lost.
To be fair, I was subsequently invited to a morning tea event with Paula, but had to decline because of my daughter's health and disability needs.
The campaign Hilary was part of, to improve conditions for Ashley, appears to have succeeded, fingers crossed. We need a planned campaign that we can actually implement with our combined but still meagre resources.