My admiration for you and the other six families is tremendous. Not that anything will make much difference other than finally sticking it up the bastards. Hope you have the victory campaign worked out - there's a very good investigative journo and film crew at Newsroom. To my mind this 'epic' ought to be committed to a documentary as the injustices deliberately and calculatingly committed by the Crown should be on record for all to see. These officials still have the attitude of colonisers.
Thanks Rosemary. Great article. "successfully applied for a Suspension Order under s 92O (2) (d) of the Human Rights Act." Applied to Minister? Can you tell us more about why Ruth Dyson's attempts failed?
Thank you for this update Rosemary. I can't believe how long these cases drag on for. It is also such a waste of resources. There has to be a better way.
Thanks Katherine...do you really think that there will be (hopefully sympathetic) interest out there in telly land for yet another one of these cases? Peter and I don't watch telly at all...so we're out of touch with that media. Any suggestions gratefully received...some of the other plaintiffs are dead keen on going to the mainstream media but caution is being advised as it could come back and bite in the bum.
Having said that...some of us have been kept circling the airport since 2008, and if the others have been quizzed by the OHRP as thoroughly as Peter and I have been at various times over the years then our accounts should hold up to scrutiny.
The enemy is always keen to find discrepancies and dirt to dish...anything to spin the narrative their way.
Peter and I honestly believe there will one day be a Public Inquiry into this and other disability issues...especially where the Misery of Health has had involvement.
Over the next few months I intend (as internet access allows) to share for discussion a few of the more significant aspects that will be thrown into the ring for debate.
Applied to Minister?
No…the Human Rights Review Tribunal shortly after the Atkinson decision was released in January 2010. The Miserly claimed it needed the decision suspended until a year after the appeals process had been through in order to get the disability support system organised to cope with removing the discriminatory policy.
Hmmm…someone, and god knows why no one didn’t, should have reminded the Miserly and the Tribunal that at least 272 resident family members were being paid to provide disability supports…so they really didn’t need a new system. What would have needed looking into was the NASC assessment and allocation system with its emphasis on ‘natural supports’ and only funding ‘unmet’ needs. Yet again….many, many disabled people living with family had already an allocation of ‘hours’…all they needed to do was to allow them now to pay whoever they damn well chose.
If you have time Kevin…read that HRRT decision for Atkinson….still the very best description of the situation (and arguably, chaos) of home based care for disabled people with very high support needs under the Ministry of Health.
Such a pity that the Tribunal didn’t follow up on that good work and kick the Suspension Order into touch where it belonged.
Oh, and Aunty Ruth Dyson?
Oh dear....should have, could have...so why the hell didn't she?
We did ask her just that...a few months before the 2013 amendment to the Public Health and Disability Act. "It was only a policy, not the law,"she said, although to be fair, that was after we told her that the policy was being so routinely circumvented that we felt silly having refused to do a 'backdoor deal' ourselves.
I have this little fantasy...Annette King and Ruth Dyson locked in a room until they tell the truth about why the hell Labour didn't sort this shit when they had the opportunity.
It is also such a waste of resources. There has to be a better way.
There was a stab at facilitation/mediation a couple of weeks ago....the discussion inside the room is supposed to be confidential so I'll refrain from blabbing. Suffice to say, both parties were encouraged to find a mid point, a meeting of minds, 'because it could take a while to get to court, and there's no guarantee of success.'
Peter's cheery departing comment to the room was ..."Oh well, see you all in two years!"
Hilary...the expense of all of this, the cost to the taxpayer for both sides of the issue, really causes me deep anger.
On the other hand....and have no doubt about it...Peter and I and the other plaintiffs all see this as an opportunity to expose, yet again, the total balls up the Ministry of Health has made of supporting disabled New Zealanders. All of us have had nightmarish engagements with the system...they're supposed to be supporting us not making our lives more difficult.
And speaking of the total balls up that is the Ministry of Health....did y'all catch these interviews on Natrad the other day?
I strongly believe there is a great deal of public interest in this kind of 'epic' in terms of years of injustice. The adage: 'justice delayed is justice denied' is to my mind abhorrent, and I suspect would be for most. Society is so focused these days on the eradication of bullying - our institutions ought to be a step above the rest - not the worst example of it. Bullying by the state - that's the way I'd frame it. Reminds me of some of the CHCH EQ issues, only you've been up against it longer, if I understand the timeline right.
I agree with you and Peter that some day there will be a formal Public Inquiry into this and wider disability issues - but many of these are set up arising from this type of specific case exposure.
Thank you, Rosemary and Peter. It will be better some day because of your commitment.
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.
Vile policy has consequences, you’d hope – with an election coming up.
That was Wairarapa MP Alastair Scott, standing in for Nicky “out on the harbour” Wagner.
(N.B. Scott may have become the National rep at short notice — because bad weather prevented many of the scheduled reps from getting to Wellington — rather than just because Wagner had better things to do.)
It was a weird meeting because none of the speakers were the party spokespeople and two of them, Greg O'Connor (Labour) and Teall (Greens). aren't even MPs so had not been at any caucus discussions about the topic. So they had to find the last minute policy answers from papers they had been given that afternoon when both their party spokespeople were stuck at airports. They both did pretty well considering. Greg has an adult son with high needs and he has had a lot of experience with services for those with high and complex needs. Interestingly none of the party spokespeople talked much about rights which is strange as it was organised by DPA, a rights-based disabled people's organisation.
Nicky Wagner had told the organisers a while ago that she had a previous engagement and couldn't be there but I'm not quite sure why the MP for Wairarapa came long. The closest Nat MP to Wellington? He had sat on the select committee which had recently looked at accessible transport so maybe that was his expertise.
Ria Bond from NZ First was the best prepared. She has been taking over from Barbara Stewart who is retiring so had been learning about disability issues. Tracy Martin had just the day before put out their inclusive education policy. Ria Bond is a rare bright light in the NZ First party
There is another DPA meeting next month in Christchurch and I hope that they send along their actual spokespeople this time.
Thanks Hilary, I'll be going to that meeting.