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Time to transform care and support for persons with disabilities

trainer with woman in wheelchair
Photo: SPIRIT Club

Urgent reform is essential to ensure persons with disabilities have equal access to the care and support they need, the Green Party says in response to a new report that challenges politicians to fix the current system. 

“Aotearoa New Zealand should be a place where persons with disabilities can get the care and support they need regardless of the cause of their disability. For decades, people in Government have continued a system that causes harm and is inequitable – and this report challenges us all to fix it,” says the Green Party’s spokesperson for disability, Jan Logie.

The report released today by Warren Forster with the support of the Law Foundation sets out what an equitable system could look like for injured and persons with disabilities.

“The Green Party welcomes the report and recognises the harm it describes. Politicians have known for decades that persons with disabilities have to deal with an unfair, unjust and illogical system when trying to access appropriate social and income support, rehabilitation, and healthcare. It needs to change.

“The Greens have already committed to reforming the support provided by ACC and our income support and health systems, as well as making sure disabled people’s rights can be enforced. We call on all other parties to review this report and bring their own policies up to date.

“Our current fragmented and incomplete system is forcing thousands of families up and down the country to fill the gaps left by the Government. We owe it to disabled people to create a system that guarantees fair, comprehensive support for anyone who needs it.

“The new Ministry for Disabled People should use the report’s recommendations as the basis for a conversation with the disability community about designing a new system that revolves around the needs of disabled people, regardless of where they are from, or how they became disabled.

“The Ministry also needs to act on the recommendation to introduce an accessibility framework that goes far beyond the Government’s Accessibility for New Zealander’s Bill, which was introduced last week. The key difference is that this new accessibility framework would have enforcement and dispute resolution mechanisms.”

“It’s time to fix ACC, it’s time to fix the system so our people can thrive.” says Jan Logie.

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