Why punish the parents of the disabled?



Parents who have adult children with disabilities saw a glimmer of hope when the promise for payment for caring for their children was given. But like most things, the complicated and relentless bureaucracy of the whole process shows a completely different reality.

The reason behind them making it so difficult for these parents escapes me, and for once I’m actually surprised. According to the Ministry of Health only 121 parents are eligible for this payment and I can completely guarantee that there are more than that number of parents who require that payment in New Zealand but are not offered any such thing.

It’s not about handing out some kind of ‘sympathy payment’. It’s about understanding the practical realities of parents who are the primary caregivers of children who need extra assistance. This reality is that for a lot of these parents they can only have certain jobs that offer flexibility for them to work around their children’s timetables. This leads to employment discrimination as well as the inability to accept jobs that may offer a higher or more substantial wage for them to support their children as well as themselves and their families. This is why it’s only fair that parents are offered some kind of compensation in order to ease whichever situation they may be in.

However, this is an argument that has already been had. The issue is the way they are implementing it. The person with a disability has to apply for the payment, which makes sense on the surface. But if you dig a little deeper you’ll find that if they have an intellectual disability, banks don’t allow you to open an account. So where exactly is the money supposed to go? What now? What is the issue with allowing the parents to receive a payment rather than making the person with a disability the employer of their own parents?

This is only one example of many regarding how little thought went into the implementation of the scheme. So many people across the country were relying and depending on it to adequately support themselves while they are in a vulnerable position when it comes to having a substantial income. To make the process of applying for the payment so complex is to take advantage of the desperation of one of our country’s most vulnerable groups of people, which is the disabled community and their families


  1. Yes, it is depressing and also making me angry, to see yet again, how the government (acting for “the Crown” as they call themselves) betrays the people all the times.

    Of course the bureaucracy and other hurdles are intentional, hence the low uptake of the government’s offer. The same happened with the leaky home situation, where they made great announcements how the affected were going to be helped, but the small print makes it so hard for most to jump through endless hoops, few bother in the end, or can manage to see their way through the application process.

    I know how many were shafted also by ACC, are getting shafted daily by WINZ, and by various other departments, agencies or corporations of this state, that are supposed to look after them.

    This country must be committing endless breaches of the UN declaration on the rights of disabled persons, now, perhaps it is time for some class action court case?

    But since the parents that fought for getting assistance to look after their disabled children already fought nine or so years, to only get this slap in the face, I suspect that any legal action will be drawn out as long as possible, so that some that may take it may die before a final determination is ever made.

    Shame on this rotten government, shame on this state, full of lies, deceit and manipulations. Tony Ryall is one of the main responsible persons, how can he sleep at night?

Comments are closed.