Source: Save the Children
Source: Amnesty International Aotearoa New Zealand
Source: Porirua City Council
New Zealand is once again calling on the Government to overhaul an outdated system that determines what community programmes disabled adults have access to based on flawed assessments they were given as children.
A case note published this week from the Chief Ombudsman, Peter Boshier, highlighted a complaint by the parent of a disabled man whose high needs classification was made under the Ministry of Education’s Ongoing Resourcing Scheme (ORS) while he was at school in 1999.
The Ministry of Social Development uses the ORS assessment to determine funding for disabled people for community participation services from the time they leave school until age 65.
IHC’s 2022 Inclusive Education Survey found 99 percent of educational professionals and 100 percent of medical professionals are calling for a complete overhaul of ORS.
IHC Director of Advocacy Tania Thomas says while she appreciates that MSD has undertaken to resolve the individual case, the system needs a complete overhaul to support all disabled adults.
“We support the Chief Ombudsman’s statement that it’s unreasonable that there is nothing in place to reassess funding for community participation programmes for disabled people once they leave school,” says Tania. “Adults should be reassessed to make sure they have equitable access based on their current needs.”
“If you’re to take what a 14-year-old’s needs are and base that on what they have access to once they finish school – it just doesn’t make sense.
“ORS funding wasn’t broad enough in 1999 and it still isn’t today. We are bombarded at IHC with stories about disabled students in classrooms right now, who can’t get ORS and are underfunded and floundering. We also hear from families and schools at their wits' end trying to get disabled children into the classroom, learning and being included every day with very small amounts of money. When this fails, as it does frequently, families must give up paid work to home school their child.
“Research that came out earlier this year showed that neurodiverse children are more likely to be stood down or suspended than the general population. That disparity disappears when the child has ORS funding, so we know that better financial support for disabled and neurodiverse children is critical for their educational success.
“The ORS model is not fit-for-purpose in school, nor after school, and so we are asking for a more flexible system that actually takes into account what works for the individual.
“The new Ministry for Disabled People comes into being today. It needs to be a priority for them.”
About IHC New Zealand
IHC New Zealand advocates for the rights, inclusion and welfare of all people with intellectual disabilities and supports them to live satisfying lives in the community. IHC provides advocacy, volunteering, events, membership associations and fundraising. It is part of the IHC Group, which also includes IDEA Services, Choices NZ and Accessible Properties.
1 July 2022 – The Reserve Bank of New Zealand – Te Pūtea Matua has today welcomed commencement of its new foundational legislation the RBNZ Act 2021.
The new Act replaces previous legislation that was more than 30 years old, and ushers in a new statutory governance board responsible for all decision-making at Te Pūtea Matua (except decisions reserved for the Monetary Policy Committee).
The eight member governance board replaces the previous advisory board and is chaired by Professor Neil Quigley, who over the past nine months has also led the interim transition board overseeing preparations for the changes required under the Act.
Professor Quigley said he was pleased and proud to be leading a group of such highly experienced, diverse and talented directors, and that its strengthened governance arrangements would stand the Reserve Bank in good stead for the future.
“The next few years will be a critical period for the organisation. Expectations of central banks globally have never been higher, and New Zealanders are looking to us to deliver a strong and stable financial system and help steer the economy through what will undoubtedly continue to be challenging times ahead,” Professor Quigley said.
“The Act also formalises the role of Te Tai Ōhanga | The Treasury as our new monitoring agency and we welcome the additional oversight this will provide as we work to meet our agreed measures and targets.
The Reserve Bank Governor is a member of the new Board as well as RBNZ Chief Executive. Governor Adrian Orr said he wanted to thank and acknowledge the many people across the organisation and at the Treasury who have worked hard to implement all the changes required under the Act.
“Our strengthened legislative foundations are a significant step in our wider transformation efforts under which Te Pūtea Matua is evolving into a modern, agile, fit for purpose central bank for Aotearoa,” Mr Orr said.
“We have strong leadership and exceptionally capable people, and I have full confidence in our readiness to meet the increased levels of accountability and transparency required of us.
This includes releasing our new Statement of Financial Risk Management later this month and Statements of Prudential Policy, Intent and Performance Expectations in August. These key strategic documents set out how we approach our work, what we aim to achieve, and how we measure our performance.”
Source: Porirua City Council
“When will governments and trade negotiators realise they have more credibility if they tell the truth about free trade agreements (FTA) like the new deal with the European Union (EU), instead of their fancifully positive spin?”, asks Jane Kelsey, Professor Emeritus of law at the University of Auckland.
The business community has quickly debunked claims of a bonanza from market access to the European Union and highlighted the potentially huge impacts of geographic indications, which will flow onto the United Kingdom under the FTA with them.
But Dr Kelsey points out there is much more at stake here than just agriculture, with several chapters seeming to impose greater restrictions on New Zealand laws and how the government can regulate than the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).
“How far that’s the case we can’t tell without access to the text, which only the governments have.”
Dr Kelsey gives credit to the government for holding firm on its promise not to allow foreign investors to directly enforce the investment chapter, known as investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS). But this remains just policy and is vulnerable to change under a new government.
“Other things are not so good” she said. The intellectual property (IP) chapter was always crucial for the EU and it will not have wanted any precedents for deals with other countries by walking back its standard template.
“New Zealand seems to have held back likely demands that would have increased the cost of medicines to Pharmac, something suspended in the CPTPP version of the TPPA.”
“But it looks like the copyright term has been extended for 20 years, which was also suspended in the CPTPP, and has recently been extended in the UK agreement.”
While it is positive to have a definition of “manuka” as exclusive to New Zealand and culturally important to Māori, something the UK refused to do, it is in the unenforceable Māori trade chapter and does not override the intellectual property rules.
The Māori trade chapter appears to be modelled on the UK chapter, which is unenforceable, is only about “cooperation” and doesn’t require any commitment or resources on the part of the parties to do anything.
Dr Kelsey highlights another crucial area, so-called digital trade.
“At a time when governments are belatedly recognising the need to regulate Big Tech and data, the last thing we need is digital trade rules that tie their hands. That is also the area where the Crown was found to have breached its Tiriti obligations to Māori in the CPTPP.”
“Yet that is what the EU routinely demands, so long as personal privacy is protected. This is a chapter where the outcome document is especially vague.”
Dr Kelsey notes there are bound to be other areas of concern that are not so readily apparent.
She calls on the government to release the text as soon as possible, and ensure that its National Interest Analysis provides a genuine assessment of the pros and cons of the agreement, not another “party piece” like this outcomes document and previous FTAs.
The select committee also needs to ensure there is proper scrutiny, not the “derisory” ten minutes it has been providing for presenting submissions and responding to questions in recent FTAs.
Professor Emeritus Jane Kelsey
Faculty of Law
University of Auckland.