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Care Providers Win Judicial Review against DHBs

8 December 2007

Aged Care Providers Win Judicial Review against DHBs

The High Court in Wellington has agreed with providers of quality aged care
in New Zealand that District Health Boards are acting unlawfully by
inserting collective agreement clauses into service agreements.

Justice McGechan yesterday ruled in favour of aged care providers who took
judicial review proceedings against DHBs for inserting collective agreement
and passing-on clauses in service agreements.

The chief executive of HealthCare Providers NZ, Martin Taylor, said today
that DHBs had been working secretly with unions to orchestrate a rise in the
number of collective agreements. The judgment declared that DHBs acted
unlawfully in deciding to include clauses A4 and A5 in aged care providers'
service contracts.

"A major part of this case was about how and when a Minister can direct
government agencies to do things they don't agree with. The High Court
agrees with HealthCare Providers that the Minister overstepped his
boundaries and acted improperly", Mr Taylor said.

This case was not about whether care providers were passing on funding
targeted for caregivers and cleaners, as unions claimed during the hearings.

The case was about playing fair and meeting consultation obligations. The
court believed DHBs did neither of these two things, he said.

The full judgment can be found at under
'important papers'


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