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Democrats Back Campaign To Control Bureaucracy

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MEDIA RELEASE

Tuesday, 10 August '04

DEMOCRATS BACK CAMPAIGN TO CONTROL BUREAUCRACY

The Democrats' annual conference in Christchurch supported their Social Issues Researcher David Tranter's suggestion to take up the cause of many New Zealanders who, through no fault of their own, are suffering under the tidal wave of bureaucracy having an ever-increasing impact on our society.

Democrat Leader Stephnie de Ruyter said today while Democrats are best known for their Social Credit approach to innovative monetary policy, they enthusiastically endorse the work of New Zealand's approximately three-quarters of a million volunteers, including advocacy groups, who support the victims of all-too-often inflexible bureaucracies.

"These voluntary groups do a remarkable job on minimal resources compared to powerful, lavishly resourced agencies. We'll be supporting them every step of the way," she said.

Mr Tranter told of the great stress - and often denial of rightful entitlements - of people who had come to the voluntary West Coast advocacy centre he has worked with over the past six years. As New Zealand-wide advocacy groups know, people are often put through such tortuous processes by such organisations as Work and Income, ACC, DHBs and also private concerns such as health insurance companies. Even the legal system confuses many as to their rights and correct advice is not always forthcoming.

Mr Tranter cited examples of people being turned away at Work and Incomes front desks, incorrect interpretations of the ACC Act, breaches of patients' code of rights by DHBs, and the hugely stressful consequences of health insurers following long drawn-out processes, which appear designed to wear down already unwell people to the point where they give up their rightful claims.

"Contacts from a nationwide network of social campaigners have already begun sending in accounts of their own experiences with bureaucracy and these will be assembled into a paper to illustrate the highly distressing and completely unwarranted bureaucratic bullying which blights our society today" concluded Mr Tranter.

ENDS

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