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Ngā Waihua O Paerangi Appalled At The Perjorative Attack On Carers Supporting Disabled Persons

Ngā Waihua o Paerangi is appalled at the perjorative attack from the Minister for Disability Issues on carers supporting disabled persons.

More than a million New Zealanders care for whānau who are vulnerable in light of health conditions, injury, disability and illness. There are 1.1m disabled persons in Aotearoa.

“For the Minister to publically state that carers had been taking advantage of funding to use public money "for massages, overseas travel, pedicures, haircuts" for themselves is both irresponsible and undermines the vital work that whānau members give, day in, day out, to support tangata whaikaha to live their best life” said Helen Leahy, Pou Ārahi (chief executive) for Ngā Waihua o Paerangi.

“In a rural community like Ruapehu, where respite care is extremely limited, the social return on investment of carers in our community is substantial. Through our Forget-me-Not initiative which supports whānau members who face health or social challenges, we appreciate the unstinting sacrifice and dedication of carers who do so much to support their loved ones”.

“These carers, and the disabled whānau members they support, deserve our respect and our recognition for the fundamental role they play in our homes and communities”.

“We also hear, via the media, that there will be new limits on what disabled persons could purchase with their funding including restrictions on equipment such as wheelchairs and home modifications”.

“We see our Tamariki Takiwātanga, our children with autism, communicating on i-pads that we understand are being questioned under the new purchasing rules on equipment and support services”.

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“News headlines and social media chatter add to the anxiety for tangata whaikaha and whānau carers. We are concerned about the immediate impacts such a negative framing will cause for the mental health of our whānau”.

“The waiting time to get accessibility services in this area is usually a drawn-out process just to get access into their homes. We are concerned that the new purchasing limits will mean tangata whaikaha will lose their ability and freedom to leave their homes - out of sight, out of mind”.

“Our whānau have told us, if it isn't already hard enough to access financial support, they create more loop holes. Ka aroha ki a tātou ngā whānau me ngā tāngata whaikaha katoa”.

© Scoop Media

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