Should family/whanau be paid caregivers for other family/whanau who have a disability, instead of
paying someone else to provide caregiver services? What provisions are there for individualised
support to families/whanau who care for family members with a disability?
This issue has come into focus with the Human Rights Review Tribunal case, Ministry of Health
versus Atkinson and others. This case was brought on behalf of parents of disabled adult children
and two of those adult children themselves. They sought a declaration (a legal judgment) from the
Tribunal that the Ministry of Health‟s policy not to fund the employment of family/whanau was
discriminatory on the grounds of family status and was a breach of the Human Rights Act.
The Ministry of Health, in their defence, relied on the government‟s position which is ”that families
are the fundamental social unit in our society and the government does not want to disrupt that
role by employing parents to care for their family members.”
The Ministry also argued that the support provided by family members was the natural support that
families and whanau could reasonably be expected to provide.
The Human Rights Review Tribunal rejected the policy position as it related to adult family
members. The Tribunal found the parents have been discriminated against by the Ministry of
Health because “they are not allowed to be paid for the services they provide to their child (or
children) while anyone else providing the very same care to their child (or children) is able to be
The Chief Human Rights Commissioner Rosslyn Noonan called on the Government to begin carer
The Crown has since launched an appeal on behalf of the Ministry of Health against the Tribunal‟s
decision. So now it‟s very much watch this space as we see what impact the appeal has – we will
keep you updated as things develop.
Some good places to find further information is on CCS Disability Action‟s National website –
www.ccsdisabilityaction.org.nz or on the Human Rights Commission website – www.hrc.co.nz. No
doubt there will be a lot more media coverage about this as well.
Policy and Information Researcher,
CCS Disability Action
My new job, and what’s so good about it...
Catherine McCracken used to work at McDonalds but lost her job when the branch she worked at
closed down. When Robyn Bonham, Community Support Coordinator for CCS Disability Action
met with Catherine to discuss Catherine‟s options and find out what it was she wanted to do.
Catherine mentioned that she had enjoyed working at McDonalds and wanted a similar job to that.
So together they worked towards getting a job for Catherine at Takapuna Westfied. She has now
been working there for nearly five months. We spoke to Catherine and this is what she had to say
about her job:
“I work at the Foodcourt at Takapuna Westfield on Wednesdays. My mum takes me to work and
at the end of my shift I catch the bus home by myself. I like to sit in the front seat of the bus
because it‟s the best place and I can pretend to be the driver. I had a buddy travelling with me for
the first few weeks until everyone, including me, was happy that I would get home safely.
I really like working at the mall – friends can come and see me when I am working, and I am
making new friends at work too. The security guy often walks me to the bus stop when I have
My job involves clearing the tables, taking the dirty dishes and trays to the central station and
wiping down tables and chairs. I have a uniform with a badge that I have to wear on the right hand
side of my apron.
I am saving my money for a holiday I am going on with my mother and sister this Christmas. We
are going to Las Vegas and will be spending New Years Eve at Disneyland.”
Working at Sands Road
by Karina Cooper
Three summers ago I decided to throw in the towel at the uniform shop where I was working. I
wanted a job that offered more excitement. A job where no two days were the same and a job that
I found challenging yet extremely rewarding. Working at the CCS Disability Action Children‟s
Respite, Sands Road, offered all of this and a whole lot more.
I remember my first day at Sands Road. My nerves were sending the butterflies in my stomach
haywire but at the same time I was extremely excited to meet all these new faces. Each day the
children studied my face, had to get use to my presence and were fascinated by this new person
who‟d waltzed into their home away from home. Each day I studied the children‟s faces, had to get
used to each child‟s routine and strategies and I was utterly fascinated by them. It was no surprise
that after the first week of work I became hooked on my job.
I was 18 then and now I am 21 and still love working at Sands Road. I am a full time student at the
Waikato Institute of Technology but every holiday I return to Sands Road. Every time I come back
the growth in the children absolutely astounds me. Not only are many of them turning into young
men and women but the growth in their personalities and behaviour is mind-blowing. Many of them
have extended their speech and are talking non-stop where they used to rely on pictures or
specific items to communicate. Others have become incredibly independent. They are making
their own breakfast, un-packing and packing their own bags, helping us prepare dinner and all
sorts! It is so rewarding to see the development in each child but I have to admit the most
rewarding aspect of the job is when I return to Sands Rd after studying for four months and the
children and I pick up exactly where we left off.
Two golds and a bronze at the National Games
My daughter, Rebecca, is 19 and has always loved riding horses. She has VCFS (velo-cardio-
facial syndrome) and works as a volunteer every Monday for the North Shore Riding for the
Disabled (RDA). While there, she was spotted as a good candidate to join the Special Olympics in
During the last 12 months Rebecca has attended various ribbon days and has been awarded
ribbons, trophies and medals at these events.
Rebecca attended the Special Olympics Regional games in Clevedon. It was a really cold wet day
but all the athletes did really well. Rebecca won a gold medal in Dressage and a bronze medal in
Equitation (how you control the horse and your posture while riding the horse).
Rebecca has just completed the National Games in Palmerston North, which was a wonderful
experience for all of us.
The first day was hard as Rebecca had to try out a couple of horses to see which one suited her
ability. She finally settled on a lovely horse called Cola, and won a bronze in Equitation on the
The following day was much better as Rebecca was now familiar with her horse and went on to
win a gold medal in both the Working Trail – which involves completing an obstacle course – and
Dressage. For both events we had to wait over an hour for the results to come in – but we were
jumping for joy when we realised Rebecca had won the gold in both of them!
The award ceremony was amazing, I was so proud to see Rebecca up on the podium receiving
her medals. Rebecca said she felt numb while she was up there and that it really didn‟t hit her how
well she had done until the next day when she had a chance to look at her medals.
Being part of the National Games could lead to the Special Olympic Games which are being held
in Athens, Greece in 2010… Now we just have to wait to see who will be picked to compete!
We are so proud of Rebecca and what she has achieved. It has been a real confidence boost for
her and shown her how you can achieve something if you really try and work hard at it.
(Written by Rebecca‟s proud mum, Leanne Wootten)
Our beautiful raised garden
by Gwen Kay
Kahurangi and I have been blessed with a beautiful raised garden. Preparations have been
heaven. Our raised garden was built in early January, as a result of a successful application to the
Jubiliee Trust. It has been a magnificent adventure, from finding the different kinds of vegetables
and herbs, to knowing if we were doing the right planting at the right time. We watched many
gardening shows and in the end came up with the planting ideas that best suited our needs.
There has been a lot of prayers and nurturing, being the first time I ever had a real garden. We
have had silverbeet for dinner and we have three baby tomatoes already. It is very fulfilling to
wake every morning and go to bed every night knowing that we don‟t have to go to the local
vegetable shop to buy vegetables daily, they are at hand when you need them - fresh everyday.
I know that there are many advantages to having a raised garden, but what stands out for me are
the health benefits. With chronic back pain I have found that it‟s not so much stress and my
daughter and I have a great deal of quality time at the garden. It‟s a marvellous pleasure to have a
raised garden, we have endless laughter and lots of fun making choices now. Thank you so
much to everyone that made it possible, our lives have changed forever. Noho ra mai
If you would be interested in having a raised garden bed in your garden, talk to your Community
Support Coordinator, or Scott Thiemann on 09 625 9811.
CCS DISABILITY ACTION NEWS
Remembering two leaders in the disability community
by Sue Sherrard
It is with sadness that we acknowledge the recent deaths of two leaders within the disability
community. Todd Fernie died in December 2009 and Michelle Belesarius (nee West) in January
2010. Michelle was also known to many as Shelley. We pass on our condolences to their families
These two people were active in the disability community in the way they lived their lives. Todd
worked with disabled students in his role at AUT and for the wider disabled community through his
years of involvement in DPA. He actively supported young disabled people and always saw
potential and promise in them. Michelle‟s actions were to make her life the focus of documentaries
and therefore educating the general public around the lives of disabled people. She was
outspoken about her right to lead a life in the community and about her right to choose to be a
mother. Both provided the disabled community with examples of strong, intelligent, determined
CCS Disability Action has moved
Following a review and consolidation of our services and resources we have significantly reduced
the number of staff working at the Albany office and this office is now closed to the general public.
The move enables us to make full use of our fantastic facilities at Royal Oak, which include fully
accessible training rooms (available for hire) and an organic community garden.
The move strengthens some of our teams and our work and focuses us on delivering services.
What does this mean for you?
Basically all the services that are provided in the community on the North Shore continue as
before. The only significant difference is that there will be no processing of mobility parking
permits at Albany. If you live on the North Shore and you want to get your mobility parking permit
right away (instead of mailing in your application form) you will no longer receive mobility parking
services at Albany. To receive your permit on the spot, you will need to come and see us at Royal
Total Mobility (TM) assessments are still being completed at the Albany office, however these are
on an appointment only basis, once a month.
Our CCS Disability Action offices in Whangarei and at Karaka operate as before and are open for
mobility parking permit processing. Please phone your nearest CCS Disability Action office if you
have any questions and need support.
Working intensely with disabled children and their families
In October we started a new project working with eight children and young people with disabilities
and their families who require intensive wrap-around supports. These children and families were
identified by Taikura Trust, and were potentially heading towards crisis point due to the lack of
supports available to them.
Initially we met with each child their and family giving them the opportunity to tell their life story and
say what they felt their child or young person and family needed. Discussions around what was
and was not working for them were had and individual responses were developed around the
child‟s or young person‟s specific dreams and aspirations and the needs of the family.
As everyone is different and has different dreams and needs, the support for each child/young
person and their family will be different.
For all children/young people and their families we work in a holistic way that ensures the whole
family are involved in the project to maintain healthy, strong and united families.
Although we are still in the initial stages there have been a lot of positive developments for
Some of the support we have provided so far includes:
intensive communication programmes to enable better communication between children
and their families
building relationships between children of similar ages so they can enjoy each others
respite and buddy support
shared care family support
accessing community programmes
attending parenting programmes
sourcing accessible transport options.
It‟s work in progress and we will continue to work alongside these children and their families to
create opportunities to achieve their dreams and aspirations.
Royal Oak Market - Sunday 21 February
The next Royal Oak Market will feature over 40 stallholders selling a variety of artisan foods and
products – french pastries, olive oil, cheese, honey, smoked fish, and fresh fruit and veges. Plus
local artists, jewellery, ceramics, kids clothing, gift ideas and much more!
Come for a quick visit, or stay for the day and enjoy some delicious food or coffee in the garden
with live music playing throughout the day. Enjoy the chance to engage with local volunteer
projects and hear talks on sustainable living and gardening practices.
Our first market was held in November and fortunately the wet weather didn‟t seem a huge
deterrent as over 1200 people came on the day, making it a successful event for everyone
For us, it was an opportunity to open our community gardens to the public and demonstrate our
commitment to building inclusive communities. What was so great about the market was
introducing new people to what we are doing as an organisation – we have gone through lots of
changes in our almost 75 year history and like the organisation the garden has moved on from
being a segregated place for disabled people, to a place where everyone can feel included. It is
important to us to show this to the community.
The focus of the market is all about community – we want to create an atmosphere where people
come together with their friends and family, have a chat and find out about what‟s happening,
while at the same time being able to purchase some great products from local producers.
With great stallholders, community projects and talks on sustainable living practices, there is
something for everyone, and many people are looking forward to our February market.
For more information about the Royal Oak Market or if you are interested in having a stall please
contact Susan on 09 625 9378 or visit www.northern.ccsdisabilityaction.org.nz
The Royal Oak Market is on Sunday 21 February, 10am – 2pm at 14 Erson Avenue, Royal
The Royal Oak Market is a seasonal market and will be on the third Sunday in May, August
and November this year.
Disabled Women’s Group
by Sue Sherrard
In a previous Billboard article I described my experience attending the 2009 Canadian Disability
Studies conference. One of the papers I attended described research being done on the impact on
disabled women caring for older parents, relatives or friends. The researchers had found that
disabled women are more likely to be supporting older people than non-disabled women, men and
disabled men. The results are yet to be published but it seemed like very interesting research and
I wondered if the experience of New Zealand disabled women was the same.
So in August 2009 I invited a group of disabled women to come to a meeting with the very broad
outcome of meeting each other and discussing any issues that we might have. We spent the first
meeting introducing ourselves and worked collaboratively to compile a general list of “issues” in
our lives. Interestingly, no one raised the issue of caring for an elderly person but certainly issues
around personal caregivers, our own safety and being de-valued were discussed. The outcome of
that first meeting was an agreement to keep meeting, discussing issues and finding solutions
together. We have continued to meet monthly and will meet again in February.
We also decided that in our meetings we will invite input from relevant community groups who
provide information and stimulate discussion within the group. So far we have had Family
Violence Prevention Team, NZ Relay and a consultant from ICON Security Group Ltd presenting
CCS Disability Action has a commitment to working alongside disabled women in ways that are
empowering and promote change within the community. Another outcome from these meetings is
that CCS Disability Action is informed about the issues that disabled women experience. We then
aim to work collaboratively on solutions. An example of this is that Linda Blair, our fundraiser, is
currently working to find funding for some personal safety, self defence type training for disabled
women. My role has been to find suitable trainers.
In 2010 we will continue the work around building personal safety and confidence of disabled
women. We have also been approached by a University to consider whether we might be a
suitable reference group for research related to women.
From my perspective I enjoy meeting with other disabled women to share our experiences and
learn from each other. We are an open group and disabled women are welcome to come along
and find out if they would gain something and have something to offer the Disabled Women‟s
If you are interested in learning more, please contact Sue Sherrard on 09 625 3310 or email
firstname.lastname@example.org. The next meeting for the group is being held at
10am on Friday 26 February at 14 Erson Avenue, Royal Oak.
Te Ao Hurihuri – the contemporary world
Maori Community Development
The continued development of Maori communities and how we partner with Tangata Whenua
continues to be an integral part of our work.
Utilising Maori connections and engaging kaumatua, kuia, Maori organisations, disabled Maori and
whanau have been important steps in building an understanding of where CCS Disability Action
can have partnerships that are meaningful and authentic.
In 2010 Niho Tupu (our internal Maori Advisory team) will continue working in collaboration with
TuMai (an external group of young Maori disabled people) and our Disability Advisors Team to
grow relationships and get the best results for Maori communities.
We highlight below some of our achievements from last year:
Two Hui held at Te Puna O te Matauranga Marae in Whangarei. The first hui “Whanau
First” was focused on mana wahine and guests speakers Dairne Kirton and Ruth Jones
spoke about the concept of „whanau ora‟ and what it means for them. 40 people attended
the Hui. Some of the comments made were: “Despite the disability, the women have done
so much in their life and it was an inspiration to be what you want to be regardless, and this
has opened my eyes”. Whanau Ora means “helping the whanau to be strong and helping
ourselves first to be strong for them” and “as a wahine, having the choice to korero for our
whanau”. The second hui was attended by Gary Williams who shared insights about his
journey and the struggles he faced. It was an inspirational and challenging mihi and one of
the attendees acknowledged Gary and said that this was an “Opportunity for Maori to get
together as Maori, and not because you have a particular disability”.
Successfully held a Noho Marae at MIT facilitated by Tipene Wilson for staff focusing on Te
Tiriti o Waitangi and how we can build this into our everyday work practices. Teams are
now putting together action plans that are reviewed regularly.
Working with a local Auckland Marae on what it would take to make it accessible.
During this year we will continue to work on strengthening relationships with local communities by:
Working in partnership with disabled Maori leaders to bring people and organisations
together in their communities to talk about issues that are important to Maori.
Building networks in Maori communities so that whanau know the work CCS Disability
Action does and vice versa ensuring that disabled Maori access information and services
they are entitled to.
Raising awareness in Maori communities about the importance of accessible marae.
Supporting the capacity of staff to continue working with whanau and learn about Te Tiriti o
Waitangi and how that relates to their work they do on a daily basis.
Identifying important projects in the community that achieve these objectives.
Whangarei Accessible Housing Trust wins again!
By Vanassa MacGoldrick – Trustee
The Whangarei Accessible Housing Trust has, for the second year running, taken out the
Australasian Housing Award for the most innovative project! This is a fabulous achievement by
the trust and whilst it is a testament to the hard work of our Housing Manager, Barry Moore and
the trustees it also shows what our community can do with a great idea, a lot of determination,
hard work and passion.
You can just imagine how many worthy housing projects were up for consideration throughout
New Zealand and Australia, and knowing that the Trust‟s work two years running has captured the
attention of not just New Zealand but Australia as well, is exciting and shows that we are on the
right track. Housing is right up there on the list for most people with a disability as being a major
problem but because it is such a costly and difficult problem to sort, the tendency has been to not
even try. The Housing Trust‟s work has proven that it is achievable, and the trustees hope that
other communities throughout New Zealand will look at what we have achieved and be
encouraged to try themselves.
As a Trust we are often asked what is the winning formula – I don‟t have a complete answer for
that question but I do know that having disabled people as trustees, living the housing nightmare
and knowing first-hand what is needed, has been a big part of that winning formula. Another part
is believing in what we can achieve, having passion, and daring to dream the impossible. As a
trustee my biggest reward is knowing that every time we are able to provide a house to a person,
we are opening the doors to a real life – not just a house.
So dream the impossible dream – we did!
Special Education Review – what are WE going to do?
CCS Disability Action will be presenting a submission on the Special Education Review and
facilitating a process for young people with disabilities and families to be involved in the Review.
We wholeheartedly believe that:
Every child has the right to go to their local school with the support they need to learn and play,
and to have the same experiences as all other children
We‟d like to see Real education, real choice, a real future for your young disabled people – which
really means that:
we want to see our disabled kids receiving quality education,
local schools are truly the best choice for parents
disabled young people leave school with skills and confidence to contribute to the workforce
and their community.
We have created a new Facebook site – Real education, real choice, a real future - as a forum for
discussion around what makes education truly inclusive and able to provide these outcomes. We‟d
love to hear your thoughts. We‟ll also be posting any relevant news and information about the
For more information visit our national website www.ccsdisabilityaction.org.nz (this will give you a
link to access our Facebook page too).
Voluntary Guidelines to improve access to banking services
The New Zealand Bankers‟ Association (NZBA), along with the Human Rights Commission, has
developed a set of voluntary guidelines to help improve access to banking services by the older
and disabled people.
The main areas covered by the guidelines are:
improving access to banking services including initiatives such as low tables and teller
counters, user-friendly ATMs, meeting spaces and queuing aisles able to be used by
power assisted entry doors, and layout and signage suitable for customers who are partially
staff training to cover disability awareness including spotting signs of financial abuse
express tellers and queuing by numbers
observing international W3C web accessibility best practice standards
easy to read information in alternative formats, including easy read, large print, Braille,
DVD, including NZ Sign, and audio.
Further information can be found at www.nzba.org.nz and www.hrc.govt.nz
Making your dreams real
This year we are undertaking some exciting new work looking at and offering a new way to
support young people to build on their dreams and what it is they want to achieve in their lives. If
you are aged between 15–17 years and you are living in Northland or Auckland City this might be
just the thing you have been hanging out for.
Over the next 10–12 months we‟ll get together with you to focus on your dreams and your future
in all different areas such as education, employment, getting out and about and having
We believe working with you and getting into action now about what you want to achieve can help
bring about your dreams – it‟s all about getting on the path of creating your own expectations,
increasing your networks and creating structures to make your dreams real.
So if you are interested, aged between 15-17 years and want to find out more please contact
Candy Smith (in Auckland) on 09 296 4810 or Moira Geerkins (n Northland) 09 437 1899.
CCS Disability Action would like to acknowledge the Auckland City Council Community Group
Assistance Fund and New Zealand Lottery Grants Board for providing the funding this project.
Fullers Ferry - audit
We have been asked by Fullers to audit their ferries and other services so that they can be sure
they are offering the best service possible to disabled travellers.
To help with this audit, we would appreciate hearing your experiences when using the ferries -
good and bad - so that we can be sure that every situation has been considered.
For instance, did you book on-line and how easy was their Website to use? If ringing for
information, how helpful and informative was the staff member? Did you take a mobility scooter
and how accommodating were the staff in getting you on board?
We would really appreciate hearing your experiences. Please contact Vivian Naylor, our Barrier
Free Advisor on (09) 625 3305 or email email@example.com. Alternatively, if
Vivian is not available, please ring our Administrator, Joy, on (09) 625 9378.
Annual Report will now replace one issue of Billboard
Some of you may have been wondering about the reduction in the number of issues of Billboard
last year. We have decided to print Billboard three times a year, and replace one of the issues with
our Annual Report. This gives us the opportunity to spend more time preparing our Annual Report
and using this document to highlight our successes and share our stories. Looking at previous
Annual Reports, all they really told us was the financial situation of the branches, but not how the
money was spent and the work that we do.
We hope you enjoyed the 2008/09 report which was sent to you in November. Billboard will now
be sent in February, May and August and the Annual Report will be sent in October.
Interested in living more sustainably?
Then come along to First Tuesday and be inspired by a stunning line-up of experts speaking about
sustainable living in the urban environment.
Hear from Waitakere City Mayor Bob Harvey on „taking the eco-city to the supercity– inclusive
leadership in Auckland and NZ‟ in March, followed by Sue Kedgley in April speaking about the
clash between consumer demand for locally produced, real food and the industrial food industry
seeking to gain corporate control.
There‟s a great new speaker each month highlighting the ways that we can have a positive impact
on the environment. Visit: www.northern.ccsdisabilityaction.org.nz for more information.
First Tuesday is held on the first Tuesday of every month at CCS Disability Action, 14 Erson Ave,
Royal Oak. 7–9pm, $5.
Jubilee Trust Funding
Is there something that will make a positive difference to your life? There is Jubilee Trust funding
available that may be able to support you to be included in your family and local community. Last
year, there were 77 successful applications to the Trust receiving a portion of $200,000.
For more information please visit www.northern.ccsdisabilityaction.org.nz or call your local CSS
Disability Action office for a brochure.
Fresh organic veges
We are currently selling tomatoes, leeks, onions, lettuce, silverbeet, rhubarb, sweetcorn,
cucumbers, beans, chilli peppers, herbs and much more from our organic garden. Come and visit
us at 14 Erson Avenue, Royal Oak. Pick your own option available.
Aotea Square Redevelopment
As the construction team gears up for the reopening of Aotea Square and the Civic Car Park by
October this year, the work programme is at its peak.
Here are a few changes you should note if you are coming into Auckland City especially if you
park in the Civic Car Park:
The Mayoral Drive and Greys Ave entrances are now both open.
Access directly from Queen Street into the Square is now closed due to construction in this
area. Please use SkyCity Metro or the entrance through Starbucks Coffee to get to the
Aotea Centre, Bledisloe House or the Civic Car Park, from Queen Street.
A temporary ramp into Starbucks provides mobility access from Queen Street to SkyCity
Metro and Bledisloe walkway.
The Town Hall stairwell and lifts from the Civic Car Park are closed until May 2010.
Free mobility parking bays are available next to the Civic Administration Building off Greys
Avenue and in the open car park behind Bledisloe House off Mayoral Drive.
For more information, please visit: www.aucklandcity.govt.nz/aotea
Office space to rent
168m2 of prime, accessible office space with shared facilities, available to lease for the first time,
at the CCS Disability Action Office in Albany.
The office is located on the ground floor of 6 Omega Street in Albany. 2 designated car parks,
with 6 shared visitor car parks (including Mobility parking at the entrance of the office), are
included. The shared facilities include the accessible toilets, kitchen and use of the photocopier.
Office furniture may also be available. The office is well located for travel North and South on the
motorway and easily accesses the Upper Harbour Highway to West Auckland.
For further information please contact Steve Matheson on 624 5496 or mobile 027 228 6378.
How to contact CCS Disability Action
FREEPHONE 0800 227 2255 www.northern.ccsdisabilityaction.org.nz
Royal Oak Office: phone 09 625 9378 Fax 09 625 6177
South Auckland Office: phone 09 296 4802 Fax 09 298 2199
Whangarei Office: phone 09 437 1899 Fax 09 437 0209
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Billboard Editor: Susan McLeod
Phone 09 625 1795 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Contributions: we welcome contributions, comments and letters to the editor. We would like to
thank all contributors to this edition. Deadline for next issue: 15 April 2010.
The opinions expressed in Billboard are not necessarily those of CCS Disability Action Northern
Region. If you would prefer an electronic version of our newsletter please contact the editor.
THANK YOU TO OUR SUPPORTERS
NZ Lottery Grants Board
The Trusts Charitable Foundation Inc
Auckland City Council
Four Winds Foundation Limited
Oxford Sports Trust
The Southern Trust
The Trusts Charitable Foundation (West Auckland)
Lawrence William Nelson Trust
Mt Roskill Community Board
Ryan Charitable Trust
BNZ Closed for Good