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Posted by Philip Patston on 25 January 2010, 12:10 am in ,

Don't get hit by a bus today

You better hope you don't get hit by a bus today, because the NZ Government is hellbent on restricting your choice of who could be paid to support you if you sustained a short- or long-term injury.

According to the NZ Herald, "the long-standing battle by eight families for financial help to look after their [significantly] disabled adult [family members] will continue with a Crown appeal." The appeal is against the decision of the Human Rights Review Tribunal, which found that the Ministry of Health discriminated against parents of disabled adults 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 paid.” (See previous blog post.)

The Crown's argument is that "the decision could open the floodgates to potentially thousands of claims for ACC short-term injuries where people leave hospital but still need care and a family member is willing to provide that for a payment."

But ACC already pays family members - and if a person was assessed as needing care after an injury, someone - family or otherwise - would need to be paid anyway. So why is the Government now deciding it can't be a family member?

Apparently "the decision to appeal was 'in the public interest' because of the potential fiscal impact of the finding and its flow-on effect to other policy."

What about the fiscal impact of lengthy court battles to uphold the Government's insistence on infringing people's rights? Isn't it in the public's interest to curtail that?

This decision potentially affects every single New Zealander... I'm amazed there hasn't been more public debate.

So, what do you think?  Should the Crown appeal?