So the Ministry of Health has relented to some caregivers and is paying them something… but not others. Margaret Spencer has given up her life to look after her adult son, but gets no compensation for it. If she gave her son over to strangers to look after, not only would the MoH have to pay his accommodation, professional caregivers would get paid around $52,000 and only work 40 hours per week. She works 24/7 for nothing but a sense of responsibility.
It seems outrageous that she has been excluded from pay, but even victory will still not be complete – the Government’s legislation it passed in one day (Budget Day), means she can be paid a maximum of 40 hours at minimum wage.
And worse there is no judicial review of that. This case is in court on judicial review because the MoH had sought an exclusion order to prevent her being paid before the legislation had passed. There will be no judicial review of injustices in the future.
Margaret Spencer made a powerful statement to start the case (scheduled over 3 days in the Auckland High Court) as she fights for the rights of ordinary New Zealanders like her:
“This is not democracy as democracy ensures equality of rights. This is a dictatorship where the Government is trying to gag the courts. This is disrespectful.
“I have been taking care of my son for all of his life and for over 25 years since he has been an adult but the Ministry has not been doing their part towards myself and others like me. It has gone on for too long.”