25 Jun 2013

Govt 'didn't ignore' ruling on caregivers

9:48 pm on 25 June 2013

A lawyer for the Ministry of Health has told the High Court in Auckland the Government did not ignore a court decision ruling that family caregivers must be paid.

Margaret Spencer is seeking a judicial review because the ministry is refusing to give her any financial support for caring for her 44-year-old son who has Down Syndrome, despite a court ruling that its policy against paying family caregivers is unlawful.

On Monday, Mrs Spencer's lawyer Jim Farmer told the court his client believed the case was about democratic rights and preventing injustice.

Una Jagose, the lawyer for the ministry, said on Tuesday the Government did not ignore the ruling and responded by developing a new policy announced in May this year.

Under the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Amendment Act 2013, families will be paid a minimum wage for up to 40 hours of care a week.

The hearing before Chief High Court judge Justice Winkelmann continues on Wednesday.