26 Jun 2013

Judge to take time over caregiver decision

7:18 pm on 26 June 2013

The Chief High Court judge says she will take some time to consider a ruling over the Ministry of Health's refusal to pay a mother of a disabled man as his caregiver.

Margaret Spencer is seeking a judicial review as the ministry is refusing to give her 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 discriminative and unlawful.

The ministry's lawyer, Una Jagose, told the High Court at Auckland the Government did not ignore the ruling and spent time developing a new policy.

The policy, which comes into effect on 1 October, will provide funding to 1600 disabled people to pay some family members.

Mrs Spencer's lawyer, Jim Farmer QC, says the policy does not do enough and his client is seeking compensation, for the time before it comes into place.

Justice Winkelmann reserved her decision, which she says will take some time as it is not a straightforward matter.