Like Minds, Like Mine Community Partnership Fund

Sun shining through flax fronds

The Health Promotion Agency is calling for submissions to their new community partnership fund:

“Like Minds, Like Mine is a national programme to promote the reduction of stigma and discrimination and to increase social inclusion for people with experience of mental illness. The programme is guided by the Like Minds, Like Mine National Plan 2014-2019

More info on their website here.

Experiences with the Medical Appeal Board (MAB) Process an exploration of how the Work and Income medical criteria decision review process is working

Consultations Unpacked Background Paper.

Friday 6 June 2014 12-1.30pm
Dunedin Community House

 a Dunedin Council of Social Services, Dunedin Community Law Centre &
Community Law Canterbury Community Forum


The MAB is the place to go to appeal a Work and Income decision made on medical criteria (such as eligibility for Supported Living Payment, Jobseeker Support and the Child Disability Allowance). The board is independent of Work and Income. The MAB has the power to change decisions made by Work and Income. It can either agree with the decision, or change the decision. There is no right of appeal against a decision of a Medical Appeal Board. This means it is very important that a case going to the MAB is well prepared, there is strong medical evidence to back up your case and if you need it, you have someone to support or represent you at the hearing.

The MAB is a decision making panel made up of three people. MAB members are appointed by MSD’s Chief Executive and are paid by MSD for their time taking part in hearings. MABs consist of three members* who are:

  • Doctors
  • People with expertise in rehabilitation, such as physiotherapists, occupational therapists, nurses, and psychologists.
  • Other people with the right expertise.

* The board members at your hearing must not have had any involvement in your case or treated you as a patient.

Concern has been expressed locally at the length of time it can take for an appeal to go through, and the composition of the board. While it is recognised that board membership does require people with the right expertise, some clients have indicated that the expertise is limited to specific areas of medicine and their case may fall outside of this area, other clients have expressed concern the board is not gender and culturally diverse.

The forum is interested in hearing local stories and experiences with the Medical Appeals Board so that we can look at ways of supporting beneficiaries who are taking medical appeals.

 Sources and links for further Information

 Work & Income New Zealand

 About medical appeals: medical-appeals.html

About the medical appeal board hearings: hearings.html

Suicides support group seeks input

Tuesday 13 May at 6:30pm Life Matters Otago are meeting to continue the process of officially forming the group.

The group is being set up in response to concern for both the high rate of suicide and a desire to see more support for those affected in the region.

The group will a focus on the specific goals and needs the group will aim to address.  Agencies and concerned citizens are warmly encouraged to attend and get involved with addressing suicide and the hole it leaves in our community.

Tuesday 13 May, 6:30pm,  Alexander McMillan Room, Dunedin Community House

Consultations Unpacked: Caring for the Carers an exploration of how the new family carers policy is affecting families caring for disabled relatives

Council of Social Services Dunedin (COSSD) & Dunedin Community Law Centre (DCLC) are hosting a  Community Forum on Friday 2 May 2014 12 – 1.30pm at Dunedin Community House.

The subject is Caring for the Carers: an exploration of how the new family carers policy is affecting families caring for disabled relatives.

Everyone is welcome – we want to hear your experiences and relay them to the Government.

You can find out some information on the current situation by reading our Caring for the Carers Background Paper as a PDF or Web page. Or add to your calendar.


Caring for the Carers: an exploration of how the new family carers policy is affecting families caring for disabled relatives

Consultations Unpacked Background Paper

Caring for the Carers

an exploration of how the new family carers policy is affecting families caring for disabled relatives

a Dunedin Council of Social Services (DCOSS) &
Dunedin Community Law Centre (DCLC) Community Forum

Friday 2 May 2014 12 – 1.30pm
Dunedin Community House

In October 2013 the government released a Budget package that would enable some family carers to receive payment for looking after family members. The package was formulated in response to a Court of Appeal decision that a policy of not paying family carers to provide support services to family members living with disabilities constituted discrimination, on the basis of family status. The 2013 Budget provides $23 million a year to pay carers who look after a disabled family members aged 18 years or older who are assessed as having high, or very high needs. Funding enables payment at the minimum wage.

Eligible people can employ a family carer to provide personal care and household management, or continue to use a commercial provider.

The decision was hailed as a step in the right direction, but was not without criticism:

  • Concern has been expressed at the high & very high needs eligibility criteria.
  • There is disappointment that spouses and partners of disabled people are excluded from the scheme.

  • The new legislation (NZ Public Health and Disability Amendment Act 2013) states that people can no longer bring unlawful discrimination complaints about the new law or family care policy to the Human Rights Commission.
  • Some family members leave good paying jobs and take a cut in pay to care for a family member at the minimum wage rate.

Other concerns which have been informally raised include issues around professional development opportunities, support for family carers and the vulnerability of carers in terms of employment rights.

The forum is interested in hearing local stories about how the new family carers policy is affecting families caring for disabled relatives.

What is working? What is not working?

Sources and links for further information

Ministry of Social Development: The New Zealand Carers’ Strategy Action Plan for 2014 to 2018

New Zealand Herald: Editorial

NZ Public Health and Disability Amendment Act 2013

Download this page as a PDF.

Add to your calendar.

2014 Matariki Auahi Kore – Smokefree Fund

MatarikiSouthern District Health Board have four $500 grants available for community groups planning an event to celebrate Puaka Matariki.

The event will need to be smoke free and advertised as such. You can increase your chances of getting the grant by offering to share information on stopping smoking at the event.

The closing date for applications in 7 April 2014.

You can download the application form as a PDF: Matariki smoke free application.


Dunedin workshop for Inspiring Communities: book now

Logo LargeCouncil of Social Services Dunedin and Dunedin Community Builders are extremely pleased to be able to host Inspiring Communities delivering their workshop Communities Leading Change.

It is running from 9am-3pm on Friday 21 February 2014 at Guthrie Pavilion, Bayfield High School, Musselburgh, Dunedin.

  • $50 Community leaders/NGOs
  • $100 Local/Central Govt
  • Unwaged Koha (inc. lunch)

Registration is essential, places are limited. Email to book your slot.

This one day workshop will:

  • build understanding of CLD – what works and why
  • share tools and tips you can use in your work
  • share inspiration from other Kiwi communities
  • Build connections across Dunedin’s communities

Tips and tools :

  • growing community leadership & ownership
  • starting & sustaining local change efforts
  • neighbourhood-led development
  • collaborative governance
  • reflective practice

Download the pdf flier for more details or check out the event page to add this to your calendar and more.