INDEPENDENT NEWS

Statement By The Institute Of Community Psychology Aotearoa (IComPA)

Published: Tue 2 Apr 2024 05:59 PM
As an Institute of the New Zealand Psychological Society, we are deeply concerned about the wider impacts of the reduction in flexibility and available disability supports for disabled people and their families.
The announced changes on 18 March 2024 to both Purchasing Rules and the Equipment and Modification Services and the subsequent responses in the House at Question Time on 19 March and 28 March, have significant long term negative impacts on the wellbeing of disabled people and their families. The wellbeing of disabled people, their whānau, and caregivers is collectively bound up together. We cannot separate out the wellbeing of parents from their children, and vice versa.
As registered psychologists, we are deeply concerned about the impact that the restriction of flexibility will have on the psychological wellbeing of disabled people and their families. There are already reports of parents feeling suicidal, overwhelmed, and unable to cope.
We call for the immediate restoration of both flexibility and of funding for Equipment and Modification Services for families so that disabled people and their families can purchase adaptive equipment and respite items in a manner that benefits themselves and their families.
As community psychologists we are in full support of the Enabling Good Lives principles[1]. These principles align with community psychology values and principles[2]. We acknowledge all the work over the past two decades by the disability community to implement Enabling Good Lives in practice.
IComPA wish to acknowledge that parents and whānau work hard, go without, and are deeply invested in the wellbeing of their disabled child/family member. Their funding allocations are typically used for items that benefit their disabled child, give themselves a break, and enable the family to function. Parents and whānau need flexibility in their disability supports to meet the unique needs of their family.
IComPA acknowledges the concluding observations from the United Nations International Monitoring Mechanism regarding the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in New Zealand, in particular the lack of suitable respite services in point 39[3].
IComPA supports the “whole of life” approach as outlined in the New Zealand Disability Strategy 2016-2026[4]. The associated outcomes directly align with ensuring that disabled people and their families have self-determination with their allocated funding.
About us
The Institute of Community Psychology Aotearoa (IComPA) is an Institute of the New Zealand Psychological Society (NZPsS). You can find us via www.psychology.org.nz We have in the region of 30 paid members and a wider subscribership of 250. IComPA’s mission is to promote the application of psychology and related knowledge to enhancing social and cultural justice within Aotearoa New Zealand.
We aim to promote developments within the profession and discipline of psychology that will enhance the status of Māori as tangata whenua; that will enhance the ability of ethnic and cultural communities to become self-determining in a manner consistent with Te Tiriti o Waitangi; promote the use of psychology and social science in the pursuit of social justice for individuals, groups and communities; promote high standards of competency and safe practice among practitioners of community psychology through (a) advising on training in community psychology (b) continuing education, workforce development and networking; promote knowledge of the discipline of community psychology; and to undertake activities consistent with the values and principles of community psychology.
Our core values and principles are consistent with those of the Code of Ethics for Psychologists Working in Aotearoa New Zealand (2002).
[1] See https://www.enablinggoodlives.co.nz/about-egl/egl-approach/principles/
[2] See https://www.psychology.org.nz/members/networking/institutes/institute-community-psychology-aotearoa-icompa
[3] See https://www.odi.govt.nz/united-nations-convention-on-the-rights-of-persons-with-disabilities/un-reviews-of-nzs-implementation-of-the-convention/first-review-of-implementation-2014-2015/government-response-to-the-united-nations-committee-on-the-rights-of-persons-with-disabilities-concluding-observations-on-new-zealand/#Community
[4] See https://www.odi.govt.nz/nz-disability-strategy/about-the-strategy/new-zealand-disability-strategy-2016-2026/

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