A 96-year-old woman who had her home support service cut has won a partial reprieve after an outpouring of public outrage at the decision.

Earlier this month, Levin woman Trixie Cottingham received a letter from Mid Central DHB saying her home management would be cut.

On November 11, she requested a review of the decision.

As a result, Supportlink assessor Pauline Holland visited Cottingham in her home to gain a better understanding of her needs.


After weeks of uncertainty, Cottingham received a call this week to say Holland would come down in person to deliver the verdict.

"My heart was beating so fast after she called," Cottingham said.

"I was really worried they wouldn't change their decision to cut my home help.

"My husband spent five years at war overseas, for his service, I feel I do deserve the help," she said.

But Holland brought Mrs Cottingham the good news that she would still receive 60 minutes of help per week, although that was a reduction from her original 90 minutes.

Cottingham said she was grateful for the change of decision but she didn't think one hour per week won't be adequate to clean her whole house.

"It was such a relief when I found out.

"It could have been cancelled altogether and that really worried me, I'm not sure what I would have done without the help.

"I feel sorry for my house cleaner because one hour isn't enough time to clean my whole house, but I will simply have to manage, luckily I have a supportive family," Cottingham said.

After news broke of Cottingham's predicament, there was widespread condemnation - and offers of help.

Carer Renee Wills offered to clean Cottingham's house for free, though she said the DHB should be celebrating her capabilities rather than forcing her to give up her autonomy.

Horowhenua mayor Michael Feyen also said it made financial, health and social sense for the DHB to support Cottingham to stay independent at home.