Build it and they will come. The famous line from the 1989 film Field of Dreams has been cited during almost every bid for a new sports stadium.
Today, however, we are talking about a disability service we can be proud of. Currently, it is one we should be ashamed of.
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The New Zealand Disability Support Network (NZDSN) this week released a briefing – Enabling Good Lives Sooner Rather Than Later – which estimated at least 15,000 more families are eligible for disability services, but aren't asking for assistance.
The estimates were based on pilot programmes in Christchurch, Waikato and Manawatu, which made it easier to access and use the system, and therefore more people came forward.
This is where the "build it, and they will come" meets disability services. Clearly, the pilot programmes prove more families will seek help, and benefit from it, were it to be more readily available.
In the report, the providers identified a funding shortfall of at least $500 million, and call on the Government to live up to its promise of "enabling good lives" for the disabled.
In the June Budget, the Government announced the largest-ever increase of $76m to disability services - but it was soon pointed out that it wouldn't even be enough to cover the $83m overspend from the previous year.
In the lead up to the budget, the New Zealand Disability Support Network pointed out the sector faced a $90 million deficit, and that the ministry had urgently ordered savings of $30 million over this financial year and the next. Thankfully, the cuts were rolled back by ministerial intervention.
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However, disability bosses say their services are so stretched they have begun to refuse complex clients, adding to a crisis in which an estimated 15,000 eligible people are missing out on funding entirely.
It is likely they are disproportionately Māori, Pasifika, poor and rural - excluded by a system which is "complex" and "focused on rationing demand", instead of reaching out and helping people, the report said.
It is not unheard of for a social service provider to overstate shortfalls in an attempt to extract funds from stretched or stubborn budgets and we must bear in mind we are dealing with a finite pool of funding in a small country.
But the reductions in funding and services have been occurring for some years. The effect it, as CCS Disability Action chief executive David Matthews told this newspaper in April: "We are punishing people for having a disability." We are also punishing their families and caregivers.
No one is suggesting we can turn the lives of families supporting disabled members into "fields of dreams" but this Government has talked up intentions for wellbeing and enabling good lives - it's time to make these families' situations less of a nightmare.