March 9, 2021

Guest editorial 

I wish to pay tribute to our former IHC President, Chair and IHC New Zealand Life Member Donald Thompson, ONZM, who died early in February.

It was a great shock to lose Donald so suddenly. He made an enormous contribution to IHC and the lives of people with intellectual disabilities.

But most of all he was a husband, an incredible father and a friend to many of us.

November 30, 2020

IHC has set up an 0800 freephone service – Awhi Connect 0800 442 311 – to give families direct access to support and information.

It operates from 9am to 6pm, Monday to Saturday. Callers outside those hours can leave a message, which will be forwarded to staff. Awhi Connect will also operate so that families only need to tell their stories once.

Using a database covering all IHC services involved with the family will provide a broader understanding of the support being requested and provided.

Above: Photo by Berkley Communications on Unsplash.

November 30, 2020

A six-year-old boy who couldn’t spell cat and didn’t know his last name was sent to an institution where for 13 years he was put to work and physically and sexually abused.

IHC Director of Advocacy Trish Grant told the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care that a man, referred to as M, received no schooling, no pay for the work he did, and State authorities frustrated his attempts to have his abuse investigated.

November 30, 2020

Accessible Properties tenant Garry Hopa is a laid-back kind of chap, but he sprang into action when he saw a dangerous fire.

He’s been praised for stopping the fire from spreading and causing widespread damage.

Garry, 64, who lives in the Accessible Properties’ Graham Street complex in Hamilton, was first on the scene after a fridge went up in flames recently at Robyn Cann’s nearby unit.

“I was moving some pot plants from my place to my girlfriend’s on a trolley and I went around the corner and seen all this smoke,” Garry says.

November 30, 2020

John Holdsworth ONZM didn’t say much about what he did for people, he just did it. His influence vastly improved the quality of life for people with intellectual disabilities.

John Holdsworth died on 15 August in his garden on the family’s farm in central Hawke’s Bay, aged 78.

IHC Group Chair Tony Shaw and IHC Group Chief Executive Ralph Jones paid tribute to John for the major role he played in shaping the organisation.

November 30, 2020

Christine Lee believes in the power of storytelling to build acceptance of people with intellectual disabilities.

“Telling stories contributes to understanding in the community, because cultural change takes time,” she says. “You have got to keep telling people’s stories so that it becomes the norm.”