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July 20, 2021

Banks have put even more distance between them and their more vulnerable customers by ending cheques.

This leaves disabled people wondering how they can pay bills and withdraw money as bank branches continue to close in cities and towns all over New Zealand.

Cheques have now been consigned to history at ANZ, Westpac, BNZ, Kiwibank, TSB, SBS, Rabobank and The Co-operative Bank, and ASB finishes with cheques on 27 August. Some retailers are also moving away from cash payments.

May 4, 2021

KiwiSaver rules now guarantee that people with four life-shortening congenital conditions can withdraw their savings early.

The four conditions are Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, Huntington’s disease and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. An alternative withdrawal process is available for those with other congenital life-shortening conditions.

Announcing the move at IHC National Office in February, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister David Clark praised Tim Fairhall and his mother Joan for their advocacy, which led to the law change in 2019.

May 4, 2021

Bus fares will be free for disabled people in the Bay of Plenty by July.

The Bay of Plenty Regional Council decision follows a move by the Waikato Regional Council, which made fares free for people with disabilities in 2019. The service was extended to carers at the end of 2020.

In the Bay of Plenty, people with permanent mobility impairments will be eligible for free fares on all regional-council-contracted urban and inter-regional bus services.

May 4, 2021

As New Zealand’s major banks phase out the use of cheques, IHC and other disability service providers are asking banks how they will maintain access to banking services by disabled people.

 Many disabled people rely on cheques, but several banks have already stopped issuing chequebooks and soon will no longer accept cheques. Also, thanks to COVID-19, fewer businesses are accepting cash.

May 4, 2021

The New Zealand Disability Support Network (NZDSN) says money laundering legislation and the phasing out of cheques by banks require new approaches and practices from everyone involved.

In April NZDSN invited a small group of disability service providers to a Banking Issues Forum to brainstorm what needs to happen.

NZDSN has been approached by these providers about the requirement of some banks to have guardianship orders in place for people to be supported to have their own bank accounts.

March 9, 2021

School leavers looking for work will have extra help this year thanks to a new scheme being trialled in a number of secondary schools.

The pilot Employment Service in Schools was launched on 1 February 2021 and will run until 30 June 2022. It is being managed by the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) and the Ministry of Health (MOH).