NZMA welcomes today's Government announcement of the list of life-shortening conditions guaranteeing early Kiwisaver access.
These regulations help achieve equity for people with life shorting conditions when it comes to accessing their Kiwisaver funds. Equity is an important issue for the medical profession in NZ and, through the NZMA we endeavour to apply an equity lens to all of our policy and advocacy work.
NZMA was pleased to have the opportunity last year to work with officials at MBIE to help inform the development of the detail of the regulations - including the listed conditions and also, importantly, a pathway for those with other congenital life shortening conditions.
NZMA CEO Lesley Clarke noted that medical practitioners will have an important role to play in this new scheme.
"They will need to certify that the individual applying for withdrawal is eligible, either on the basis they have a condition named in the regulations or that they have a congenital condition that shortens their life below 65 years.
At the announcement, Ms Clarke also noted "we hope that this is the start of a wider discussion on equity. There is a case to argue that any policy that involves a fixed age for access or implementation needs to be looked from equity perspective, particularly given the lower life expectancy for Māori compared with other ethnic groups."
"But for today, we congratulate Tim Fairhall and his whanau, along with the many other individuals who have advocated for this change and thank the policy makers, political leaders and officials who have delivered it."