National Disability Insurance Scheme

17 February 2016

Oz Kiwi opinion

All New Zealanders working in Australia pay a levy to contribute to the cost of disability services, as do all other taxpayers. The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is currently being rolled out nationally after trialling in several sites across the country.

With the national NDIS rollout have come changes to eligibility – people previously covered under the former disability support services are now being told they are no longer going to receive those services. New Kiwi claimants could also be ineligible.


If you arrived in Australia after 26th February 2001 you reside on a ‘non-protected’ Special Category Visa (SCV) that allows you to live in Australia indefinitely, but offers no pathway to permanent residence or citizenship. The SCV is not a permanent visa, New Zealanders must apply for and be granted a permanent visa in order to become a citizen. In order to access the NDIS you must be either PR or a citizen.

Oz Kiwi would like you to help do something about this. Please write or speak to your local Federal Member and any of the candidates in the coming Federal election about this situation.

Tips for writing to federal politicians

  • Ask just one or two questions: keep the letter short; do NOT make speeches or offer opinions.
  • Write often enough that you get through all the questions your the list.
  • A sample letter is attached. Just insert your questions.
  • Handwritten letters often get more attention than word-processed letters. At least hand address the envelope. Emails are often ignored.
  • You are likely to get a wordy or evasive answer. Read it carefully. If it does not actually answer your questions, write again pointing out politely that they have not answered the question.

Repeat the question and ask for an answer. A sample follow-up letter is set out below. Repeat this process as often as necessary.

Things to note:

  • If you get a real answer, write asking different questions and repeat above process. A sample follow up letter is attached.
  • Remain polite and keep letters brief. This makes evasion all the more evident. Remember: repeated refusal to answer a simple question carries its own story.
  • Keep copies of all letters: yours and theirs, as it will simplify the task of collating responses.

MP or Senator letter template

Dear [MP/Senator]

I am a voter [OR I live] in the electorate of _____________ and I am writing to you about New Zealanders accessing NDIS National Disability Insurance Scheme.

New Zealanders who take up residence in Australia after 26th February 2001 are denied access to the NDIS as they are not citizens or permanent residents, despite my/family paying the levy as part of their taxes.

{Write a brief sentence on why you are writing – make it personal: are you or your children currently ineligible for NDIS? Are you/they currently in need of support from the NDIS scheme?}

I would be grateful for your response.

Yours faithfully,
________________________ [name]
________________________ [address]

Follow up letter

Unless you get a clear answer to the question, write a follow up letter:


Thank you for your letter of ________________ [date].

Unfortunately, it did not answer my questions/I would like to follow up on your response/s to my question(s)

My questions were: {insert original questions}

I would be grateful if you could answer them.

Yours faithfully,

Find your MP or Senator by looking them up here: Contacting Senators and Members

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