Disability advocate, campaigning tetraplegic call for resignation of Laura Fergusson Trust’s chairman

Independent disability advocate Jane Carrigan and Sophia Malthus, a tetraplegic, are both calling for the chairman of Auckland’s Laura Fergusson Trust to resign. 

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Sophia Malthus delivered a petition to Parliament calling for the Government to intervene. Source: 1 NEWS

It comes after 23-year-old Malthus delivered a petition to Parliament calling for Government intervention to save a rehabilitation centre in Auckland.

Otherwise, she said, young people with a disability would have to enter rest homes.

The Laura Fergusson Trust centre in Auckland provided rehabilitation for young people with disabilities. It closed last year, claiming it was short of funds, leaving those depending on its services devastated.

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Associate Minister of Health Ayesha Verrall said the Trust declined financial support.

“After the Trust made its decision, all types of support including funding were on the table and were able to be discussed. The Trust declined to engage further and informed the Ministry that its decision to stop providing these services was final,” Verrall said.

Carrigan is calling for a Government inquiry into the Laura Fergusson Trust. Carrigan and Malthus are calling for Trust chairman Chris O'Brien to resign. 

“The Government has to intervene at some level, there has to be a way that the property remains in the hands of Aucklanders,” Carrigan said.

She also said the Laura Fergusson Trust centres in Wellington in Canterbury are “deeply ashamed” of their Auckland board.

“The problem is the board,” Malthus said.

O'Brien hung up on 1 NEWS when approached for comment.