Kiwi expat family take cerebal palsy son's discrimination case to UN

A New Zealand family living in Australia say their disabled son is being denied his basic rights, and are taking a complaint to the United Nations.

The Awatere family moved to Australia for a better life and better opportunities. Source: 1 NEWS

The Awatere family is taking their discrimination complaint to the UN in the hope of securing complete care for their son Nazareth, who has a severe form of cerebral palsy caused by a lack of oxygen at birth.

Mother Leah Awatere says Nazareth requires 24-hour care.

"He can't eat, drink or walk or talk or sit or crawl or you know ... he's dependent on everyone 24/7 for all of his needs.

"It has been a long hard road for our family."

Despite Nazareth being born in Australia, the seven-year-old has never qualified for government support, because his parents arrived in 2001, when welfare entitlements for New Zealanders were slashed.

"I would call it discrimination," Ms Awatere said.

"You know there are many different nationalities in Australia that seem to be able to access social security services and have no problems gaining permanent citizenship or residency, but as New Zealanders we seem to get the raw end of the stick - where is the Anzac spirit?"

Nazareth's care costs more than $30,000 per year and the family also has to pay a disability levy, which funds Australians who need it, but not their own son.

David Faulker, a long-time campaigner for Kiwi rights, has taken their case.

"The situation is only going to get worse really because as we move further away from 2001 there is a growing proportion of children who arrived after that date rather than before that date."