Our Mission

The Personal Advocacy Trust offers parents and other interested persons an opportunity to invest in peace of mind for the future. The Trust provides lifelong advocacy for enrolled members with intellectual disabilities after the death of their parents.

The mission has three key elements: support, advocacy, and to encourage independence.

Our History

The Personal Advocacy Trust (PAT) is a not-for-profit registered Charitable Trust.

It was established in 1967 as the trusteeship scheme of parents with children cared for through IHC, who sought reassurance and confirmation that on their death someone would provide advocacy, guidance and support in their stead. Much of our membership enrolled at this time and in the decade following. Some of our current members and their families have received advocacy support for over 40 years. In more recent years PAT has maintained modest growth in enrolled membership, while the landscape of the disability sector in New Zealand has evolved significantly. Provision for intellectual disability now has a higher profile, with plentiful support services and opportunities for wider social engagement.

In this new environment the need for advocacy that is completely independent and unaffiliated with external parties remains a key concern for New Zealand’s intellectually disabled. Today PAT continues to respond to this need with its advocacy work across New Zealand.

For a full history, please refer to Our History Page.

Our Work

Advocacy is a service that argues for, or defends, another who is unable (or needs help) to do so for themselves. Our service is designed to work alongside the individual and to assist them, where needed, so they remain happy and healthy. The Personal Advocacy Trust is another set of eyes and ears, and importantly a voice for its members.

Regional advocates work to maintain the rights of the enrolled member so they continue to receive the best services available, while taking any necessary actions to ensure a positive outcome. Advocates encourage the potential for leading as independent a life as possible. This is achieved through regular contact, visiting, reporting and planning to monitor the wellbeing of the member. The type and intensity of advocacy required will vary between each member, and from year to year and depending on their needs or issues at the time.

In order to be effective in promoting and protecting the interests of its members, PAT is administratively and financially independent of any organisation providing residential, occupational or other services for people with intellectual disabilities. It is also independent of Government.

The service is funded almost entirely through the payment of a Pre Support Annual Subscription and a Full Support Enrolment Fee by people enrolling a family member or friend as a member of the Trust. Being independent of external controls or priorities, PAT is able to provide effective advocacy.

Our Trustees

As dictated by The Personal Advocacy Trust’s Deed, the Trust is governed by a Board of 6 – 8 members “comprised of one Trustee appointed by IHC New Zealand Incorporated; one Trustee appointed by the Residential Providers Association or any other Association or organisation selected by the Trustees and providing services to people with an intellectual disability; one Trustee appointed by the Council of the New Zealand Law Society; two Trustees who are Contributors*, and are elected by Contributors who have fully paid an enrolment fee; and three Trustees appointed by resolution of the other Trustees.”

* Contributors as defined in the Trust Deed are the individuals responsible for enrolling and paying the enrolment fee of an individual with an intellectual disability. In most instances this is a parent.

Trust Board Members 2018

Barney Cooper, Chair.  Independent Trustee

Janine Stewart, IHC Representative

Don Bagnall, Contributor Representative

Gerard Letts, Law Society Representative

Annette Brown, Independent Trustee

Catherine Cooke, Contributor Representative

Ross Steele, Financial Advisor & Independent Trustee

John Stribrny, NZDSN (Residential Providers Association)

Our Advocates

Kaeti Rigarlsford

Kaeti Rigarlsford

Northland and Auckland Regional Advocate

022 088 7431
09 391 1728
Northland@PAT.org.nz
Auckland@PAT.org.nz

Sally Hartley

Sally Hartley

Waikato Regional Advocate

022 088 7438
07 391 1728
Waikato@PAT.org.nz

Gail Bingham

Gail Bingham

Bay of Plenty Regional Advocate

022 088 7439
07 393 5728
Bayofplenty@PAT.org.nz

Melanie Douds

Melanie Douds

Taranaki Regional Advocate

022 088 7503
06 391 1728
Taranaki@PAT.org.nz

Nicola Dick

Nicola Dick

Hawkes Bay Regional Advocate

022 088 7504
06 390 5728
Hawkesbay@PAT.org.nz

Jennifer Shaw

Jennifer Shaw

Manawatu Regional Advocate

022 088 7505
06 392 1728
Manawatu@PAT.org.nz

Lynne King

Lynne King

Wellington Regional Advocate

022 088 7507
04 391 1728
Wellington@PAT.org.nz

Patrick Doherty

Patrick Doherty

Nelson Regional Advocate

022 088 7509
03 391 1728
Nelson@PAT.org.nz

Marion Bayley

Marion Bayley

Canterbury Regional Advocate

022 088 7510
03 390 7728
Canterbury@PAT.org.nz

Wayne Winder

Wayne Winder

Otago Regional Advocate

022 088 7512
03 395 6728
Otago@PAT.org.nz