May 15, 2006

NEW ZEALAND: Outrage Over Photos of Nude Senior Citizens

AUKLAND, May 15, 2006: New Zealand's National Party has issued a press release calling publication of photos of nude rest home residents an outrage. Ruth Dyson must say publicly whether she believes the publishing of pictures of naked rest home residents in a nurses’ organisation magazine is acceptable practise, says National’s Senior Citizens spokeswoman, Sandra Goudie. She is commenting on a report that photographs of naked rest home residents are published in the latest issue of Kaitiaki, the journal of the New Zealand Nurses Organisation. Photographer Alan Knowles' photo-essay in the May issue of Kai Tiaki, the journal of the New Zealand Nurses' Organisation, shows elderly people being showered, toileted and dressed at two homes, in Christchurch and Wellington, in a focus on the intimacy and value of caregivers' work. A photo published in the news report by TVNZ from the collection the magazine, Kai Tiaki, that published the nude photos, says is not available online. “What does the Minister for Senior Citizens think of pictures of elderly women being showered, toileted and dressed being published supposedly to show the ‘intimacy and value of caregivers’ work’? “The Minister must say whether these people clearly understood what was happening to them and whether their permission was properly sought. “If not, it amounts to abuse and an invasion of the rights of elderly people to privacy, dignity and respect. “Silence is not an option for the Minister. She should come out strongly against elder abuse, which is far more prevalent than people realise,” says Ms Goudie.

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