On Friday 29th October 2021, Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni and Minister of Health Andrew Little, announced the Disability System Transformation roadmap, work that has been ongoing for more than a decade. This announcement will see significant changes for disabled people, tāngata whaikaha Māori, family and whānau, as well as service providers and the workforce. The System Transformation changes aspire to ensure disability policy and services work for disabled people and their whānau.
The Disability System Transformation actions
Ministry for Disabled People (official name TBD)
The government has introduced a Ministry for Disabled People to lead the partnership between the disability community and the Government. The Ministry will drive the transformation of the disability system in line with the Enabling Good Lives (EGL) approach.
This dedicated Ministry will be led by disabled people for disabled people, ensuring that the voices of disabled people, tāngata whaikaha Māori, family/whānau and disability allies voices are given full effect through the agency.
The Ministry of Disabled People will be established from 1 July 2022.
More information: New Ministry for Disabled People - Ministry of Social Development (msd.govt.nz)
Enabling Good Lives
The Enabling Good Lives vision and principles were developed by an independent working group of disabled people, their families, whānau, advocates, and allies to bring transformative change to disability support.
The EGL model has been piloted for the delivery of Disability Support Services in Christchurch, the Waikato, and mid- central. The Enabling Good Lives model will now be rolled out Nationwide giving disabled people more choice and control over levels of support they receive and when.
More information about EGL: About enabling good lives New Zealand & Enabling Good Lives (EGL) - Ministry of Social Development (msd.govt.nz)
The Ministers will announce a new proposal to Cabinet to support Aotearoa New Zealand to become more accessible and propose a new legislative framework to improve accessibility for disabled people to prevent and remove barriers to participation.
This framework seeks to establish an Accessibility Governance Board led by disabled people, support government ministers to make better decisions about accessibility and appoint people to lead this work in the public sector.
Although this new framework is positive, this legislation will only permit the Accessibility Governance Board to make recommendations for changes it does not allow for legally enforceable interventions to accessibility.
The Ministers advised this new framework will be introduced to Parliament by mid- 2022.
More information: Accelerating Accessibility
We would like to acknowledge and mihi to those in our extended Te Pou whānau, those in the disability community and allies who have been instrumental in advocating for and engaging in this mahi and in previous successes that have brought us to this point. We acknowledge that commitment and determination to make this mahi a reality is ongoing.