Kia ora koutou,
On Monday the 1st of October we are starting the prototype of the transformed disability support system in MidCentral. I can’t believe that this day is finally here. We are calling this prototype Mana Whaikaha.
All people who are in MidCentral DHB region and currently accessing/receiving disability supports funded by the Ministry of Health will be part of the new system. This does not mean that things need to change for you; you will continue to receive the exact same support on the 1st of October that you received before. This will continue until you contact us or we contact you on a regular review date for checking in on your support. But if you want to think about making changes, you can contact us to work with a Kaitūhono/Connector.
From 1st of October there will be a new website www.manakwhaikaha.co.nz and you can also contact us by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, phoning us on 0800 MANA 55 (0800 6262 55) or coming to see us at one of our hubs.
On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 9:30 am and 4:00 pm we will be at Hancock Community House, King Street, Palmerston North and that will start from the 8th of October.
We will be at our Ōtaki hub on Thursdays between 9:30 am and 4:00 pm at Te Wānanga o Raukawa Ngā Purapura building, 144 Tasman Street, Ōtaki.
And we will be in Levin on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at the Community and Cultural Centre, that’s Kowhai and Hebe rooms, 10 Bart Street, Levin. And again that’s 9:30 am until 4:00 pm, Tuesdays and Wednesdays in Levin.
And we are trying out Woodville, at Woodville Community Centre, 62 Ross Street and that will be Thursdays 9:30 am to 4:00 pm.
There is also an on call Connector number for emergencies. So that number is 027 236 6145. But please just call that when you really need to, outside of hours.
Also remember that Connectors will be able to meet with you at different times of the day. Connectors are going to work 37 and a half hours a week in total. We are not expecting them to work all day and night, but they will be available from 8 in the morning to 8 at night and on Saturdays from 10:00 am until 3:00 pm.
Information on how to contact us and with those addresses and specific dates and times will also be on the website from the 1st of October and I really encourage you to double check or call us on 0800 626 255 to check those details.
As you are all aware, we are going to be taking a ‘try, learn and adjust’ approach to the prototype.
While there has been a lot of work to put things in place for the 1st of October, there is still a lot more that is going to happen after the 1st of October. In particular we will be continuing to develop a lot more information and resources for disabled people and whānau and we will also be thinking about how to make things more accessible. So we have translated a few things and we are creating specific resources like a video for Deaf people about what they will need to know around the prototype. We are also conscious that we need to gather information about what is working and what we need to change over the next 18 months and that includes about how you want to receive information and what would be useful. We will be asking you for feedback at every stage and there will be information on the website about how you can provide feedback at any time.
You will remember that the objectives of the transformed system are to provide disabled people and whānau with more flexible support options and more decision making over their lives and to improve outcomes for disabled people and to create a cost effective disability support system. While there is a small amount of additional funding for support, this is about thinking about:
What a good life looks like for a person?
What support is needed to get there?
What resources might be available in communities?
What might need to come from government funded supports?
This is about being able to create new options and to use the existing funding differently. So the processes for thinking about support and funding will be different and we have definitely tried to create a better experience for disabled people and whānau when they engage with the system.
The other thing that has been happening over the last month or so, is that we have now got the MidCentral Governance Group established to ensure disabled people, whānau, providers and the workforce are able to oversee the implementation of the prototype and provide recommendations to Ministers about what needs to change.
The members of the MidCentral Governance Group are:
They are about to start governance group induction and training and I look forward to working with them over the next 12 months. 1st of October is a significant milestone when we will actually start to work with disabled people and whānau in a different way. I really want to take this opportunity to thank everybody who has been involved, everybody who has contributed to the work so far. That includes particularly people on the Regional Leadership Group and the core groups in MidCentral. Also all of the disabled people, whānau, providers, support workers who have contributed to working groups and virtual testing groups, including a whole lot of officials across government.
After the 1st of October you will be hearing a lot more from the directors, Lorna Sullivan and Marshall Te Tau and a lot less from me, but once again – thank you to everybody who has helped us to here.