The EGL National Leadership Group (NEGL) supports the development of Regional Leadership Groups as a critical part of the EGL approach.
An EGL Regional Leadership Group:
- brings life to Mana, Self-determination and Voice
- is an independent forum that enables disabled people and families to lead and influence development.
Why an EGL Regional Leadership Group exists
The Leadership Group’s purpose can be to:
- Promote and protect Enabling Good Lives’ (EGL) principles and values that the evolving system change is informed by
- Contribute guidance to local initiatives and the implementation of change
- Give direction to any “EGL Entity”
- Provide feedback to the Minister
- Provide feedback to various ministries and public services regarding alignment of service delivery with EGL approach
- Provide connection between local/regional change and National EGL Leadership Group
- To ensure a clear understanding of the priorities and perspectives of disabled people, families and service providers
- To ensure the system will be accountable locally
- To create an ‘honourable space’ that promotes accessible and inclusive communities
- To bring key stakeholders together to discuss key issues of the community
What an EGL Regional Leadership Group does
The Regional Leadership Group can:
- use a partnership approach to develop, implement and monitor the changes
- actively promote collaboration between the Ministries of Health, Social Development, Education and other central government agencies so that their activities and projects are aligned with the Enabling Good Lives approach
- be involved in the co-development and oversight of the change
- promote good communication with persons with disabilities, families and providers regarding the transformation in the region
- increase awareness and understanding of Enabling Good Lives approach
- link with the Enabling Good Lives National Leadership Group.
3. How Regional Leadership Groups can get set up
There will be many ways to set up a Regional Leadership Group. Each area is best to map assets (people, previous EGL aligned work) and develop in ways best suited to their community.
The successful process demonstrated in the current EGL sites has been to:
- Hold a series of parallel open community forums about the EGL approach e.g. workshops for disabled people, families, Māori, Pacifica and providers
- Encourage interested people in forming a Core Group
- Core Groups then continue an in-depth look at what the EGL approach can mean
- Core Groups select a sub-group from their membership to create the Regional Leadership Group i.e. Regional Leadership Group members are mandated by and accountable to their Core Group
External facilitators, knowledgeable in the EGL approach and community development, can assist this process.
4. Core Groups
Core groups meet prior to each Regional Leadership Group meeting and their purpose is to:
- Provide a space for specific stakeholders
- Support the people they selected to be on the Regional Leadership Group (RLG)
- Provide guidance to their members on the RLG
- Offer a space where a wider group of interested local people can discuss ideas, potential impacts and perspectives on suggested changes
- Ensure there are informed people who can step in, when required, if a member of the RLG is unable to attend a meeting i.e. “back-ups” and succession planning
- Assist with hosting community forums
- Provide a place where people with specific experiences and expertise can offer their views to the local leaders before RLG meetings
Core Group membership is typically organic and flexible. People self-select, with the understanding that consistent participation is desirable. The core groups are focused ‘working groups’ and will meet monthly for approximately 1 ½ hours each month.
- Participation in core group meetings is voluntary
- Local leaders on the RLG attend core group meetings.
Who is on the Regional Leadership Group
The Regional Leadership Group will ensure that there is equitable representation from disabled people, family, whanau, Mana Whenua, Pasifika and providers in the region. Group composition varies. It is typically something like: five disabled people (one seat reserved for People First), three family members, three Mana Whenua (tangata whaikaha or whanau whaikaha), two Pacific people (disabled people or families) and two providers. The aim is equity and not equality.
Officials can routinely attend all or part of each meeting. However, they are non-voting members.
Each Core Group determines a process for selecting Regional Leadership Group members and the processes they will use to gather information/opinions prior to meetings and circulate information after meetings.
Regional Leadership members must agree to become familiar with and be committed to the following:
- The EGL vision and principles
- Te Tiriti o Waitangi
- The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
- Working co-operatively within the group
- Be a local person willing to be involved in community system transformation
The group may choose to occasionally review its composition.
What Regional Leadership Groups have needed to think about:
Natural justice - Transparency and fairness of procedure and freedom from bias on the part of the person making the decision/judgment .
Equity of voice - “speaking time should usually be shared more or less equally by the number of the people in the group, and most of our time should be spent listening.”
Safety - without fear of negative consequences, feeling accepted and respected.
Honourable space - “… respect and maintain the sacred space, harmony and balance within relationships”
Consensus - “a generally accepted opinion or decision among a group of people” Consensus, in the group, is reached when all Leadership Group members present have the chance to give their opinions and nearly all (e.g. 80%) of the voting members agree. If people disagree, this will be recorded and their reasons briefly described.
Mandate - the authority that is given to do something
Role of Support Workers - support workers are here to ‘support’ and not participate – unless, specifically requested by the person being supported.
7. Requests from officials
Officials (and others) are requested to send papers two weeks in advance (four weeks to maximise input from networks) and to be clear about what actions they want from the group.
8. Making decisions
The decision-makers are the disabled people, families, Mana Whenua, provider representatives and Pasifika representatives. Officials present are encouraged to contribute to discussions.
The aim will be for decisions to be made by consensus. Consensus is described as an agreed position reached by the group or where the group agrees to support a decision in the interests of the whole. Consensus can be linked to the idea of mana kotahitanga (the strength and integrity of unity).
Different approaches to building consensus may be used at different times. This may depend on the importance of the decision, its possible impact, the time available and whether people need more information.
Regardless of the approach used, all perspectives will be valued and all people will have the space to put their view forward. Any meeting notes will be clear about whether a statement reflects the consensus of the group or whether it is an opinion expressed (individual views).
Typically, disabled people will speak first on an issue, then families and then others.
After initial discussion, a position will be put to the group. It is likely that discussion goes around the decision makers in the group person by person and ask them to indicate what they think. People indicate whether they agree, disagree or if they want something clarified or changed. These ideas are then considered by the whole group.
After this has happened, it is likely that members go around the decision makers in the group again, person by person, and ask them to indicate what they think now.
The aim is for everyone to have the space to have their views understood and to agree on the “next step” or position the group will express to others. It may be that an outcome of the discussion is just clearly and simply described i.e. how many people agree, disagree or are not sure.
The group may revisit any issue when it considers there is new information available.
9. Meeting Notes
Notes of the meetings, or any conversations about them, typically do not record who said what. Instead, they reflect the main themes of contributions, the outcome of the discussion and associated actions.
People attending the meeting usually have five working days to approve the notes and then they will be made publicly available to any interested party.
10. External facilitation
Meetings of Regional Leadership Groups have been externally facilitated until the group is self-sufficient. This is to ensure that the views of people with a lived experience leads discussion, to develop consensus-based processes and to equip group members with techniques related to community development.
External facilitators have generally been people who have: a good understanding of the EGL approach, community development, active facilitation techniques, constructively managing conflict and equity. Sometimes there are co-facilitators – where at least one of the facilitators are disabled people or family members.
How does this get funded/ resourced?
Ideally, NEGL would like a transparent funding source for all Regional Leadership Groups that does not compromise your autonomy, local ownership or identity.
We have not reached this point yet.
It may be that various funding sources can be considered locally or funding can be obtained through the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Social Development or the new Ministry (after 1st July 2022).
NEGL imagines that you will use funding to pay for things like:
- External facilitation
- Guest presenters
- People's time
- Running events or projects
NEGL also imagines that, at some point, you may be in a position to hold funding to commission local initiatives that enable more disable people, families, tangata whaikaha and whanau to understand EGL, explore what a good life looks like, develop skills and build a community where all citizens are valued.
If a Regional Leadership Group chooses to do things like this, you will need to consider how you will build a legal entity, to hold/distribute funding or how you can use another organisation to do this on your behalf.
It is important to consider where funds are coming from because, even though other sources may agree to fund your work, you need to ensure that the funding is given to your group to control and does not remain in the ownership of another entity.
12. What is a “Region”
As of March 2022, there are no defined regions. As the change process continues, there will be decisions about how many regions there will be. However the regions are formed, your work assisting people to understand EGL, connect with each other and develop local leadership networks can feed into the agreed regional and national Mana, Self-determination and Voice mechanisms.
13. with the EGL National Leadership Group (NEGL)
As part of creating a cohesive national network, the Regional Leadership Group (RLG) can explore how they can feed into NEGL and how NEGL can support the RLG.
 Independent means the group is not managed or influenced by a direct support provider, NASC or EGL/ministry entity
 Glossary | New Zealand Ministry of Justice