I’m Sacha O’Dea and I’m leading the work on transformation of the disability support system.
On April 11, we had our first workshop and I’m keen to share with you what happened.
There’s a series of workshops being held from now until mid-June. I’d like everybody in the disabled community to know what’s happening so I will send out information after each workshop.
We began by talking about how we will work as a team. The team includes:
Five disabled people
- Jade Farrar
- Shane McInroe
- Gerri Pomeroy
- Helena Tuteao
- Esther Woodbury
Two family representatives
- Lawrence Chok
- Tina Lincoln
Two from service organisations
- David Matthews
- John Taylor
People from government agencies
- Scott Ambridge
- Toni Atkinson
- Georgina Muir, and myself.
We discussed how to include diverse views and ensure everyone has an equal voice during the workshops.
One of the team said she felt a great responsibility about the work ahead and it came with the weight of the community’s expectations.
Others agreed and said it was also an opportunity of a lifetime and they didn’t want to paper over the cracks but provide disabled people with more choice and control.
At the workshop, Disability Issues Minister Nicky Wagner said the opportunity to transform the system was “exciting and challenging”.
Ms Wagner said “everything was on the table” and while social investment (investing upfront to improve people’s lives and/or make savings in the future) may mean putting more in at the beginning, there was a need to be realistic and “fiscally responsible” with investment in the right places.
The Minister also said a new system would have to work in seamlessly with Health, Education and others.
Ms Wagner said its success would be measured by whether disabled people had a better quality of life and more opportunities.
At the end of the session, we talked about the Enabling Good Lives’ principles and there will be more work on this at the next workshop.
If you have any questions, or you’d like to contribute ideas or comment in the future, you can contact the team by emailing STfeedback@moh.govt.nz.
This information is also provided in video, Te Reo, Easy Read in PDF and Word, a Brf file for Braille, and an audio file at the following links.