MidCentral to trial new disability support system

  • Hon Carmel Sepuloni
  • Hon Julie Anne Genter
Disability Issues Health

The Government is trialling a new system for delivering disability supports in MidCentral to start on October 1 2018, Minister for Disability Issues Hon Carmel Sepuloni and Associate Minister for Health Hon Julie Anne Genter announced today.

“We are excited to be launching a new system that will make it easier for people with disabilities to access supports,” Ms Sepuloni said.

“It is about disabled people and their whānau having more options and greater decision making over what supports they need to live the life they want, rather than their lives having to fit in around what has been on offer,” says Ms Sepuloni.

“The disability community has been calling for change for a long time and this Government is committed to making people’s lives better. The 1,600 disabled people and their whānau in MidCentral are set to trial if a new approach for a disability support system will improve their lives,” Ms Genter said.

“There will be a try, learn and adjust approach taken with the new system for the first year, with disabled people and whānau providing feedback. We look forward to hearing how this pilot goes before making further decisions,” says Ms Genter.

“The new disability system will be sensitive to Māori, Pacific and other cultures and also take into account the needs of children and young people so they can live their lives in a way which will recognise and enhance their ability to contribute to the community,’ says Ms Sepuloni.

The new system has been designed together with disabled people, whānau and others in the disability sector.

A total of $23.84 million over two years is allocated to set up the new system in MidCentral which includes Palmerston North, Horowhenua, Manawatu, Ōtaki and Tararua districts. The funding also allows the demonstrations in Christchurch and Waikato to continue.

The new system, which will begin 1 October, will feature:

·     being welcomed into the system and finding out information in multiple ways

·     access to a Connector who will walk alongside disabled people and whānau to help them identify what they want in their lives, how to build that life, and the supports available

·     easy to use information and processes

·     connected support across government

·     streamlined funding and allocation, including access to a personal budget to be used flexibly

·     capability funding for disabled people and whānau to build their skills

·     greater system accountability with disabled people and whānau involved in its governance.