Latest News 22-10-2021

NZDSN News Update 22nd October 2021

Inside this Issue
A Message from our CEO
Mandatory vaccination polling results
Policy update
NZDSN Auckland update
Upcoming events

A message from our CEO

It is timely to have this brief Update as we look forward to Labour Weekend that will provide a well-earned break!

A lot has been happening in the COVID-19 response, and the vaccination roll-out. Government announcements have signalled a change in direction in New Zealand’s responses that is hoped will enable us all to get out-and-about more and establish a new “normal”.

The COVID outbreak continues to bite around the country, most especially in the northern half of the North Island.  And the Mandatory Vaccination Order (as yet unseen) continues to create confusion across our membership:

  • Which roles in the disability workforce are covered by this Order?
  • How do we respond to those who refuse to be vaccinated?
  • What happens if the vaccination deadlines are missed?

These questions and many others are the focus of ongoing discussions with the Ministry of Health (MoH) as we try to demystify this issue quickly.

In other areas, after a hiatus, the MoH are reconvening meetings to discuss the pay equity settlement.  We look forward to this being resolved so that both workers and employers are not disadvantaged.

Many providers are struggling to find staff, and COVID isn’t helping.  NZDSN is keen to advance discussions with MSD over the development of a Workforce Strategy that identifies current issues and how best to address these, as well as how to reduce the risk of future shortages, including the development of career pathways and qualifications.

Thank you to those members who have reached out with their issues and experiences directly, or via our closed Facebook group.  Your voice is valued and not lost.  Please feel free to keep in touch –

I wish you all a restful and safe Labour Weekend.

Peter Reynolds

Mandatory vaccination polling results

We have polled our members on their views of the possible effect of the mandatory Vaccination Order on their staff.  The results are:

Percentage of the workforce of members who will have the first vaccination by 30th October 2021 – 75.79%

Percentage of the workforce who will be fully vaccinated by 1st December 2021– 83.16%

From the responses received to date the primary barriers to vaccination include:

  • My body, my choice
  • Religious reasons
  • Safety concerns about the vaccine.


COVID Vaccine mandate

We have been receiving a few queries about vaccine mandates.  This is where we’re up to:

  • Government is issuing a Mandatory Vaccination Order that requires all client-facing staff to have their first COVID-19 vaccination by 31 Oct 2021 and be fully vaccinated by 1 Dec 2021.
  • Staff in these roles cannot work if they are unvaccinated.
  • Go here for information on providing evidence of vaccination status – Ministry of Health Website or My COVID Record website or here.
  • Worksafe has published guidance on how to undertake a risk assessment.

We understand sector efforts to push out this timeframe and provide more guidance to providers are being considered by MoH officials.

Auckland Alert Levels

We are working with MoH to give Community Participation and Very High Needs providers in Auckland some guidance about when they can re-open.

Policy Update

The 2023 Disability Survey consultation process runs until Friday 29 October 2021.

Please read the consultation document and answer the questions that are of interest to you. Submissions can be made via the online submission form, in writing using the template at the end of the consultation document, or by video or audio recording emailed to:

Findings from the consultation and their final decisions will be published in 2022.

NZDSN will be making a submission. Contact Sara Georgeson if you want to contribute your ideas to this.

NZDSN Auckland Update

Auckland Small/ Boutique providers’ network:

At the last zoom meeting 5th of October:

  • Interactive conversation led by Michelle Smith from Lifewise and Ainsley Darvell Flying Kites, who shared their learnings and expertise on possible new ways of working for small providers.
  • Presentation from Sanjoy Nand, Chief of Allied Health Scientific and Technical

CMDHB presented their Disability Strategy to explore collaboration with the small providers’ network.

  • Check in with network by Mia Barr from White Cloud Professionalisation.
  • Follow up on the Stakeholders meeting from 29th of July, small providers have recently established three new working groups alongside the existing Post COVID Lockdown/ Pandemic Working group led by Taikura Trust:
  1. Learnings Mana Whaikaha future system transformation, including pricing
  2. Emergency response
  3. Equal access to information and communication for services.

The 4th existing Post Pandemic Working group with Taikura Trust will also continue to meet when needed.

Revival of the Auckland Supported Employment network

With Gordon Boxall being appointed as the new NZDSN National Supported Employment Coordinator, an initial zoom meeting with potential Auckland SE network members was held on 7th of October.  The network aims to connect every 3 -4 months.

Next Auckland (virtual) regional network meetings 24th November

Given the current lockdown situation we are planning to organise the next meeting via zoom.  Programme:

  • Welcome & introductions
  • Update by CEO Peter Reynolds
  • Update by MoH
  • Update by Te Pou
  • Presentations from:
    • Michelle Smith Life Wise & Ainsley Darvell Flying Kites. Getting Ready to Embrace the Flexible Support World’
    • Lisa Martin, Complex Care Group – valuable tools from the EGL Enabling Good Lives Toolbox from MoH.

Click here to register online for this virtual networking meeting on the 24th of November Zoom link invitations will be sent out closer to the date.

Upcoming events

Safeguarding a Good Life

In 2020 NZDSN held an introductory Symposium to help participants, from within and connected to the disability community, to understand the Safeguarding Framework.

NZDSN now invites you and others to attend a follow-up two-day workshop to embed and action this understanding. Experiencing violence can be disabling, while use of violence is common against disabled people. In these workshops, we bring together disability, sexual and family violence, and health care sectors to shift attitudes, behaviours and systems that discriminate against disabled people and whānau. This workshop also aims to build a community-led response and commitment to safeguard disabled people’s human rights and lives free from abuse and harm. We encourage organisations to register people who are committed to attending both days to sign up for this two-day workshop to embed and action this understanding.

This workshop will be held on the 2nd and 3rd of December at Tait Technology Centre Tait Communications Campus 245 Wooldridge Road Harewood Christchurch.

Funding from MSD enables us to offer a subsidised rate of: $150 plus GST. Family members Free. To register a family member, contact  Register here: NZDSN Events

20211022 October 2021 Newsletter pdf