News Update 03 August 2021

Kia ora koutou

One month down and two weeks to go before Peter starts. The last two weeks have been very busy with several projects underway or about to start. Peter will certainly have a busy diary when he starts. Some reminders and information:
1. Membership renewals have just been sent out – please use this as an opportunity to check your membership level – if you need further clarification please contact Sue Eastwood

2. Careerforce – Transition of “arranging training” function – As part of RoVE the 2 core functions of Careerforce are being transferred to other organisations by December 2022. These are Qualification Setting (being transitioned to new Workforce Development Councils; expected to be operational on 4 October 2021) and Arranging Workplace Training. Careerforce is required to provide the Tertiary Education Commission with a transition plan for their “arranging workplace training” function. They are currently engaging with sectors to outline the three available transition options in order to get your preferences
Three broad transition options are outlined on the Careerforce website:

  • Transitioning Careerforce’s “arranging training” function and their learners to Te Pūkenga, the new organisation created by the merger of the 16 Polytechnics and Institutes of Technology (Read more)
  • Transitioning their “arranging training” function to Te Wānanga o Aotearoa (Read more)
  • Careerforce registering itself as a Private Training Establishment (PTE) with NZQA and transitioning the “arranging training” function to the PTE. (Read more)

Careerforce have invited feedback and I would encourage you all to do this. The survey will close on Sunday 15 August 2021 at midnight. Click on the link here to take the survey.

3. The Steering Committee for the Workforce Development project which will deliver 5 development initiatives, will meet on Wednesday August 18. Garth is facilitating this project which is primarily funded by the Ministry of Health with support from MSD, and Careerforce. There was a fantastic response to the call for EOIs for project leads/co-leads – we are still working through the selection process and will have appointments finalised by the end of August.

4. series of workshops focusing on Flexible Disability Support (FDS) pricing and planning tools have been held including two “technical” ones – the output from these is being worked on and we will share information from this process with you once it has been collated and presented to us. We have also held a planning meeting with the Ministry of Health on progressing the work on the Residential Planning Model (RPM) and will continue to work with them about next steps and collaboration.
In a recent email from Garth he reflected that NZDSN “…are doing our best to respond to provider issues and concerns (and understand their frustrations) related to how pricing is negotiated and the issue of portfolio manager turnover. Despite the best efforts of the Ministry and NASCs the whole landscape remains opaque, complex, lacking transparency and consistency and is very time consuming for everyone. The need to get this sorted through addressing current inequities across providers due to an accumulation of ad hoc decision making over many years along with a national roll out of FDS is now very urgent. The constant delays in contract payments and the fact that price uplifts occur many months into each financial year (when they do occur) adds to a very difficult financial environment for providers to manage in terms of cash flow and planning. It’s really important then that we push along the commissioning part of the joint work programme.”

5. Registration for the 2022 Christchurch IIMHL & IIDL Leadership Exchange is now open! This five-day event will take place the week of 28th February with the Matches being hosted across New Zealand and Australia on Monday 28th February and Tuesday 1st March. The Matches will be followed by the Network Meeting, which commences with a pōwhiri at the Te Pae Conference Centre in Christchurch, New Zealand at 5.00pm on Wednesday 2nd March, and continues with the Network Meeting sessions on Thursday 3rd and Friday 4th March. Go to the IIDL website for more information.

6. Employment Support Services National Coordinator Role – I am pleased to be able to report that Gordon Boxall has been appointed to this role. Gordon has been involved in a number of key projects with NZDSN including the development of the Employment Support Practice Guidelines, and the graduate Diploma in Health and Wellbeing (Employment Support) in collaboration with Careerforce. Gordon will provide oversight of our contracted work programme with MSD, provide policy advocacy and advice and represent the current issues and concerns of employment support providers to government, and liaise with regional networks to ensure that NZDSN is across current issues. Welcome Gordon!

7. Training and Workforce Development Fund – a reminder – The Training Fund is available to staff members of organisations contracted by the MSD National Office to provide employment, participation and inclusion services for people with disabilities. NZDSN administers this fund on behalf of MSD. People can apply for assistance from this fund throughout the year. Click here for further information.

8. From Mireille Vreeburg – Auckland Executive Facilitator – Following a number of meetings in the past few years, on 29th July Auckland Small /Boutique providers network met with staff from MOH, MSD MOE and Taikura Trust to continue building on establishing a relationship of trust and partnership to decrease working in silos and for the network to be acknowledged as a trustworthy partner.
A chart outlines what according to the network partnership entails and how they would like to see the different elements incorporated through the work with Ministries & NASCs.
The key points that were raised included:

  • Equitable access to info/ communication
  • Clear expectations of roles 
  • For distribution of risks
    Several examples were provided where these had not been in place.

Those present suggested the following as a pathway to improvement:

  • Monthly zoom meetings led by MOH with providers to get regular updates
  • The need for a tracking system to recognise official memos (numbering?) 
  • Setting up working groups with MOH and other stakeholders especially disabled people around specific topics to resolve urgent issues engaging with mental health/ crisis management & respite in crisis situations.
  • The need to prepare for the future which needs for more transparency by government so that providers will be kept in the loop around what the future will look like.
  • The need for providers to connect with local mental health providers
  • Ensuring the voice of disabled people is present and acknowledged
    The next meeting with officials will be in 6 months’ time.

9. Plans for Peter’s welcome on Monday August 16 in Wellington are progressing – my thanks to Sue for her work in preparing for this.

10. Sue has had the pleasure of a visit by the Auditors this week which means that year-end financials are getting closer to being finalised. No doubt many of you are also “enjoying” this experience as well.

11. The next Board meeting is on Thursday August 20 in Christchurch.

I think that covers the key issues and developments for now – as you can see NZDSN is in action on many fronts and your interim CE is working hard to keep them moving along.

Ngā mihi,
David Matthews, Interim CE