News Update 12/12/2022

Inside this Issue:

A Message from our CEO
The Peter Reynolds Version of “The Twelve Days of Christmas:
NZDSN Poloicy Analyst
NZDSN Auckland Regional Co-ordinator
Workforce Development Collaboration Projects
Member profile
Upcoming events
Before You Go
Members’s Only Facebook and LinkedIN Groups

A Message from our CEO Peter Reynolds

As I reflect on the year, there are plenty of people I want to thank for their efforts and support of our members.

Sue, our long-standing Office Manager, leaves us just before Christmas and will be sorely missed.  After eight and a half years leading our administration efforts for NZDSN, we wish Sue all the very best for her future.

Gordon is also taking on a new project that will pull him away from his National Co-ordinator Employment Support role.  Gordon will be undertaking a significant project commissioned by Whaikaha to explore and lead the response to the United Nation’s deinstitutionalisation report.  No doubt we will be keeping in close contact with Gordon as his project unfolds to ensure the future role of disability support providers is clear.

Finally, Paul Revill stepped down as our Auckland   Provider Representative as a very busy job and we have been very fortunate and lucky to have had the benefit of a little of his energy to support our Auckland members for a while now.  Again, we know Paul can be found leading a great team at Agape, and we hope to keep in close contact with him to continue to seek his advice from time-to-time.  Paul has been replaced in the co-ordinator role by Bernadette McEvoy from Totara Farm Trust – welcome Bernadette, we appreciate your help.

The Peter Reynolds Version of “The Twelve Days of Christmas”

As we head toward the end of 2022 and the Christmas / New Year period (I won’t say break because I know some of you will work through!), I’m reminded of an old Christmas Carol.  I’ve taken a bit of liberty with the lyrics…
On the first day of Christmas, my true love sent to me – a brand, spanking new Ministry!  Whaikaha is here in all its glory.  We must be vigilant, however – the level of expectation on Whaikaha is huge along with the political pressure to deliver quick wins.

On the second day of Christmas, my true love sent to me – double-check if your chimney is accessible.  If not, it might feature in one of the two new committees being set up under the Accessibility Bill! 😊

On the third day of Christmas my true love sent to me – a new and fully-funded pay equity settlement for care and support workers and further funding for the relativities!

On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me – a COVID-free workforce!

On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me – a queue of suitably qualified, experienced and reference-checked support workers to fill my vacancies waiting, at my door!

On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me – news that Kainga Ora has buckled under the pressure and lifted their accessible housing goal from 15% to 85%

On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love sent to me – a complete Disability Workforce Development Strategy that offers a clear direction for the sector to address our workforce needs for the future, including qualifications framework where needed and a funded recruitment campaign to address the immediate shortage

On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me – news from Whaikaha and MSD that same services will receive same full funding – equity and sustainability for all!!

On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me – news that Winston leads in the polls, interest rates are down, the relatives aren’t staying for Christmas after all, and the Warriors start winning!!

On the tenth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me – a fruiting lemon tree to go with a nice case of gin, all to celebrate the final end of 2022!

On the eleventh day of Christmas, my true love sent to me – news that all major political parties have agreed to the same positive and well-funded disability policies for the election!

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me – a peaceful, restful Christmas and New Year break! On behalf of my team, Sue, Solmaz, Nicky, Kristi and Gordon, and our energetic and supportive Board, can I take the opportunity to wish, your team, the wonderful disabled people you work with and support, and their families and whanau, an absolutely brilliant Christmas and very restful break.  You should be very proud of what you and your teams have achieved through such a tumultuous year.  Fingers crossed 2023 will be a little less intense!

NZDSN Policy Analyst Dr Solmaz Nazari

A recent Roy Morgan New Zealand Poll shows a potential National/Act NZ coalition has increased its lead over the governing Labour/Greens coalition in September to the largest margin for four months since May 2022.  It’s early days, but what might this mean for disability support providers and the people they serve?

  • In the lead-up to the election, the government will want to rush through any remaining legislation they feel strongly about
  • Should a Labour coalition be returned, Labour will again consider this to be a mandate in support of their social change agenda
  • Should a National-led coalition be elected, more of a focus on debt-reduction and control over government spending will feature

For disability support providers, under Labour, we would see a continuation of the pay equity issue with an increasing number of claims, although the unions may move more toward Fair Pay Agreements.  It is unlikely there will be a fully funded solution as the government increasingly runs out of money reflecting the breadth of their change agenda.

Under National, we would see moves to reduce the size of the public service, some effort to reduce personal income tax, but with a trade-off elsewhere such as an increase in the retirement age.  Fair pay agreements may go, and the government will want to put a halt to any further pay equity claims.  That means increased pressure on providers in respect of the relativities.

The United Nations has produced a report proposing guidelines on deinstitutionalisation, including in emergencies.

This follows an investigation into the progress being made in New Zealand to implement the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Institutionalisation is defined (broadly) as the act of placing a disabled person into residential care or some other institution/setting against their wishes and includes subjecting that person to medical treatment, abuse, neglect, etc, again without their consent.

Deinstitutionalisation is the process of moving a disabled person out of an institution and into a community-based setting selected and based on the wishes of the person concerned.

New Zealand has committed to making progress in this area.

For disability support residential service providers, this report signals a period of change as Whaikaha works out how it wants to respond to the UN report and develops a plan to move forward at pace.  We can expect the most radical change to impact on sheltered workshop-type services and a change to the criteria that restores the autonomy, choice, and control to disabled persons as to how, where and with whom they decide to live.  Specific services likely to be impacted by this report will include under-65 disability residential services, group homes, and activity centres.

In the September 2022 quarter compared with the June 2022 quarter, the CPI rose 2.2 percent (1.7 percent with seasonal adjustment).

  • Food rose 4.1 percent, influenced by fruit and vegetables (up 17 percent) and grocery foods (up 2.2 percent).
  • Housing and household utilities rose 2.3 percent, influenced by home ownership (up 3.3 percent) and property rates and related services (up 7.1 percent).
  • Transport rose 1.7 percent, influenced by passenger transport services (up 18 percent) and was partly offset by private transport supplies and services (down 2.5 percent).

Labour cost index (LCI) salary and wage rates (including overtime) increased 2.4 percent in the year to September 2019 quarter, its largest annual increase since the June 2009 quarter.

The Reserve Bank says “severe” labour shortages are limiting business services and output across many industries, regions and skill types.  Translation: Hospital A&E waiting times are soaring, and buses are being cancelled.  Household spending is high (the bank points the finger at the Govt’s cost of living payment as contributing) and the unemployment rate remained low at 3.3% in September … but that’s about to change, fast.

Early next year, the Bank plans to tip the country into 12 months of constrained spending, with the increased joblessness that comes with it.

The trade-off really is that deliberate.  By hiking interest rates, Adrian Orr and his colleagues hope to constrain wages, borrowing and spending.  Unemployment isn’t an unfortunate bycatch, it’s one of the big fish they’re trying to net. “Inflation is nobody’s friend,” Orr says.  “In order to rid the country of inflation we need to reduce the level of spending in the economy.”

For providers this translates into pressure from staff for wage increases.  This will have an impact on recruitment.

Pay Equity
The pay equity claim on behalf of nurse practitioners, registered nurses, registered midwives, enrolled nurses, and health care assistants/hospital aides has been settled, with increases in wage rates of around 35% (note: the settlement is not linear).  This will put pressure on disability support providers as some staff secure care assistant roles in hospitals.

The timing of the settlement of the care and support workers’ pay equity claim and any further claims aimed at other related roles impacted by relativity issues is likely to create problems.  The combined unions have signalled around four pay equity claims are lodged or in planning.  The rush to table these claims is already creating capacity problems for employers, government, and the unions, and is driven (in part) by the unions’ concerns over the prospect of a government change and the likely withdrawal of support for the pay equity process and funding should that happen.  This increases the relativities pressure on employers as staff in related roles seek increases to mirror care and support workers increases.

Accessible social housing is scarce.  Respite capacity is scarce.  Appropriate and accessible respite is likely to only come from an increase in the capacity of the system.  There is insufficient commitment to accessible social housing, with Kainga Ora’s goal of 15%.  The Labour Party’s Manifesto sought 25%.  The UN has called for 100%.  NZDSN is calling for 85%.

The government has tabled an Accessibility Bill which is now before the Select Committee.  The Bill has been roundly criticised for its lack of teeth.  If the Bill doesn’t get rejected by Select Committee and withdrawn by government, it will need significant change to include a definition of accessibility, standards, and a process to enforce.

Disability Sector Funding
Disability sector funding is in disarray.  It suffers from a lack of any real investment over several years, even against inflation.  This drives significant sustainability issues for the sector where the delivery of government-funded services is increasingly dependent on the goodwill and supplementing of providers.  The system is full of inequities where the same services are paid at different rates depending on where in the country they are and their negotiation skills with local NASCs and DHBs.  What’s worse is that every year this problem remains the catch-up investment required balloons further out of control.

Meanwhile, politicians point to the large investment being made already in the disability sector and point to providers rather than confronting the true cost of support services and investing accordingly.

NZDSN has proposed the completion and implementation of the equity-driven Residential Pricing work undertaken by Whaikaha (and its predecessor the Ministry of Health) in partnership with the sector.  NZDSN has also proposed the extension of that equity work to all disability support services, not just residential.

NZDSN has also proposed the establishment of a Sustainable Funding Project to establish a transparent model for costing out disability support services.  The model is intended to make it clear to government, providers, and the public the true cost of delivering the support services expected.  The proposal is separate from government Budget decisions about the level of investment but would allow for open discussions about what could be delivered in the event of a lower level of investment.

The country’s top public health official, Dr Andrew Old, recommended that the mask mandate remain in place for public transport and other close contact situations, but ministers overrode him, according to an August health briefing.

The document shows officials largely backed the moves to scrap the traffic light system, reduce requirements at the border and remove isolation rules for household contacts. It was produced in late August to inform Cabinet’s decision-making about the long-term management of Covid-19.

With over 20,000 infections reported to date, there is a likelihood that the government will be forced to reintroduce some protection measures sooner rather than later.


Whaikaha has been given a strong mandate to implement Enabling Good Lives across the disability support sector.  The sector has not yet seen/heard what that might look like.  We continue to ask for information on their intent/approach.

A weakness of the implementation approach is the recognition of intellectual disability and those who cannot articulate their wishes for themselves.  Another is the risk of a one-size-fits-all approach.

What is needed to roll EGL out nationally?  Investment.  Training.  Resources.  Recognition of Context.  Move toward outcomes-based contracting.  Sector-wide discussion, not just involving those capable of articulating an argument. The opportunity for NZDSN is to seek to be involved in these discussions, as the voice for providers, and (for some) the voice for those who struggle to articulate their views for themselves.  There is also an opportunity to take a leadership role within the provider sector to advance the principles of EGL in a meaningful way – through discussion and training opportunities.  Taking real steps to place the disabled at the heart of provider service planning and delivery and pushing for greater flexibility in service design and funding to support the delivery of EGL principles across all services.

NZDSN Auckland Regional Co-ordinator Kristi Shaw

A big thank you to our members and the wider community for attending the second Accessibility: Beyond Intention Summit in November. The Summit format was developed in response to NZDSN members wanting to actively be part of creating change that is happening in our sector, in Enabling Good Lives style. We invited people with lived experience to join our Core Group of Champions to ensure their voice and energy was included. We invited stakeholders in and around the disability sector to share partnership for cohesive and collaborative action.

Feedback was very positive. All up, both summits included 67 participants, with the second Summit including about an equal mix of Summit 1 people and new people. Here were our goals, and how we have met them so far:

Summit Goals:

  1. Build our capability and capacity together, at all levels, for collaborative and cohesive strategic actions where fully-accessible outcomes are valued and successfully achieved across the Auckland/Northern region.
    1. 78% succeeded well, 22% a little bit to fairly
  2. Grow and strengthen relationships and partnerships at all levels
    1. 85% succeeded well, 15% a little bit to fairly
  3. Identify what we are doing really well right now, and what we want MORE of
    1. 93% succeeded well, 7% a little to fairly

Our feedback included appreciation of the positive strengths-based process of the Summit to bring a variety of stakeholders together for focused cohesive action, as well as a bit of constructive criticism for wanting to have the network meetings like they were done in the past, with guest speakers sharing information. There has been so much learning overall, with a very real acknowledgement that the sector has, and is, continuing to see so much change.

A key priority for the second summit was partnering for ACTION – achievable and manageable cohesive action that we have capacity, resources, and connections to follow up on. Small collective steps leading to valuable change. We are at the initial stages of our partnerships, and an incredible outcome came out of the Summit from all the different groups brainstorming independently. That was to have a centralized information hub available for the disability sector for a variety of areas including: employment, housing, accessible technology and equipment, programmes and services, and health and wellbeing.

An overall agreement was to resurrect the FirstPort Disability Hub. With our Summit findings, there is a good foundation to source funding and build resourcing, capacity, and energy for this action. Alongside FirstPort, other centralized hubs are being developed, like Skillet’s Accessibility Maps, and Yes Disability’s Future Ready website. Our people and our sector are innovative and resourceful, and we can generate cohesive and supportive actions that bring so much value to so many.

What happens now? Groups will be receiving their consolidated Summit information before the Christmas holidays. In the new year, each group will determine how they want to continue to meet, action their ideas, and strengthen and build their connections. We aim to include an opportunity to meet again at our next Auckland Regional Network meeting in March where we will have Guest Speakers and opportunities to network.

We are wishing everyone a very well-deserved Christmas and Summer Holiday, and again, special gratitude to all the Champions working behind the scenes for a successful Accessibility: Beyond Intention Summit:

Our Core Planning Group Champions:

  • Linda Harun (previously Explore)
  • Michelle Smith (Lifewise)
  • Michelle Creighton (Rescare Homes)
  • Denise Nicholson (Greenways Trust)
  • Adam Dade (NorthAble)
  • Claire Lewinski (NorthAble)
  • Ngaire Jones (AccessAble)
  • Jackie Mascall-Young (Spectrum Care)
  • Tabatha Murray (Spectrum Care)
  • Rangi Pouwhare (Mana Atea)
  • Tina Edmonds (Mana Atea)
  • Martine Abel-Williamson (Auckland Disability Advisory Panel)

And Our Special Advisors:

  • Chandra Harrison (Access Advisors)
  • Anne Bailey (Co-Operacy)
  • Karen Plimmer (Lifewise)
  • Lisa Freidrich (Rescare Homes)
  • Joanna Bowers (Spectrum Care)
  • Peter Kamphuis (Spectrum Care)


  • Nataliyah Handrick (Rangitoto College)
  • Matthew Cosbrook (Rangitoto College)


  • The Cookie Project
  • Skin 2 Love

Workforce Development Collaboration Projects Dr Garth Bennie

The remaining three projects are rapidly heading towards the finish line:

Level 2-4 Qualifications project

A comprehensive report detailing the curriculum and delivery requirements for new national disability focused qualifications will be passed to Toitu Te Waiora in February. As the Workforce Development Council, Toitu Te Waiora has included the development of these qualifications in their work programme starting in March/April 2023. The project report is the result of widespread engagement, input from a project advisory team and will function as a guiding document. Toitu Te Waiora has committed to continuing stakeholder consultation with the sector as these new national qualifications take shape. The project report will be available in early February.

Level 5 project: Qualification in Positive Behaviour Support

A report detailing curriculum and delivery requirements for this qualification will be submitted to Careerforce/Te Pukenga in early February. There has been significant engagement about the key requirements of this qualification along with the input of a project advisory team. Initially this qualification will be delivered as a specialist programme under the auspices of the level 5 Diploma in Health and Wellbeing. Careerforce/Te Pukenga are developing an implementation plan which will look to open enrolments in April 2023. We are anticipating significant demand for this qualification from across the sector

Enabling Good Lives Video Training Resource Project

Filming is complete and post production is underway. Initial clips are being reviewed by the project team and final edits and captioning will be undertaken early in the new year. The stories being told cover a wide variety of circumstances and a diverse group of individuals and families/whanau/aiga. Discussions are happening about the launching and distribution of this resource so that it has a wide audience reach and impact.

Leadership Programme

This programme was delivered by Humanly and focused on Enabling Good Lives informed practice and organisational development. It was delivered to 39 teams from 38 organisations across the country involving almost 200 participants. Programme feedback has been very positive. While delivery was completed in June this year there are discussions about possible further delivery of the programme in 2023.

If you would like to find out more about these projects or have questions, please contact the Workforce Projects Manager:
Garth Bennie
Bennford Consulting
Email: Phone: 027 673 4678

Member Profile NorthAble Matapuna Hauora

NorthAble Matapuna Hauora

NorthAble was set up in 1990 to provide information and advice to ngā tāngata whaikaha (our people with disabilities). From there, our services have grown and evolved into one of Northland’s largest independent disability services providers.

We deliver many services covering all areas of disability and beyond, Funded mainly by MSD and MoH. We aim to invest in our staff and business to enable them to deliver the best services possible. We do this through multiple relationships with our community and other providers that aim to ensure we are always looking for the new, best way forward.


We have restructured our services to deliver our contracts differently. We have implemented a new facilitation services model which combines the delivery of NASC, VHN and Transition into one service.

Our facilitation services model enables us to support our clients with all elements of their life and funding by providing one key point of contact with complete oversight of their needs and funding.  The aim is to make things as easy to use as possible, enhance mana, build long-lasting relationships that begin early and focus on holistic outcomes that access mainstream options first, with funded services there if needed, based on the determination clients and their families/whanau make.

Part of this service is our Disability Information and Advisory Service (DIAS) and navigation contracts, which we have embedded into our delivery, and as a separate service for those families that need extra information advice or guidance, as well as practical support as they navigate their way through any situation that might be troubling them.

We also offer two community participation programs, our LYNKZ and LYNKZ outreach service, where our whanau work with our facilitators to identify activities they would like to complete or attend, as well as skills they would like to learn.  We deliver the LYNKZ programmes out of our office in Whangarei and by travelling to Kerikeri, Kaikohe, Rawene, and Kaitaia. Trying to ensure we can service the population or the whole of Te Tai Tokerau.

As part of our holistic offering, we can support our clients in accessing Whangarei Budgeting Service, which is funded to support whanau to improve their financial capability through one-to-one support or group information seminars or classes.

NorthAble works to support our wider community through the provision of a covid mentor service which helps people deal with the long and short-term effects of covid and access resources such as food.  This service has broadened its scope to offer emergency planning to disabled people across Te Tai Tokerau to ensure that they have the knowledge, skills, and contacts to deal with it if something unforeseen happens.

We are in the process of setting up a new pilot service called Āhei, which is an internship program working with disabled rangatahi with a focus on increasing employment skills and creating opportunities for sustainable, long-term employment.  We will work with multiple local host businesses to place interns into their organisations. They will be provided with the opportunity to learn and evidence their ability to deliver many work-based capabilities.  When their internship finishes, we will support them through our job mentor to look at future opportunities for them,

We also own and operate NorthAble Equipment+, a shop with a social purpose that focuses on providing people with the equipment they need to enable them to live their best lives. We can offer total mobility assessments to remove the financial pressure of public transport across the Whangarei area.

NorthAble is focused on the future; we are here to support all ngā tāngata whaikaha of Te Tai Tokerau and beyond as we work to continue to deliver our purpose, to walk along and Work alongside people with disabilities to support them to lead their best life.

For more information on our services, please visit, email or call us at

Name   NorthAble 
09 430 0988 
09 430 3469   
09 430 0177
NorthAble Facebook Introduction

Upcoming events

We will Be Closed from the 22nd of December untilthe 4th of January, but, like The Terminator, we will be back and look forward to seeing you! If you need tto speak to us during this period, Peter will be available by phone.

Before you Go

Kristi, our Auckland Co-ordinator gives us food for thought again to round out the year.

If anyone is aware of this being in NZ, or has tried it, or have whanau who have tried it, please share.

Watch | Facebook We have a number of NZDSN members who are working in the accessibility and technology space and we’d love to feature you.

Members’ Only Facebook and LinkedIn Groups

Our open Facebook page is:
NZDSN Facebook
Our Members’ Only Facebook group is:
Facebook Members’ Only
Our LinkedIn New Zealand Disability Support Network profile is:
New Zealand Disability Support Network LinkedIn
Our Members’ Only LinkedIn profile is
LinkedIn Members’ Only

From the team at NZDSN, we wish you safe travels and happy holidays! We look forward to seeing you in January.

NZDSN News Update 12-12-2022 word

NZDSN News Update 12-12-2022 pdf