News Update — 17 September 2020

Kia ora and welcome to our September Newsletter. We had been holding off until an announcement about DSS contract price uplifts, but alas we still wait.

Table of Contents

Contract price uplift for DSS funded services

At the time of writing a communication about a price uplift has not been forthcoming. We have received a confidential briefing about the Ministry’s intent and we have made our expectations clear. Following communication about any decision we will be in touch about our response. If we are disappointed we will be releasing a media statement and we will be looking for providers to back up this story with examples around likely impacts for your organisations, disabled people and families – so please – help us to help you!

Joint Work programme with DSS

Thank you so much for the response to our survey on key priority areas we should be working with DSS on. We had 148 responses and strong support for two key areas:

  • An approach to commissioning that leads to sustainable funding
  • Workforce Development.

We are currently working with DSS on a joint work plan with these two areas as a focus. Here is a summary of how we have understood the process to date:

Fees free and Apprenticeship Boost

Most of you will have caught up with the decision by government to make all level 3,4 and 5 certificate programmes fees free – these include the Health and Well Being suite of qualifications. What may be less well known is that the Level 4 Health and Well Being Apprenticeship Programme qualifies for “Apprenticeship Boost:” this pays the employer $1000 per month for the first year and $500 per month for the second year up to a maximum of $16,000 over 20 months. The scheme runs through until April 2022. To maximise the benefits you should apply as soon as possible. This additional support has the potential to dramatically alter the level and type of learning support you can offer staff undertaking the level 4 apprenticeship in Health and Well Being. Further information can be found here

Employment Support Diploma Programme opens for enrolments

NZDSN would like to acknowledge the work of a wide range of people who have contributed to the development of this programme including those on the Stewardship Group and those who participated in the February workshop focused on initial curriculum development. This project has been led by Gordon Boxall and Grant Cleland and we are indebted to their patience, persistence and enthusiasm to get this significant piece of work across the start line. We have also appreciated the collaborative and constructive approach taken by Careerforce as we worked together to bring this qualification to life. Details about the course and enrolment information can be found here:

Diversifying Workforce Supply

We have contributed along with the Aged Care Association and the Home and Community Association to a successful grant application by Careerforce to TEC to focus on workforce supply issues. This significant grant will enable us to focus on sustained activity to promote, attract and retain a more diverse workforce including younger people, disabled people, Maori and Pasifika.

PPE template for Alert Level 2

We have worked with a couple of providers and the Ministry IPC team on a template for ordering masks to streamline the process and minimise providers having to justify quantities each time. We are waiting to hear back the outcome of this.

Banking Issues Forum

We have been approached recently by a couple of providers about some recurring issues around the requirement of same banks to have guardianship orders in place for people to be supported to have their own bank accounts. Moreover, providers are increasingly uncomfortable with the systems that they currently have in place that manage people’s money on their behalf. The money laundering legislation and the prospect of a world without cheques is also creating uncertainty – for providers and banks – resulting in different and changing requirements from bank to bank.

In response NZDSN is looking to organise a forum for providers to engage with key banking representatives to hear about the work already being done in this space (for example by IHC) and others, including the perspective of People First NZ. We are interested in hearing from other providers who may want to contribute their experiences along with any work on solutions. The aim of the forum is to develop approaches that meet the obligations that banks have and that offer disabled people the support to exercise choice and control without resorting to guardianship orders.

We will be looking to hold the forum late this year or early in 2021.

Provider Development Events

National Symposiums:

To register for any of these events click here

  • Embedding EGL informed practice for leadership teams: these are now confirmed for Mid-Central in the context of the system transformation prototype (funded through MoH) and 4 other projects in Auckland, Hawkes Bay, Nelson and Christchurch (funded through MSD).
  • What Next?  Transition from School workshops. In Tauranga this week and early next year in Hawkes Bay and Nelson.
  • Employment Support Services in Schools. This workshop series is to support the decision to pilot the involvement of Employment Support Services in schools for up two years prior to leaving school. The pilots are in 5 locations: Auckland, Waikato, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin. These workshops will be now scheduled for March and April next year.

And don’t forget our Facebook Interest Groups

Transition from School
Administrator is Jane Rotton:

High and Complex Needs
Administrator is Sharon Brandford:

Supporting Families
Administrator is Michelle Smith:

 Workplace Health and Safety/Injury Prevention
Administrator is Irene Allen:

Administrator is Tracy Parr:

Tui Tuia
Administrator is Tania Thomas:

Small Providers Administrators are Michelle Smith ( and
Wendy Mosch (

Kia tu tahi tatou
From the NZDSN Team