News Update 28/07/2023

Inside This Issue

A message from our CEO
Funding Update
Pay Equity Update
The Accessibility for New Zealanders Bill
Donald Beasley Institute Research – “My Experiences, My Rights”
2023 Census update from Stats NZ
Disability Data – Stats NZ
NZDSN’s Tui Tuia Maori Cultural Advisory Committee
IHC Accessible Democracy Forum
Platform’s Mental Health & Addiction Political Debate
Regional Networking  Meetings

A message from our CEO

Peter Reynolds (CEO)

NZDSN recently held its first conference in three years.  Over 350 people attended and enjoyed the event, focussing on disability support – at the crossroads.  Four sub-themes were examined in detail:
·  Workforce issues
·  Commissioning and funding services
·  Accessibility and housing; and
·  Pay equity.

Each sub-theme featured a keynote presenter, followed by a panel discussion, followed by three concurrent sessions for residential providers, community-based providers, and vocational providers.
We are currently soliciting feedback, concerns and ideas from members on the event ahead of planning our future lobbying and advocacy activities and future events, both regional and national.
Thank you to all those who attended, gave of their time and contributed so much value to a successful conference.
You can find out what you missed or what you want to re-visit at where you will find video recordings of keynote and panel discussions, notes from concurrent sessions and much more.

Funding Update
Te Whatu Ora and other funders are writing to all providers with details of a 3% funding uplift.  Some funders require providers to pass the 3% on to support workers; some do not.  See our e-mail and attached notice of 9th August – or e-mail if you have any queries.

Pay Equity Update
The focus is now on getting ready for bargaining and preparing for implementation once, a settlement has been reached.  There have been delays in getting the employers bargaining strategy endorsed and the Cabinet paper to secure funding – both of these important matters have meant that we have had to adjust the expected date for a proposed settlement to the end of September.
Milestones 3 and 4
•   The Oversight Group has endorsed both these Milestone reports.
•   This completes the investigative phase of the claim and has confirmed undervaluation of support workers.
Milestone 5
The Milestone 5 report – the employer bargaining strategy – has been submitted to •   the Oversight Group.  This details the key issues employers wish to take into bargaining. 
•   Following discussion with the Oversight Group, responses have been provided on a number of matters.
•   We are awaiting endorsement of the Milestone 5 report – the employer bargaining strategy.
Funding a settlement
•   There are two stages to securing the funding to give effect to any settlement reached between the employers and unions, both requiring Cabinet agreement:
•   A tagged contingency estimating the likely cost of a settlement: this enables the employers to commence formal bargaining
•   After a settlement is reached, a further paper to draw the funding down into the various departmental Votes so that they can pass the required funding onto the employers
•   The first of these papers is likely to be considered by Cabinet in the coming weeks.  This has required a huge effort on the part of the employers in the claim to provide the data needed.
The Bargaining Process
•   Pre-bargaining discussions have been progressing with a sharpened focus on the key matters required to be resolved in a settlement.
•   Formal bargaining sessions have been scheduled for four days in early September –this is conditional on the contingency funding being agreed.
•   The joint working group (employers and key funders) has agreed two strands of work on implementation issues:
•   The mechanisms and any system changes the funders will need to have in place for funding and contracting the settlement with employers.
•   The systems and processes, and information, each employer will need to have in place to manage the implementation of a settlement with their support workers.
•   Preparatory work is underway and will ramp up once the details of a settlement are known.
•   Extension of any settlement
•   The peak bodies and unions have written a joint letter to Ministers urging them to set a clear timetable and pathway for extension of a settlement which is concurrent for all employers and support workers.

The Accessibility for New Zealanders Bill
•   The Accessibility for New Zealanders Bill, we are now told, is on hold until after the General Election.  We hope whichever incoming government we get on polling day, they see sense and either significantly amend this toothless bill, or discard it in favour of something that reinforces true accessibility across our community.
•   Since being introduced to the American Accessibilities Act, I have to wonder why we simply don’t adopt that as the blueprint and do something similar here?

Donald Beasley Institute Research – “My Experiences, My Rights”
•   The DBI’s Disabled Person-Led Monitoring research team is investigating disabled people’s experiences of supports and services in Aotearoa New Zealand. This is part of a broader effort to monitor the government’s progress in implementing the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). 
•   In this phase of the project, disabled people and their family/whānau/close supporters are invited to participate in a questionnaire about supports and services. 
•   The researchers are asking if you could share this questionnaire with your networks and the people, you support. 
•   The link to the questionnaire: 
•   You can find more information about the project and the questionnaire in accessible languages and formats (Te Reo Māori, NZSL, Easy Read, Large Print, audio, and Braille on request) on our website: 
•   Thank you for taking the time to read this update and we appreciate your support in this important mahi. If you have any questions or would like to discuss this further, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Umi Asaka ( 
2023 Census update from Stats NZ
•   The collection phase of the 2023 Census closed on 30 June 2023. Our thanks to everyone who took part, by returning census forms and for supporting others to return their forms.
•   Stats NZ recently announced an estimated national collection response rate. Between 89 and 91 percent of the population who usually live in New Zealand are estimated to have taken part in the 2023 Census.
•   As a result of the response, Stats NZ will be able to produce high-quality national population and dwelling data for the country. The first release of data at the end of May 2024 will include national and regional population and dwelling counts (which is the primary objective of a census) and Māori descent counts.
•   Click here to read the media release

Disability Data – Stats NZ
There is a high need for disability data to support future planning for disability services and support.
There will be more disability data from the 2023 Census than from previous censuses, and the timeframe for releasing this data will be communicated by the end of 2023.
Preparations are also well underway for the 2023 Disability Survey, which starts in August. The Disability Survey is New Zealand’s primary source of data on the prevalence of disability, the experiences and needs of disabled people, and how well they are faring compared with non-disabled people.
The last Disability Survey was held in 2013, which makes this 10-year collection cycle very important for the disability sector. This survey will inform important decisions for our communities for years to come. A sample of 25,000 people have been selected from the census to take part in the survey.
More information about the topics covered in the 2023 Disability Survey can be found on the Stats NZ website.
We are currently evaluating the 2023 Census and feedback received on the census is being considered as part of this review. If there is anything further you would like to share about the accessibility of the 2023 Census, please email

NZDSN’s Tui Tuia Maori Cultural Advisory Committee
We are seeking all expressions of interest for this committee.
The purpose of the Māori Cultural Board Advisory Sub-Committee is to:
Provide advice to the NZDSN Board on te reo and tikanga Māori
Support NZDSN with tikanga Māori practices and te reo Māori translations
Provide comment and recommendations on matters of NZDSN policy and practice to improve cultural responsiveness to Māori
Support and strengthen engagement between NZDSN members and mana whenua in their respective regions
Build the knowledge of the needs of Māori staff and clients within the NZDSN membership and how these needs can best be met.
The group is an advisory committee that can make recommendations to NZDSN, but does not have decision-making authority.
If you are interested in being nominated for or nominating a person to be part of this sub-committee, please contact


IHC Accessible Democracy Forum
The IHC Accessible Democracy forum for disabled voters is coming up.
Wednesday, September 20th at 4:00pm at the Wharewaka Function Centre, Taranaki Wharf, 2 Taranaki Street, Waterfront, Wellington and online via Zoom
There will also be livestreaming of the event to ensure everyone can take part. To ensure your participation, please RSVP using the following link:…/ele…/Site/Register
The event will have sign language interpreters and be live captioned.

Platform’s Mental Health & Addiction Political Debate
Platform is hosting the mental health & addiction political election debate on the 28th of August from 6-8pm at Wellington College, Alan Gibbs Platform currently has the following politicians confirmed
Hon Dr Ayesha Verrall – Labour party,
Chloe Swarbrick – Green party,
Brooke van Velden – ACT party and
Matt Doocey – National party. Below is the link where you can register for an in-person or live-stream ticket.…
NZ sign language interpreters will be at the event and the event will also be live-streamed.

Regional Networking  Meetings
Auckland – please book for these events here
Times/dates for these meetings below. These meetings will be face to face where possible. Wednesday 20th Sept 2023 
Time: 9.30am – 12.30pm 
Venue: 74 Epsom Avenue, Auditorium/6EB-113
Hawke’s Bay –bookings for these events are not open at this time, please contact for updates
Lower North Island – please book for these events Here
Venue: Community Connections 5 Sheffield St, Paraparaumu or Zoom if required
Times/ Date as below:
Thursday 7 September 2023 10:30am – 12:30pm
Monday 14 August 11.30am – 1.00pm
Canterbury Networking Meeting – dates and times Please contact Canterbury Providers for more information.

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