NZDSN News Update July 2nd 2020

In this update:

  • Health and Disability Review Report
  • Special Interest Groups
  • National Symposiums
  • Upcoming Provider Development Events
  • Employment Support Diploma Qualification
  • Employment Support Contract Advice to MSD
  • Election Forums
  • AGM and Auckland Network Meeting
  • Go with Tourism Recruitment Platform
  • Workforce development
  • Website refresh
  • COVID 19 – lessons learnt and new ways of working
  • Regional Provider Network Monthly National Catch Ups

Kia ora and welcome to the July update. There is much talk of the return to a “new normal” following the experience of lockdown and its aftermath. For many this has meant a continuation of a frenetic pace as we deal with the continuing impacts of the pandemic, the old business as usual and new ways of working. We have clearly entered a period where we are much more “networked” through our regional structure and with the soon to be established special interest groups via facebook. The value of mutual support, shared experience and learning from each other has never been more apparent.

Health and Disability Review Report

Attached here is our media statement regarding this report:

There has been a reasonable level of coverage in the media with the disability sector being very consistent about the need for disability support to escape from the health system. It will be interesting to see how any implementation unfolds and when. We are working with others to look at common ground across sector stakeholder groups with a view to a unified sector voice. We are also keen to work collaboratively on what a disability focused entity outside health might look like. Last week we met with Minister Salesa who had asked us to share her with our views on the Simpson Report.

Special Interest Groups (via Facebook)

We are now in a position to get a couple of interest groups up and running in the near future, but we need more “interest” from people prepared to host these as Facebook administrators. These groups will operate through a new NZDSN closed Facebook page. Each special interest group needs an administrator to respond to new member requests (from within existing NZDSN membership) and to periodically stimulate discussion by adding content and/or comment. So please, if you see the need for an interest group to focus on a particular topic and are prepared to be an administrator – get in touch!

National Symposiums

These 4 symposiums have been re-scheduled from the first half of this year due to the COVID 19 lock down, beginning in early September and running through until early December. There are still a small number of spaces for the first event on September 9th in Rotorua featuring a focus on transition from School. Attached are programme details for the first two symposiums.

Upcoming Provider Development Events

We are currently developing a number of events for roll out over the coming 12 months:

  • Transition from school through family leadership and cross agency collaboration (Bay of Plenty, Hawkes Bay and Wellington)
  • Leadership and service transformation journeys for organisations
  • Embedding safeguarding approaches
  • Employment support: discovery and job development, systematic instruction, working in schools.

We are just beginning 3 scheduled Effective Employer Engagement workshops via webinars across July and August. These have all filled very quickly. If there is demand, we will look at a 4th programme. And of course the online portion of the “Re-thinking Organisations” workshop has been re-scheduled to September due to the COVID crisis.

Employment Support Diploma Qualification

We are getting close to opening for enrolments. Some promotional material and registration details should be available soon.

Employment Support Contract advice to MSD

MSD approached us to analyse the current contracts and their alignment with the Employment Support Practice Guidelines. This work was undertaken with the NZDSN Employment Advisory Group. The project included the extent to which outcomes payments aligned with those activities that had the most impact on sustainable employment outcomes. We have presented a draft report of this work to MSD officials who were largely supportive of the changes and recommendations we made. These need further work and discussion as some changes need to be supported by further policy work. A copy of the report can be accessed here:

Contact Garth if you have questions or wish to discuss further.

Election Forums

We are partnering with other partner organisations to host election forums in Wellington and Auckland to provide an opportunity for key politicians to outline how they will champion disability issues.

AGM and Auckland Network Meeting

Our AGM is on September 24th in Auckland and will occur alongside a scheduled Auckland Network meeting. In addition to the business of the AGM there will be a series of invited speakers to present on topical issues. Official notice of the AGM and further programme details will be provided in early August.

Go with Tourism Recruitment Platform

The Go with Tourism website features a promotion on working in the disability sector. You can view the article Hereand a link for employers to post vacancies and view potential recruits. The tourism industry has been hit hard by the COVID response and here is an opportunity to recruit people into support work, many of whom will have transferable skills. If you have yet to check out their website, we encourage you to do so and register as an employer with their job connector platform and tap into a new talent pool.  

The platform already has more than 1600 jobseekers listed. If you are looking to diversify your workforce and access people with transferable skills, this is an opportunity to profile your organisation and the vacancies you are looking to fill.  

For further details on how the Job Connector works for hiring managers, please follow this link:   

Signing up is quick and easy:  And to advertise your vacancies on the website you will need to make sure you tick the ‘Yes’ box as per the screen shot below.  You will need to provide a logo and information about the job.

A screenshot showing how to advertise vacancies on the Go With TOurism website, it has a circle around the "Yes" radio button under the heading "Would you like to advertise your job on our job board?"

With the closure of the borders we will have to rethink some of our recruitment strategies and turn our focus onto the domestic workforce in ways that we may not have done before. Here is a start.

Workforce Development

NZDSN has had a long standing view that developing a future focused disability support workforce that reflects and embeds EGL based practice is best achieved through qualification pathways – pathways that are accessible, consistent in terms of content and through quality delivery mechanisms. There is comprehensive review underway by the Health Workforce directorate in the Ministry, a refreshed Kaiawhina Taskforce work plan and workforce investments being made by MSD. All this activity bodes well for long overdue improvements to qualification pathways. 

But the dots are not quite joined up yet and NZDSN is quite busy in this space advocating for a much more joined up approach – and one that anticipates the coming changes driven by the Review of Vocational Education. And of course we continue to advocate for a marketing strategy to promote disability support work to attract a more diverse workforce – disabled people, younger people, more Maori and more Pacific people.

Website refresh

Callum, our Digital Media Coordinator, has been working on a refresh of our website – improving accessibility and navigation as well as a bit of a clean-up of material. We should be introducing the changes from the beginning of August.

COVID 19 – Lessons learnt and new ways of working

We are aware that all the regional networks are pulling together in various ways information about what has been learnt from the COVID crisis and the new ways of working that have emerged. We are very keen to pull all this together into a consolidated document that we can then make available to everyone – so please send your contributions to us!

Regional Provider Network Monthly National Catch Ups

The coordinators and hosts of the 7 regional provider networks are now meeting with the NZDSN office on a monthly basis via Zoom. This enables the networks to share information and insights with each other and allows NZDSN to quickly develop a consolidated picture of what’s happening around the country, hot topics and issues and those things that we should be prioritising as a peak body. These sessions also enable us to be confident about representing provider views knowing that we are tapping into well over 100 contributing providers through the regions each month.

Kia tu tahi tatou

From the NZDSN Team