NZDSN Newsletter 21 February 2022

Inside this issue

Inside this issue. 1

A message from our CEO.. 1

What’s happening in our sector 1

Member profile. 2

Upcoming events. 3

Members’ Only Facebook and LinkedIn Groups  3

A message from our CEO


Welcome to 2022 – well, sort of!

It does seem a little like Groundhog Day, with the whole country in the Red zone of the traffic light system, the PM self-isolating at the time of writing this, and finding ourselves in the thousands of daily infections thanks to Omicron.

Peter discusses the new Ministry for Disabled People and what NZDSN is doing about employers who have staff test positive for COVID-19, funding uncertainty, and pay equity.



What’s happening in our sector

A word about the changing Mandatory Vaccine Mandate.

NZDSN is actively engaging with the MoH to ensure that communication of this type is executed quickly and timeously.  The decision to extend the deadline was taken on the weekend of the 12/13 February but only communicated on Tuesday 15 February. This short notice was not good enough.

Welcome to our newbies at NZDSN

Welcome to our new Policy Advisor, Dr. Solmaz Nazari.

Dr Solmaz Nazari is a disability researcher with 10 years’ experience in the disability sector as a researcher, activist, and advocate. Solmaz is currently working on housing issues, the suggestion by the Ministry of reducing support services to cope with the threat of a reduced workforce due to COVID, the effect of “long COVID” on disabled people and their support service providers, and more.



Welcome also to our new Auckland Regional Co-ordinator, Kristi Shaw

Kristi Shaw has a Masters of Applied Practice (Community Development & Mental Health), a PGDip Counselling (Narrative Therapy) and a Diploma in Outdoor Recreation Management. She has spent 25 years in NZ building stronger connected communities through her experience in management (recreation and environment centres), community development (disability, youth, families, seniors, migrants) and counselling (narrative therapy). Kristi is very interested in using a community development approach for improving the health and wellbeing of children and their families who experience disability (visible and invisible).



National Employment Services Coordinator update from Gordon Boxall

Gordon explores contingency planning for the community spread of Omicron, the progression of the NZ Disability Action Plan, what’s available from W&I to support disabled jobseekers into work and Aligning services with Enabling Good Lives and the impact of the new Ministry for Disabled People (working title). He has also looked at the School transition review, training needs, Employment Support Practice Guidelines and the Proposed Income Insurance. He has included an opportunity for a Level 5 Diploma in Employment Support.

Traffic Light System requirements for Employment Support



Disability Data and Evidence Working Group (DDEWG) meeting December

An update from Monica Munro which includes feedback on COVID community isolation, the Te Rito Project, an update on the disability survey consultation and a summary of the annual Washington group meeting.  



From our Policy Advisor – Dr Solmaz Naziri

Solmaz gives us an update on Covid-19 for aged care, disability support and hospice care providers. She also discusses Rapid Antigen Testing and our submissions on the Pae Ora Bill and the Accelerating Accessibility work programme.



MSD Training Fund – reminder

The Training and Workforce Development Fund supports Employment, Participation and Inclusion Service providers to improve and develop their services through learning and training.

People can apply any time throughout the year. Go to our website for further information.

Member profile

This month our member profile focuses on Te Roopu Taurima (TRT). This organisation is the largest kaupapa Maori service provider for intellectually disabled people and is an accredited and certificated service provider.

We aim to provide our Tangata (people TRT supports) with a quality of life so they can live as individuals with a range of choices that lead to self-empowerment or rangatiratanga through tikanga Maori values and principles.

Cultural support is provided by our kaumatua, whaea and kaimahi, and through local kaumatua and kuia.

Whanau contact and participation in decision making is actively sought, encouraged and maintained and tangata lives are enriched through involvement with whanau and the community.


Tania Thomas from Te Roopu Taurima and also an NZDSN Board Member

Upcoming events

Level 5 Diploma in Employment Support

We are now calling for a third intake for the Diploma in Employment Support

The deadline for applications is 21st March. We are holding a zoom session on Monday 14th March at 2pm for people who are interested and their supervisors so we can outline course requirements and how people can be best supported by their employer.

If you/your supervisors are interested in attending then please let Zara ( have your email addresses so we can send you an invitation to the introductory Zoom session.

First Auckland regional networking meeting for 2022.

Wednesday 2 March 2022

9.30 am-11.30 pm

Registrations close Wednesday 23rd February!

Click here to register for this zoom meeting 

Members’ Only Facebook and LinkedIn Groups

Our open Facebook page is:

NZDSN Facebook

Our Members’ Only Facebook group is:

Facebook Members’ Corner  

Our LinkedIn New Zealand Disability Support Network profile is:

New Zealand Disability Support Network LinkedIn

Our Members Only LinkedIn profile is LinkedIn Members Only

NZDSN Newsletter 21 February 2022 pdf

NZDSN Newsletter 21 February 2022 word doc