A trial designed to give disabled people more say in what they want and need from the disability support system is being welcomed by the Human Rights Commission.
Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero says the trial of the new system, announced today by the Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni and Associate Minister for Health Julie Anne Genter, will bring about a welcome change for many disabled New Zealanders.
“Disabled people and their whānau have long been calling for services designed around their needs, and their aspirations for a better quality of life for themselves or their family member. The new system is intended to provide choice, flexibility and places control in the hands of disabled people,” says Ms Tesoriero.
The new system will be modelled on Enabling Good Lives, which operates in Christchurch and Hamilton. The system will be trialled in Mid-Central, this includes Palmerston North, Horowhenua, Manawatu, Ōtaki and Tararua districts.
“Enabling Good Lives has already significantly impacted the lives of the people involved,” says Ms Tesoriero.
“I recently heard peoples’ stories first hand which are incredible and a powerful example of the difference that can be made by transforming the way services are provided to disabled people.
“It has been great to see that Enabling Good Lives and the system transformation work has been genuinely co-designed by Government and disabled people.”
Ms Tesoriero wants other agencies to look to this approach as an effective way to create services and opportunities for disabled New Zealanders.
The new system comes as New Zealand prepares for a review next year by the United Nations Committee on New Zealand’s compliance with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
“The review is an opportunity to consider how we can do better as a nation to ensure disabled people are supported to lead the lives they want to live,” Ms Tesoriero says.
“The Government’s announcement today is a step towards making this a reality. It will be important that the trial is well supported and funded for success,” says Ms Tesoriero.