Establishment of a new Ministry for Disabled People
We are so excited to hear the Government's announcement on the establishment of a new Ministry for Disabled People (working title).
Work on Disability System Transformation has been ongoing for more than a decade with Government working alongside the disability sector, including Independent Living and other DIAS organisations, to ensure we achieve the best outcomes for our clients. A new approach to disability is needed for disabled people and whānau to experience ordinary life outcomes. The reform of the health system has provided an opportunity to review the current arrangements for working with, and supporting, the one in four New Zealanders who identify as disabled.
The Government has announced it is establishing a new Ministry for Disabled People to transform how government supports disabled people and whānau. This will provide disabled people with a dedicated and functionally autonomous agency and will be a strong base to support a whole-of-life approach to disability, not just considering the community’s needs through a health lens alone. At the heart of this work has been the Enabling Good Lives (EGL) vision that all disabled people and their whānau have greater choice and control over their supports and lives. There was very strong feedback from the disability community about this through the health system review.
This will be a new agency supporting all disabled people. The new Ministry will take on most functions currently delivered by the Disability Directorate within the Ministry of Health, as well as taking on new responsibilities.
Work is under way with the disabled community to understand their dreams and aspirations for the new agency and to ensure the community’s vision is built into the DNA of the new agency, and we will continue to keep you informed of this progress.
Although the new Ministry will be an independent departmental agency, it will be hosted by MSD to provide a cost effective and efficient way to establish a new organisation.
A key focus during this transition period will be ensuring disabled people continue to receive support over the transition.