Kia ora koutou
Two years ago, we began the journey of creating a new organisation with a fresh identity. In December 2022, we proudly unveiled our new name, Your Way | Kia Roha.
While still acknowledging the legacy of long-standing brands and their histories, adopting a new name required courage and belief in everything our new organisation stands for. The hui | gathering in Wellington in November 2022 played a key role in uniting our team and solidifying our values as we set our sights on the future. The dedication, resilience, and commitment of our team have facilitated growth and development of our organisation into its new identity.
Throughout this period of change, we remained steadfast in delivering on our core responsibilities. Over the past year, Your Way | Kia Roha personally interacted with over 23,000 people, catering to various needs such as information requests, disability funding and supports, helping people to live the life they choose, and engaging in a range of learning activities. More than 24,000 people relied on us for mobility equipment through our Mobility Centre stores, and our websites saw over 600,000 engagements. We are proud of our team in delivering their best during these interactions, along with the exceptional support from our behind-the-scenes champions.
Our organisation is anchored around four Tuāpapa | Foundations:
- The people and communities we serve
- Te Tiriti o Waitangi
- United Nation Convention on the Rights of Disabled Persons (UNCRDP)
- Enabling Good Lives (EGL) vision and principles
Our work over the past year has focused on growing our understanding and commitment to these Tuāpapa | Foundations: while ensuring that our Mātāpono | Values are reflected in everything we do. Central to bringing our Tuāpapa | Foundations to life has been the development of disabled leaders throughout our organisation. In the last year we have welcomed two new Board members, Stuart Campbell and Peter Williams, and expanded our Disability Leadership Groups to seven, in addition to having an active Autism Advisory Group.
Our Disability Leadership Groups play an important role in leading the direction of Your Way | Kia Roha. They hold us accountable in our delivery and advocating for broader community change, following the EGL vision and principles and UNCRDP.
In April, these groups gathered to learn from one another and welcomed inspirational speakers, such as Paula Tesoriero, Chief Executive of Whaikaha | Ministry of Disabled People, and Kris Faafoi, who shared insights into advocacy training.
We were pleased to engage Dr Pouroto Ngaropo, Senior Māori Cultural Advisor. Our understanding of the crucial partnership with mana whenua and our commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi is being shaped through the progression of our Māori Strategic Framework.
As we established our new name, it was important for us to honour our Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) obligations. In March, the Board approved an ESG policy that will guide Your Way | Kia Roha towards sustainable, inclusive, and transparent operations while upholding our vision of disabled people thriving, living the lives they choose in their communities.
Rebranding an organisation with diverse services and multiple locations across the country was no small feat. However, our entire team played an integral role in bringing the brand to fruition. The launch of a new website featuring the Your Way | Kia Roha identity provided a wonderful platform to showcase the various aspects of our organisation and reflect our current work. This was especially beneficial for our Connections & Funding team and our new Learning & Information Centre.
Connections & Funding brings together our Needs Assessment and Service Coordination (NASC) and Local Area Coordination (LAC) teams, and our work throughout the year focused on redesigning our approach to align with the principles of EGL. Our website now offers a simple introduction to what we do, enabling people to start the process for themselves online.
The Learning & Information Centre, established in October 2022, brings together all our information services and professional development into one hub, including Altogether Autism and Imagine Better. Our website showcases a comprehensive range of professional development opportunities available through this centre.
All these achievements have been made possible by the determination, resilience, and efforts of our team, who continuously strive for better outcomes. In an external environment rife with uncertainty and change, we faced challenges with our contracting and pricing, experienced high team turnover, and grappled with growing costs in line with cost-of-living pressures.
We welcomed the introduction of Whaikaha | Ministry of Disabled People at the beginning of the year and look forward to the Ministry fulfilling its promises.
One of our values is Manawatoa | Courage, embodying innovation, aspiration, and boldness in our actions. Our team exemplified this value throughout the year, particularly in responding to catastrophic weather events and flooding. Thanks to their efforts, we were able to locate and support our clients during these exceptionally difficult circumstances.
Looking ahead, we anticipate more stability and growth on the solid foundation we have established. The Board has recently approved a five-year staged strategic plan, providing a clear pathway ahead for Your Way | Kia Roha. The past year demanded much effort from the entire team. Learning new ways of working, developing new services, welcoming new people, extending ourselves, and delivering daily required dedication and commitment. We extend heartfelt gratitude to the Board, our Disability Leadership Groups, and the team for their valuable contributions, which have positioned us well for the future.