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System Transformation: the future of disability support

Young man in wheelchair talking with male colleague

The Mid Central System Transformation trial launched on 1 October 2018. Visit the website Mana Whaikaha to learn more about the transformed disability support system in Mid Central and how it will work.

Disabled people and their whānau have been asking for change to disability support services for some time.

Current disability services have become the ‘hub’ of many disabled people’s lives. Existing services can be rigid, offering little flexibility or choice, and involve many eligibility, assessment and planning processes.

People are often allocated services that they must fit their life around – rather than finding solutions to their individual support needs that suit them.

The vision behind the System Transformation is a future where disabled people and their whānau will have greater choice and control over their lives and supports, and make greater use of natural and universally available supports.

The System Transformation will be guided by the principles of the Enabling Good Lives demonstration that is currently underway in Christchurch and Waikato.

The Enabling Good Lives approach has made a positive difference in many people’s lives. However, so far the demonstration has operated alongside the existing disability system. The aim of the System Transformation is to replace the current disability system.

The new system has been co-designed by disabled people, families and service providers and will be trialed in the MidCentral region before changes are made nationwide.

The new system will feature:

  • being welcomed into the system and finding out information in multiple ways
  • access to a Connector/Tūhono who will walk alongside disabled people and their whānau to help them identify what they want in their lives, how to build that life, and the supports available
  • easy to use information and processes
  • connected support across the government
  • streamlined funding and allocation, including access to a personal budget to be used flexibly
  • capability funding for disabled people and whānau to build their skills
  • greater system accountability with disabled people and whānau involved in its governance.

The trial will start on 1 October and include Palmerston North, Manawatu, Horowhenua, Ōtaki and Tararua districts. This will be a ‘try, learn and adjust’ approach to the new system.

A decision on the final model and expansion beyond MidCentral is expected in 2020.

Want to learn more?

Stay up-to-date with what’s happening on the Enabling Good Lives website.

See the latest System Transformation update from September 2018 which provides an update on the Midcentral trial.

Updates on the System Transformation are also available in Easy Read documents, or visit the Enabling Good Lives YouTube channel for video updates and NZSL video updates.

You may be interested in reading our article on new approaches to disability funding.

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