Hei Whakapiki Mauri was privileged to host Sacha O’Dea, Programme Lead for System Transformation, at two recent hui about the changes that are coming to the Disability Support System.
Our team partnered with Canterbury Down Syndrome Association and Parent to Parent Greater Canterbury to offer this unique opportunity for whānau to hear directly from Sacha, ask their questions and learn how they can prepare for the transformation when it is rolled-out in Canterbury.
Kaiwhakahaere Ruth and Navigator Waikura kicked off the hui with a mihi whakatau and a short Te Reo activity to help people introduce themselves to the group, and talk about how they were feeling about the coming changes.
From there, Sacha took to the stage and spoke about the journey so far and what the transformed system might look like. She explained the challenges of developing a system that works for a hugely diverse group of people, that offers a range of options that give choice and control, and that meets the principles of Enabling Good Lives.
She also talked about the in-depth research and ongoing consultation with whānau and disability organisations that has gone into the high-level design of the new system. This includes learnings from the Enabling Good Lives demonstrations; looking at international best-practice; and seeking advice from governance and working groups made up of disabled people, whānau and people working in the sector.
Whānau were particularly interested in how personal budgets will work and the sustainability of funding; improving current issues around respite and employer relationships; plus how the system transformation would connect to Whānau Ora.
Sacha’s honesty, positivity, family-first focus and willingness to answer all questions was much appreciated by whānau and the representatives from several disability organisations that were present.
Further hui with Sacha are planned for later in the year when the system transformation has been rolled out in its first area - the Mid Central District in the North Island. Christchurch and Waikato will come next.
Hei Whakapiki Mauri Kaiwhakahaere Ruth is also contributing to the Whānau Ora interface of the transformation, one of the many working groups being carried out to drill-down into every aspect of what an ideal system would look like for people and their families. Kaiwhakahaere Gary has been involved in governance roles in the system transformation, since its inception.
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