Read our draft submission on the Carers Strategy Action Plan below or download the Word document version using the button. Submit your feedback to Ruth at ruth@kanohikitekanohi.org

Kanohi ki te Kanohi submission draft in full


Kanohi ki te Kanohi Consultancy presents this submission with the knowledge and experience of disabled people, our families and those who care for and about us.  Kanohi ki te Kanohi led by Gary Williams and Ruth Jones was established in 2009 after its directors had worked in the disability community and sector jointly for over 30 years.

We are proud to draw on the life experience and matauranga of the tangata and whanau whaikaha who are alongside us in the mahi we do and via the Whanau Ora entity Hei Whakapiki Mauri we established in 2016.  Hei Whakapiki Mauri is a whanau group that that brings together Māori with disabilities and their whānau to awhi each other to gain the confidence and knowledge to be Māori first. 

As tangata and whanau whaikaha the majority of the submission will concentrate on the experiences and recommendations based on a Maori perspective.


We support many of the general actions of the Carers Strategic Action Plan – primarily its main aim to ensure that carers’ wellbeing is at the forefront and that the plan is sustainable. Sustainability of the plan and of the carer community is magnified when the actions are relevant and value everyone. The next section of this submission highlights this.

The Action Plan also highlights important areas that we strongly endorse. These include:

·       An update of the Carers Guide

·       Policy change to Family Funded Care

·       A fairer system that mandates increased financial support for carers, including payment to support wellbeing.


The care and the manaaki we provide to each other from a whanau, hapū and iwi context is a natural occurrence that binds our communities and homes together. Many of our rituals and ways of being provide clear processes for welcoming, hosting and farewelling of those we love. The care we provided to people was sustainable when our communities were self-sustaining and when there was a natural capacity within the whanau.

As whanau have become separated from their kainga, and a resulting dip in natural supports has occurred, the caregiving role is now not shared by many and harder to manage. The values that supported everyone within the whanau whanui hold a lesser importance to ourselves and the systems that resource us.

A sound and sustainable Action Plan will know Maori world views that incorporate our needs, reality and aspirations.

To do this we ask that:

A concrete commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi is made by ensuring that there is a treaty framework that informs the development of the Action Plan. A treaty framework  would highlight the obligations of protection, partnership and participation.

That the Action Plan has the carer and their role within a whanau context. This means that the reality of whanau and whanau whanui are recognised and respected and that the Action Plan considers the presence of a family network being an advantage to the carer. This would also mean that support to all whanau members within the home is recognised and acknowledged by resourcing the group. This could be via payment and/or ensuring that the whole whanau has well-being structures around them.

There is an integration of Whanau Ora outcomes and practice when developing whanau approaches and tools. The whanau ora outcomes support whole of whanau recognition and a dovetail nicely with the Enabling Good Lives principals. The true integration of whanau ora outcomes and practice would necessitate the partnering with Whanau Ora Commissioning Agencies, providers and entities that could only prove beneficial.

Incorporating the needs of young and older carers into responsive supports for Maori, knowing that these groups are disproportionally represented within our community

The reo and kaupapa to inform the reo in the Action Plan will be researched and tested to ensure that the true essence of a kupu or phrase is understood and used in the right context.

The need to have easier to use systems and supports for whanau and tangata whaikaha remains important and reflects the feedback from the general carer community. We are aware that some of the words and acronyms are used with the disability support system currently are jargon for most people. Maori whanau also experience these kupu and are somewhat alien to their own reality. ie. terms such as Individualised Funding ‘I choose’, which reflect an individualistic approach to carer support rather than being relevant for whanau. We encourage the creative use of language that is co – designed with whanau and that is translated into Te Reo as well as pacific languages.

A framework for ‘taking a break’ for carers that reflects a Maori approach and whanau context still remains a gap that wasn’t addressed in the recent Respite Strategy. Some whanau absolutely need to be away from their loved one to have a successful break. We also encourage the ongoing thinking around respite which may include the whole family being together.

It is great that the responsibilities for each action of the plan are outlined and are delegated to different departments and organisations. We note that Te Puni Kokiri are involved in many of the actions and we ask that TPK is resourced well to internally resource this strategic action plan. It is well known that Maori agencies and organisations are quite thinly spread in terms of expectations of them and what they are asked to do.


Kanohi ki te Kanohi and Hei Whakapiki Mauri appreciate that there is an updated Carer Strategic Action Plan and are supportive of many of the actions listed in this plan. We believe that by incorporating a treaty framework , acknowledging whanau context and using whanau ora principals and practise as a guide, the action plan will be more sustainable and relevant for all that will use it.