DPO Coalition News 29.8.19

Minister Sepuloni – The DPO Coalition met with the Minister and discussed progress on the Disability Action Plan. The Minister continues to lead real change for disabled people and has offered to help progress discussions with education.

Independent Monitoring Mechanism – The DPO Coalition has the Chair of the IMM for the next six months. Tristram Ingham has been selected for this role. Tristram represents the Muscular Dystrophy Association of New Zealand on the DPO Coalition.

Disability Action Plan – The new Disability Action Plan is on its way to Cabinet including a DPO Coalition comment. Following Cabinet decision on the overall focus of the plan, the detailed actions will be developed. A key achievement in this plan is that it is a whole of Government plan with all agencies committing to improve their performance for disabled people and disability rights.

Disability Rights Commissioner – Paula Tesoriero and her team met with the DPO Coalition to discuss early results from the survey into New Zealanders’ attitudes to disability. The report is important reading for all New Zealanders and is expected to be released in the next few months.

System Transformation – The DPO Coalition met with the National Enabling Good Lives Leadership Group and discussed the successes and issues with the System Transformation programme. The purpose of the programme is to provide the services that are required to deliver on a disabled person’s rights. Personal budgets and service delivery must be flexible enough to support this. This new way of working is driving new service patterns and revealing unmet need. Government forecasts and Vote budgets must be updated for this new information.

System Transformation offers enormous potential to address long-standing rights issues for disabled people and historical ways of working cannot be allowed to trip it up. We met with James Poskitt, the new Director of System Transformation and shared our views on progress and the issues that must be addressed. We welcome James’ appointment to this important role.

DPO Coalition members are: DPA, Blind Citizens NZ, People First NZ, Deaf Aotearoa, Kāpo Māori O Aotearoa, Balance Aotearoa and the Muscular Dystrophy Association of New Zealand. The coalition work together under the UNCRPD, i.e. monitoring implementation of the Convention, and work with government agencies to advance implementation of the Convention.