DPO Coalition News 05.9.19

Engaging with Government – The DPO Coalition continues to engage widely across Government to broaden Government’s awareness, understanding and aspiration for Disabled People. The recent funding boost in Budget 2019 will be used to continue to build this valuable work. Operational review – As part of the Budget 2019 funding, we are completing an operational review to assess progress on the key aspects of our work and to identify the next steps for development. This is part of the Annual Review process arising from our recent work on Governance development and capability funded by Te Pou.

DPO Attributes – All current members of the DPO Coalition have completed their annual assessment against the DPO Attributes. There are seven confirmed members of the DPO Coalition. Any organisation seeking to apply to join to DPO Coalition can do so at this link https://www.odi.govt.nz/guidance-and-resources/disabled-peoples-organisations/

DPO Coalition Charter – We have completed a DPO Coalition Charter to define our work together and with Government. This is the key document in our set of Governance documents and sets us up well for the future. The Charter is available from any member of the DPO Coalition. You can read the charter here

Disability Action Plan – With the high level plan being sent to Cabinet, we have been engaging with each Government Agency on the detailed plans for major areas such as Housing, Education, and Employment. This engagement will increase in the next few months as each agency confirms their detailed commitments on disability.

Census 2018 and 2023 – The DPO Coalition had a second direct discussion with Statistics NZ about the Census. This follows on from significant issues raised at our last meeting with Statistics NZ. We discussed what needs to be done to make best use of the 2018 Census results and what is required to ensure full engagement with Disabled People in Census 2023. There is a clear and strong commitment to continue to engage and to make sure that Census 2023 is effective.

Health and Disability System Review – The DPO Coalition has written seeking active engagement with the disability community as users of the health and disability system and for disability to be represented on the Review committee.

Royal Commission – Staff from the Royal Commission of Inquiry into State Abuse met with the DPO Coalition at our August meeting to discuss how to engage effectively with Disabled people. The primary focus is to ensure that people’s stories are heard: “Without your stories we cannot make the case for change. We can’t change what happened to you, but if you tell us your stories, we can help this not happen to other people.” There is no ‘cross-examination’ in the private hearings, the story is taken as it is given, as a gift. There is cross examination in the public hearings. It is important to realise that the scope of the Inquiry is much wider than abuse in state care. The Inquiry also covers the impact of inadequate care, and all settings: state care, health and disability services, police custody, education and faith-based care.

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.