DPO Coalition

30 June 2020

Key Messages – May 2020

  • Voice of Disabled People – We are working in challenging times with COVID-19. While there is good engagement with Government overall, the speed of change is making it harder to ensure Government meets its commitments to engage with disabled people early and in partnership. Our focus is accessible formats and early consultation. We also need to ensure that disabled peoples’ representatives are included in the new governance and decision-making groups that are emerging. We have strong support from Minister Sepuloni on this.
  • COVID-19 Issues for Disabled People – In addition to accessible formats and early consultation, we have raised issues around support at home, working at home, rent freeze, access to personal protective equipment to allow disabled people to protect themselves, public transport and many other issues. If you have issues you believe need more attention, please let your DPO know.
  • Health and Disability Sector Standards – Two DPO Coalition representatives (Martine Abel-Williamson and Bronwyn Haines) are now representing the voice of disabled people in the review of these important standards. This has happened because we wrote to the Ministry of Health raising concerns that disabled people have not been involved in the review of these standards. The standards last for ten years and so full involvement is crucial. There will be more information soon on how we will achieve engagement with disabled people.
  • Workbridge – We are engaging with Workbridge about how their services and funding approach can be improved. If you have comments on this, please connect with your DPO.
  • Disabled People Led Monitoring – Our Housing Report is almost completed and will be available in the full range of alternate formats, and Te Reo. There will be a launch (date yet to be set) and we will also hold a workshop with Government agencies that have a role in improving housing. Our next report on Health and Wellbeing is starting. This will include a wide look across all aspects of wellbeing plus research into the impact of the Government’s response to COVID-19.
  • Education – We continue to work closely with the Ministry of Education across all their strategy work. We have been holding regular workshops on topics important to disabled people and are planning a further half-day workshop for 1 July. We will soon have two DPO Coalition representatives on the Review Panel for the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA).
  • Disability Action Plan – The Government has committed to important actions in the Disability Action Plan and progress must continue. Now that we are in the COVID-19 recovery phase, we are re-engaging with the Office for Disability Issues and Government agencies to re-activate the Disability Action Plan.
  • Tatou Whaikaha: All of Government Network of Networks – This new group has been established to coordinate the ongoing response to COVID-19 across Government. The DPO Coalition Chair, Leo McIntyre is representing the DPO Coalition on this group.
  • Feedback – To provide feedback please email the DPO Coalition at [email protected]