Last week the Community Steering Group has put out a press release:

The Community Steering Group responsible for supporting and guiding the establishment of the new Ministry for Disabled People by 1 July has been confirmed:

Co-Chair Dr Tristram Ingham - Te Ao Mārama

Co-Chair Gerri Pomeroy - Disabled People's Organisations (DPO) Coalition

Ruth Jones - Whānau Ora Interface Group

Lou McLeod - Whānau Ora Interface Group

Mark Benjamin - National Enabling Good Lives Leadership

Shane McInroe - National Enabling Good Lives Leadership

Pati Umaga - Mana Pasifka

Lautoa Halatau-Talagi - Mana Pasifka

Geneva Hakaraia-Tino - Disabled People's Organisations (DPO) Coalition

TBC - Family and Whānau Leadership Alliance

TBC - Rangatahi (I.Lead)

This group is made up of expert disabled people and whānau, who bring a wide range of skills and experience. This group is responsible for guiding the establishment process so a by-disabled-for-disabled ministry can advance the priorities of the disability community from 1 July under the leadership of a yet to be appointed chief executive.

The Community Steering Group is advising on the job description for the chief executive and have recommended that the role must be filled by a disabled person.

The Community Steering Group also supports the project team, which is primarily focussed on ensuring the key systems and operations are transitioned to the new Ministry successfully and that disability supports are not disrupted through the change. System transformation, vision and strategy will be led by the new chief executive, working with the community, after 1 July.

Community Steering Group spokespersons said, “The group have a key role in guiding this mahi and ensuring the partnerships, technical expertise and processes are in place so a by tangata whaikaha Maori and disabled people-for tangata whaikaha Māori and disabled people ministry can successfully deliver for its rightsholders from 1st July.

“A member of the group was involved in the appointment process of the establishment director Justine Cornwall. Establishing the Ministry is a highly technical piece of work, with tight deliverables, the group supports establishment director Justine Cornwall and the team. We are excited to be involved in a piece of work that means so much to disabled people of Aotearoa.

“Disabled people have contributed decades of hard work to the vision of a Ministry for Disabled People, as a group we are humbled to be contributing. We have come a long way as a community to get to this point but 1st July is only the beginning of a new and exciting journey.”

The Community Steering Group is currently advising on representatives to the Governance Group, which is responsible for ensuring the effective establishment of the Ministry for Disabled People. The Governance Group will have equal representation of Disabled People, Māori and Crown, which is a unique model in the New Zealand public sector. It will be made up of three disabled people, three tangata whaikaha Māori, and three senior government officials.

This model was formed quickly and is only for the short establishment timeframe. It’s serving as a test case for how governance of the new Ministry could be structured. A more full and formal nomination and appointment process will be undertaken for the permanent governance structure of the new Ministry.