A brief overview of the DPO Coalition's activities over the last couple of months:

Minister Sepuloni - The DPO Coalition met with Minister Sepuloni in June and discussed a range of topics including the engagement the Coalition has had and is planned to have with the Health and Disability System Review and other examples of positive and not so positive engagement. The Coalition provided the Minister with an update on the appointment of a Secretariat for the DPO Coalition.

Ministerial Leadership Group - The DPO Coalition, through their role as partner of the Independent Monitoring Mechanism, recently met with the Ministerial Leadership Group. Topics of discussion included the accelerating accessibility legislation and  disability data.

Health and Disability System Transition Unit - The DPO Coalition discussed health workforce challenges with the Health and Disability System Transition Unit.  These challenges included capability, diagnostic overshadowing, lack of diversity in the current workforce, and workplace accessibility. It is important that the health workforce has the right set of skills to deliver care for disabled people and all New Zealanders, and that the workforce is representative of the communities it serves. The DPO Coalition will continue to meet regularly with the Health and Disability System Transition Unit.

Health Quality and Safety Commission (HQSC) - The DPO Coalition met with the HQSC in relation to the Health and Disability system review. The HQSC explained several new projects they are undertaking in relation to the review that are about promoting the consumer voice. The projects include developing:

  • a national set of expectations for how all health entities engage consumers and whānau. This will be called the Code of Responsibilities.
  • the structure and digital infrastructure for a national health consumer forum.
  • a virtual information hub that will be a centre of excellence for information about consumer and whānau engagement

Accessibility legislation - The DPO Coalition continued its regular engagement with the Ministry of Social Development policy team about options for Accessibility Legislation. This work has the potential to set down the Government’s requirements for what all parts of New Zealand society, business and Government must do to deliver accessibility for disabled people on an equal basis with others.

The DPO Coalition learned that a policy proposal is planned to go the Minister in August. The problem definition includes a lack of understanding about what accessibility means. There are currently no coherent avenues for people with access barriers to raise their concerns to the right parts of government, and get their concerns addressed. The policy proposal is to create clear leadership and a clear mandate across government.

Disabled Person-Led monitoring - Our Health and Wellbeing report is almost completed and the DPO Coalition has received the first draft.  This report includes a wide look across all aspects of wellbeing plus research into the impact of the Government’s response to Covid-19.

Office for Disability Issues - The DPO Coalition will soon be reviewing the next six-monthly progress report against the Disability Action Plan.  This is planned for August and the final report will be available at the end of September.

Ministry of Health - The DPO Coalition met with James Poskitt, from the Ministry of Health, who shared information about a number of projects including:

  • Disability data – there is a new project focusing on disaggregating (identifying and separating) disability data and creating accessibility profiles.
  • Health system transformation – Cabinet decisions are due to be made in September. The first decision paper has been completed. It sets out broad structural options for a new government entity for disability and also sets out the pathway for the next three years of an Enabling Good Lives approach across the country.

Thanking Julian Inch - The DPO Coalition held a small event to thank and farewell Julian Inch for all his guidance and support over the past five years. The Coalition presented Julian with a taonga.

The DPO Coalition is: DPA, Blind Citizens NZ, People First NZ, Deaf Aotearoa, Kāpo Māori O Aotearoa, Balance Aotearoa and the Muscular Dystrophy Association of New Zealand.