The launch of Whaikaha - Ministry of Disabled People yesterday was an exciting and historic day.
This comes after decades of disabled people and tāngata whaikaha Māori calling for own own ministry and we’d like to acknowledge the many, many people in the community whose hard work and dedication has led to this.
This is just the start of a journey. Our hope now is that the ministry is supported to fulfil its potential with adequate and proper resourcing; that with the establishment of this ministry, the needs of disabled people will be no longer be side-lined. That the inequities disabled people experience across income, educational achievement, health, wellbeing and social participation indicators are addressed.
We are also excited and hope that planning for the national roll-out of Enabling Good Lives principles will now gain momentum.
Appointment of Chief Executive
It has been announced that due to the personal circumstances of the preferred candidate, who is a disabled person, the appointment process for the new CE has not yet been able to be finalised.
We are pleased to hear that the preferred candidate is a disabled person, and hope that the extension of the appointment process is an indication that recruitment processes for the new ministry will be flexible.
In the meantime Geraldine Woods has been appointed as Interim Chief Executive. She was Co-Chair of the Ministry for Disabled People Establishment Governance Group.
The new name
Minister Carmel Sepuloni told Stuff reporter Olivia Shivas the name Whaikaha – Ministry of Disabled People was chosen because it was very strongly felt by disabled people that they didn't want a ministry that was doing stuff for them. They wanted a ministry that was of them. See the story: Hopes high but expectations realistic as Whaikaha – Ministry of Disabled People launches
Work is continuing with the Deaf community on the NZSL name which is yet to be finalised.
Welcome from the new Minister
In this welcome from Minister for Disability Issues Poto Williams, she talks about what the ministry hopes to achieve.
This page includes the Government press release about the launch, and the announcement of the new CE. Alternate formats are provided including: Easy Read, NZSL, large print, audio and braille.
New website - www.whaikaha.govt.nz
Yesterday the new ministry's website was launched with information about the ministry, types of support, assessment and funding, and a 'Get Involved' section which invites you to have your say.