Auckland Regional News – October 2017

Auckland Regional News – October 2017

Welcome to the October 2017 Auckland Regional NZDSN News

2017 has proven to be a tumultuous year not only for our sector but it seems all over the world. It’s impressive how people and organisations are dealing with all the impact. It looks like collaboration and connections between people are more needed than ever.

South Auckland Collaboration initiative


It’s good to see that in Auckland many collaboration initiatives are on the way. One of them is the South Auckland Collaboration initiative, initiated by transition coordinators at the providers meeting on 29 June. The main outcome of that meeting was that providers were looking for more opportunities to collaborate. They also saw a one stop shop/information hub where all information from our sector centrally is managed (including a central digital information system) and where people could have face to face consultations as a solution to improve many of the raised issues.


In the meantime, the 2nd workshop aimed at schools has taken place on 7 September. Very similar issues were identified apart from of course some specific educational issues. One of the big learnings was that there was a huge need to improve connection with mainstream schools and peak body organisations. This will be one of the new focus points around this collaboration initiative.


On 26 October the last South Auckland workshop, targeted at parents with a child with a disability, will be organised. The next step will be to have an event for all 3 stakeholders on a yearly base. The idea is to roll out the same 3-pronged approach for the 3 other areas in Auckland. Outcomes of the workshops will all be collated and it’s now important to explored how the outcomes of these workshop could be best brought to the attention of the System Transformation Co-design group. As this is where some strategic decisions can be made around suggested solutions.


If you want to know more about these Auckland Collaboration Initiatives please email to


My Voice Matters Collaboration

And then of course there is The My Voice Matters Collaboration initiative around the 2017 National Elections led by Ezekiel Robson. So much work has been done in these last few months. Many activities around social media took place. The My Voice Matter Facebook page, Twitter account and MVM website were buzzing because of all the shared messages and notifications. A well as all Ezekiel’s work, Jade Farrar and Hannah Averill have been the driving forces behind all this work.

In collaboration with Disability Connect a family/Whanau Hot Topic survey was sent out and the outcomes were collected and published.

Educational workshops around why voting is imported, how and where to vote, were organised throughout Auckland. Postcards were provided where people could write their names on and send them straight to the politicians to make sure the voice of the Disability community was heard.

On 4 September at the Sudima hotel a candidates forum was organised in collaboration with the Access Alliance and other providers and peak body organisations including NZDSN. Garth Bennie was asked to be one of the public commentators and of course this was when the pay equity issues were raised loud and clear.

A scorecard from political parties was also created and published which shows how people would rate party policies around different disability issues.

The My Voice Matter Framework Is now planning to also stay active in between elections as we need to keep educating politicians as well as creating opportunities and not only during election times. We would like to see My Voice Matters becoming an interactive platform where people will raise issues and where politicians, providers, families and disabled people will meet and have constructive discussions.

All this work takes time and effort and constantly needs to be (financially) supported. So please contact Ezekiel Robson if you would like to be more actively involved. You can also visit the website and facebook page to share your thoughts and comments.


Safe guarding Adults SAFA Framework

I am excited to be able to share some new collaboration initiatives and developments around the Safe Guarding of Vulnerable adults.


Two separate developments are taking place in this space:

  • Recently as part of the system transformation MOH has appointed Sue Hobbs (who has been one of the initiators of the SAFA initiative from the start) to ensure a safeguarding framework across the new system supports disabled people to live a good live, to make choices and to take risks while being at no greater or lesser risk than other New Zealanders. Please check out the EGL System Transformation webpage to read all the details.
  • Sue Hobbs is also project manager for Safeguarding Adults as part of the integrated safety approach in partnership with Waitemata DHB, currently funded by Foundation North.


There is still an option as a provider or for groups of providers to work together with People to First on the Keeping Safe Feeling Safe workshops where people with a learning disability during an 8 weeks programme are supported to keep themselves safe and learn how to ask for help and who to turn to.


NZDSN Auckland Regional Meeting 21 September

And then of course in my role as Auckland regional facilitator I try to keep supporting collaboration and opportunities to connect by organising our regional networking meetings.

We had our 3rd Auckland regional networking meeting on September 21 which was followed by the NZDSN 2017 AGM.

It was good to see we had so many people turning up although it has raised a slight concern around people who register but don’t turn up without apologies. We actually had a waiting list this time and some people weren’t able to join us although it appeared they could have if we had known others weren’t able to attend. We would ask people to be mindful to send their apologies even though this is a free event, to make sure as many people as possible can be there.

At this meeting Ezekiel Robson was there to reflect on the My Voice Matters campaign as described earlier in this regional news. With the EGL future in mind, where all providers need to be prepared to be accessible and clear about their services, we had invited people from Be Accessible to talk about the different levels of accessibility During their presentation it became quite clear that providers weren’t very confident about their level of accessibility and that there is much room for improvement. Be Accessible has agreed to develop a questionnaire tailored to providers so they can undertake to get a clear idea of where they need to focus to become more accessible on all levels. And of course Be Accessible is very willing to support providers through that process. The survey will be sent out to the Auckland network in the coming weeks.

Be Accessible has also recently announced next year’s intake for a well established and successful Be Leadership programme. You can find out the full story to this funded programme here :

At the networking meeting we also shared some recent developments and new initiatives from Te Pou. Please check the website from Te Pou on a regular base to keep abreast of their support and services.

Our next and last networking meeting of this year is scheduled for 22 November at Framework, 51 Huia Road, Otahuhu.


Disability Advisory Panel Public Meeting 10 October

Finally, the Disability Advisory Panel will hold a public meeting on 10 October at the Auckland Town Hall at 10.00 am. For all details dates, agendas and minutes, see agendas and minutes.

To attend or present at a meeting of the Disability Advisory Panel, or find more information, contact us.

As always I look forward to hearing from you and if you would like to meet or call me we can discuss how NZDSN can be of further support for your organisation. I would also like to encourage you to keep informing me about new developments, initiatives and or services from your organisation as I will do my best to promote this through my networks,

Warm greetings,

Mireille Vreeburg, Auckland Executive Regional Facilitator email: Phone: 021 025 93 41


Upcoming Auckland NZDSN Events in 2017

  • Last Auckland regional networking meetings for 2017 22 November. Please block the morning of this date in your calendar!


Events/ services in Auckland organised by other organisations.

Newsletters from other organisations



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