The seeds of ASENZ were first planted in Auckland in 1993 when a small group of people, each feeling a little isolated and unsupported as they pioneered the development of supported employment services, set out a plan of action. Top of the agenda was the need for support, to share and exchange ideas, and recognition of the need to develop more collaborative and structured approaches to ensure the growth of supported employment in New Zealand.
Supported employment was [and remains] at the leading edge of the development of vocational services for people who experience disability; the kinds of changes that have occurred within the disability sector – not to mention the job market have been huge and the founder members of ASENZ were very positive change agents.
Since those early times ASENZ grew into a nationally recognised organisation with a formal structure that represented the interests of supported employment providers throughout New Zealand. Its membership included a cross section of interests including providers, consumers of services, Supported Employment personnel, professionals and employers.
In October 2013, ASENZ became a Committee within the New Zealand Disability Support Network (NZDSN).