Christchurch demonstration - Questions and Answers (2013)

In July 2013, Cabinet agreed to a three-year demonstration of Enabling Good Lives in Christchurch. The demonstration is new way of supporting disabled people that offers them greater choice and control over the support they receive and the lives they lead. On this page you can read questions and answers about the demonstration.

What is Enabling Good Lives?     

A new cross-government approach to supporting disabled people that offers people greater choice and control over the supports they receive and the lives they lead.  It is based on the vision and principles, proposed in an Enabling Good Lives Report, for government support of disabled people.          

Why is this new approach needed?     

In 2011, a group of people from the disability sector reviewed the options available to disabled people for their daily lives.  They concluded that changes to the entire disability support system were needed to address long standing concerns about how the government supported disabled people.  Their report was entitled ‘Enabling Good Lives’.       

How will Enabling Good Lives be introduced?     

Enabling Good Lives will first be demonstrated in Christchurch to show how the new cross-government approach can be used to reconfigure supports and services for disabled people. The demonstration will run for three years and will gather information about the difference Enabling Good Lives makes to people’s lives, the costs involved in the new approach and how to put in place changes across the disability system.

The demonstration will be jointly designed with disabled people, families and service providers in the city.  These groups will have a say in changes at both the local and national level. The demonstration will include funds and services from the Ministries of Education, Health and Social Development. The services and supports ACC provides to clients with a serious injury will also be taken into account to ensure that systems are streamlined.       

Why demonstrate in Christchurch?     

The Government’s 2011 Disability Action Plan had a priority of including disabled people in the Canterbury earthquake recovery. As part of this, the Christchurch disability community and sector were invited to develop a proposal for demonstrating Enabling Good Lives in Canterbury.  The Christchurch disability community and sector embraced this opportunity. They submitted a draft report to the Minister for Disability Issues Tariana Turia in June 2012 entitled “Enabling Good Lives in Canterbury”.  In response, the Government has agreed to a three year demonstration, based on the report.         

How will the disability community be involved in development of the demonstration?     

A Local Advisory Group in Christchurch will co-design the demonstration with staff from each of the government agencies.  It will also support and advise the demonstration’s director. The group’s members will be nominated by the disability community and sector.  Wider networks in the Christchurch community will be drawn on to assist the group.

The national Enabling Good Lives Leadership Group will champion the vision and principles of Enabling Good Lives.  It will also advise Ministers and senior government officials.  Members of this group are about to be appointed from nominations from the disability community and sector.         

Who will be part of the demonstration?     

The demonstration will be in place for young people leaving school in November 2013. In the first year, it will focus on school leavers with high needs in Christchurch City. A small number of people will also be able to opt into this early phase of the demonstration at the discretion of the Enabling Good Lives Director.

As Enabling Good Lives expands over three years, increasing numbers of disabled people will be able to be part of it. By its third year it is expected that at least 300 people will be included in the demonstration.       

Who will lead the demonstration?     

A Christchurch-based director, reporting to a Joint Agency Group (comprised of the Ministries of Health, Education, Social Development and ACC). The Group will report to the Ministerial Committee for Disability Issues.       

What is the demonstration seeking to achieve?     

The demonstration’s primary goal is to improve the lives of disabled people by giving them more choice and control over the supports they receive and the lives they lead. It will create opportunities for family, whānau and friends to gain the skills, confidence and information they need to support disabled people to live an everyday life in everyday places.

The demonstration also aims to assist disabled people to feel welcome and included in their local communities; ensure government funding of disability support services is flexible and work wells; and develop a way for government agencies to work together in funding services that support disabled people to live ordinary lives.      

How will it be funded?     

The demonstration will focus on using existing resources in more effective ways. It will encompass funding from the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Social Development and Ministry of Education.

Additional government funding of $3 million over three years has been allocated for costs associated with the demonstration.       

What are the Enabling Good Lives principles?     

In September 2012, the Ministerial Committee on Disability Issues agreed to a vision, that in future, disabled people and their families will have greater choice and control over their supports and lives, and make more use of natural and universally available supports. They also agreed to a set of principles which spell out this change, based on the Enabling Good Lives report, to guide the transformation of the disability support system. Ministers recognised that such a fundamental shift would require change in a number of areas and would take some time.

There are eight principles based on what is needed to improve the quality of life of disabled people.  These are:

  • Self-determination: disabled people are in control of their lives.
  • Beginning early: invest early in families and whānau to support them to be aspirational   for their disabled child, to build community and natural supports and to support disabled children to become independent.
  • Person-centred: disabled people have supports that are tailored to their individual needs and goals, and that take a whole life approach.
  • Ordinary life outcomes: disabled people are supported to live an everyday life in everyday places; and are regarded as citizens with opportunities for learning, employment, having a home and family, and social participation - like others at similar stages of life.
  • Mainstream first: disabled people are supported to access mainstream services before specialist disability services.
  • Mana enhancing: the abilities and contributions of disabled people and their families are recognised and respected.
  • Easy to use: disabled people have supports that are simple to use and flexible.
  • Relationship building: relationships between disabled people, their whanau and community are built and strengthened.          

How does the demonstration relate to the new model?     

The Ministry of Health has developed a New Model for Supporting Disabled People to increase disabled people’s choices and control over what they need to live the lives they want.  Unlike Enabling Good Lives, it only involves the parts of the disability support system that the Ministry of Health is responsible for.

While disabled people have actively engaged in the New Model work programme, Enabling Good Lives further enhances their role in decision-making. Enabling Good Lives also draws in a range of agencies. Over time, it is envisaged that the New Model will become part of the Enabling Good Lives initiative.

What the Ministry of Health is learning from the New Model is likely to be of considerable value to the demonstration.  This information will come from the demonstration of:

  • Enhanced Individualised Funding in the Eastern and Western Bay of Plenty – in which people manage their own support funding 
  • Local Area Coordination in the Eastern and Western Bay of Plenty – where Local Area Coordinators help people to plan and build a life in their communities
  • Choice in Community Living in Auckland and Waikato - which provides alternatives to residential care for people with significant support needs.       

What is the long term plan?     

If successful, experiences from the Enabling Good Lives demonstration and the New Model will feed into future changes to the disability support system.

Page last updated: