Sibling Navigation

ODI Newsletter - January 2017

On this page

Message from the Director

Hello everyone,

I hope everyone had a well-deserved break over the holidays. Hopefully some of you had good weather during this very patchy summer of ours!

I’m sure many of you are feeling the same way as us at the moment; that it’s going to be another busy year. For us, the major areas of work will be the development of the Outcomes Framework for the New Zealand Disability Strategy and updating the Disability Action Plan.

Getting the right connections between a strategy, a plan and then to monitoring progress is something that lots of countries find difficult. That’s why this next phase of work is really important in making sure we put some practical plans in place to realise the aspirations in the Disability Strategy.

We are expecting to have more information on the next steps in about a month’s time – keep an eye out for this in the next newsletter.

Before signing off, I want to let you know that this will be my last message to you as Director of the Office for Disability Issues. I’m going to a new job with the United Nations (World Health Organisation) in Geneva, Switzerland. My last day will be 10 February 2017. This role has been a real privilege for me, and I’m going to be a proud New Zealander sharing what we’ve been learning here with others around the world.

Finally, I wanted to say thank you – thanks to everyone who got involved in the development of the Disability Strategy and also to those of you who continue to work with the Office to make sure we understand the diversity of the disability community and what’s most important to disabled people.

Best wishes,


Next steps on the Director of Office for Disability Issues

The Ministry of Social Development will be recruiting soon for a new Director for the Office for Disability Issues. This will be advertised on the Ministry of Social Development website ( ) and there will also be links from the ODI website. Please help us in making sure this is circulated widely.

While the recruitment process is underway, Brian Coffey will be seconded into the role of Director of the Office for three months. Brian is currently the Group Manager – Special Education Strategy and Service Improvement at the Ministry of Education. He has been involved with a lot of the Office’s work, including the New Zealand Disability Strategy, Disability Action Plan and New Zealand Sign Language, so will be able to help make sure the work continues as planned. Brian will start after Megan finishes on 10 February 2017.

Making the Disability Strategy work

As you may know there are two big things we need to do this year to make the Disability Strategy work:

1.    Develop an Outcomes Framework to measure progress and ensure implementation remains on track.

2.    Update the Disability Action Plan to align it to the Disability Strategy.

We are doing the planning for this work at the moment, and have been getting some advice from Superu as they have expertise in monitoring and evaluation.  Superu is the Social Policy Research and Evaluation Unit – they used to be called the Families Commission. Their website  has a range of information including about families and whānau, and also tools to help support the community and voluntary sector on evaluation.

There will be public consultation on the draft Outcomes Framework and the updated Disability Action Plan and we are currently working on the schedule for this. We know how important it is to make sure you have advance notice of consultation periods, so we are hoping to be able to give you some indicative dates in our next newsletter.

Minister’s forum information available

An open forum hosted by the Minister for Disability Issues Nicky Wagner in Wellington in December was well-attended. The forum focused on the New Zealand Disability Strategy 2016-2026, employment and Enabling Good Lives.

Information provided at the forum and answers to questions raised by the participants are available on the Office for Disability Issues website. Some more information has been added to our website this year.

See the information from the forum

Anne Hawker inducted into Hall of Fame

Anne Hawker has been recognised for her contribution to improving the lives of disabled people by her induction into the Attitude Awards Hall of Fame. Anne has been driving change in the disability sector for 35 years. She has held many leadership positions in prominent disability organisations in New Zealand and overseas.

She was the first woman President of Rehabilitation International of which DPA (NZ) is the NZ National Member Organisation. She was also the former President of DPA (NZ) and of the Dunedin regional DPA.

Anne works as the Principal Disability Advisor at the Ministry of Social Development.

Reminder of applications for NZSL Fund

Applications for funding from Round 3 of the New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) Fund are due to the Office for Disability Issues by 26 February 2017.

The theme for the round is ‘Strengthening NZSL in the home and Deaf community’ Whakapakari te oranga o Te Reo-a-Ringa o Aotearoa kei te hapori Turi, whānau, marae, hapū me ngā iwi. Grants from $5,000 to $80,000 are available for one year.

The Office for Disability Issues is the Secretariat for the NZSL Board which administers the Fund.

Find out more about how to apply for a grant

Update on Good Start in Life project

An update has been provided on the ‘A Good Start in Life’ project which seeks to improve the way the ‘system’ as a whole works for parents, family and whānau with disabled children 0-8 years old.

The work, which is being done as part of the Disability Action Plan, sits under ‘Choice and Control’ in the revised New Zealand Disability Strategy 2016-2026.

A range of government agencies, sector organisations, parents, families and whānau are working together on the project, which is being led by the Ministry of Education.

Read the latest newsletter about the project

SmartStart for Kiwi parents and babies

A new website has been set up with step-by-step information to help parents and their babies get off to the best start. The website, called SmartStart, includes disability-related information from the Ministries of Health and Education.

The website helps new parents and expectant parents to:

  • find out what you need to do and when you need to do it
  • create your own to do list and keep track of your progress
  • get tips on keeping you and your baby healthy and safe
  • make sure you’re not missing out on financial help
  • discover the people who can help you
  • create your baby’s official record.

Find out more about SmartStart


Tell us what you think

Page last updated: