Thumbs up for new ministry

Karen Scott

A Waipā-based charitable trust that works alongside disabled people so they can develop their skills and abilities has applauded sweeping changes in the disability sector.

The government last week announced it would move disability funding from the Ministries of Health and Social Development into a new Ministry for Disabled People.

Enrich Group chief executive Karen Scott of Cambridge said the changes would finally give disabled people, nearly a quarter of New Zealand’s population, hope they would be treated more equitably.

The Enabling Good Lives approach to disability services, which has been trialled in Christchurch and Waikato and rolled out in Palmerston North, will now be implemented nationally.

“We know Enabling Good Lives works and produces better outcomes for disabled people,” said Scott.
Enrich Group, formerly Gracelands Group of Services, has two fully-owned entities – Enrich Plus and McKenzie Centre – and is in a 50-50 partnership with Active Plus Waikato.

The organisations provide common and complementary services that support people with disabilities and those living with autism and neurodiversities.

Celebrating Enrich Plus’ 30th birthday l-r Karen Scott, chief executive, Shannon Clark, Maree Haddon-Silby, board member, Caleb Wickenden, Shelley Blair, service manager.

Head office is in Te Awamutu and services are delivered throughout Waikato, King Country and Bay of Plenty.

Scott is also deputy chair of the New Zealand Disability Support Network  which represents many  not-for-profit organisations that provide support services to disabled people. It was involved in talks with Disability Issues Minister Carmel Sepuloni and Health Minister Andrew Little during the system transformation work.

The new Disability Ministry will come into existence from July 1 next year.

One in four New Zealanders self-identify as having a disability based on data from the 2013 Disability Survey.

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