Select committee submission in December.
The DPO Coalition presented to the select committee on the Accessibility for New Zealanders Bill in December. This provided an opportunity for Coalition members to expand on points raised in the submission. The Select Committee noted the robustness of the DPO Coalition’s submission where its points were clearly made. A copy of the submission is available upon request.
Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.
The DPO Coalition met with Peter Hardstaff, Principal Advisor, and Nigel Mitchell, Senior Advisor, from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, about their project to improve building accessibility. They discussed the purpose and scope of the work, and the development of an advisory group to provide input to the project.
Contingency Drawdown Business Case.
The DPO Coalition met with Tamati Shepherd-Wipiiti from Price Waterhouse Coopers and John Wilkinson from Whaikaha – Ministry of Disabled People. Whaikaha are writing a business case on how to best use 100 million dollars that is set aside for transforming the disability support system. They discussed the importance of partnering with disabled people, building community voice, improving the whole system, improving data and information, and the large amount of unmet need.
Te Aka Matua o te Ture Law Commission.
Geof Shirtcliffe, Law Commissioner, and Megan Rae, Senior Legal and Policy Advisor, met with the DPO Coalition. Te Aka Matua o te Ture (the Law Commission) have recently released a preliminary issues paper on Adult Decision-Making for public consultation. The DPO Coalition discussed issues that impact on disabled people’s capacity to make decisions, especially having access to information. A second issues paper will be released later this year. The DPO Coalition plans to meet with Te Aka Matua o te Ture again in May.
DPO Coalition self-assessment.
We reviewed our progress against a self-assessment carried out in 2019, that resulted in a report that had a number of recommendations for developing the DPO Coalition. We met with Grant Cleland, the contractor who led the review, to consider the report and progress since. We were pleased to note significant progress against many of the recommendations and will now decide where the Coalition needs to give its attention.
Ministry of Social Development.
The DPO Coalition met with Sonja Erikson, the new Principal Advisor Disability at the Ministry for Social Development. Sonja reported on her first few months in the role and outlined her priorities, including increasing the consistency of responses to disabled people. She discussed work to promote accessibility across all of government, including the accessibility charter, the all of government internship programme, the all of government alternate formats group, and the LEAD toolkit. The DPO Coalition is keen to work with Sonja to increase the voice of disabled people in the Ministry’s work.
Office for Disability Issues.
The DPO Coalition met with Brian Coffey, Director, and Pauline Melham, Senior Advisor, from the Office for Disability Issues-Whaikaha. They discussed the development of a Cabinet Paper on agencies responses to the concluding observations of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. They also discussed the monitoring of the current Disability Action Plan, and the creation of the next Disability Action Plan.