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Disability Consumers Asked to Have Their Say

Media Release

April 13, 2006

Disability Consumers Asked to Have Their Say

The Ministry of Health is encouraging disability consumers to have their say on Government funded services they receive.

A series of consumer fora, hui and fono are being held around the country, starting yesterday in Wellington and finishing up in Christchurch late next month.

Deputy Director-General of Disability Services Geraldine Woods says, "the fora allow the Ministry to hear from consumers about how they would like disability services to develop in the future."

"It's important that consumers have control over what services they need to have a quality life and the Ministry wants to hear feedback on how it could be doing things better to meet each individuals needs," says Geraldine Woods.

"The Ministry looks forward to hearing from disability consumers about how it can continue to improve disability services so that every New Zealander can enjoy the ordinary home life they deserve."

Ms Woods says, "the Ministry's Disability Services Directorate has already been working on creating this vision for the future."

Geraldine Woods says, " the government has increased the Disability Services Directorate's funding by $61 million this financial year, taking the first step in our long-term commitment to our continual improvement in the disability services sector."

"The New Zealand Disability Strategy aims to improve the quality of disabled people's lives through good investment in quality services. Disability consumers and their families having a say in the policy and service developments that affect them is key", says Geraldine Woods.

The Ministry of Health will collate information gathered at all of the upcoming consumer fora and will consult with disability consumers on an annual basis. This follows on from a series of smaller scale fora run last year.

ENDS

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