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National: Security for disability services

Paul Hutchison MP

National Party Disability Issues Spokesman

30 October 2008

National: Security for disability services

National Party Disability Issues spokesman Paul Hutchison has released his party’s Disability Issues policy which features a commitment to work towards establishing multi-year funding contracts for non-government organisations providing disability services.

“Disability affects one in five New Zealanders. There are many hundreds of voluntary, non-government, public and private organisations that support the sector. We want to give NGOs the security of knowing their funding is locked in.

“National is committed to working with people with disabilities to achieve their aspirations and goals and to ensure they receive good quality services and care.”

National will:

• Work towards establishing multi-year funding contracts for non-government organisations providing disability services.

• Review auditing and monitoring of disability service providers to ensure a move away from a bureaucratic ‘tick box’ approach towards a smarter focus on improving individual quality of life, as advocated by the Standards and Monitoring Services Trust.

“Disability services are funded through 11 different government agencies. There is a need for improved collaboration between these agencies and the services they provide, to ensure funds are not tied up in bureaucracy and are instead focused on frontline services for people with disabilities.

“There is also a need for strengthened advocacy services to ensure people with disabilities do not fear repercussions from making complaints.”

National will:

• Support the views expressed in ‘Pathways to Inclusion’ and the philosophy of ‘Nothing About Us Without Us’ as drivers of disability policy.

• Support the ‘New Zealand Disability Strategy’ and develop a pathway for implementation within the resources available, with a particular focus on choice and frontline services.

• Require collaboration between the various government agencies involved with disability services to ensure better alignment and integration of disability services as a whole, reduction of unnecessary bureaucracy, improved information sharing, and improved lines of accountability.

• Require regular Cabinet-level collaboration on disability issues.

“CCS Disability Action has described New Zealand’s disability services funding system as ‘low trust, over audited and over standardised’. National wants less bureaucracy in disability services.”

Dr Hutchison says National will also investigate making one of the two Deputy Commissioners within the Office of the Health and Disability Commissioner specifically responsible for disability issues.


ENDS

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