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Mainstream Awards celebrate good employers

Hon Paula Bennett
Minister for Social Development and Employment
Minister for Youth Affairs

5 November 2009
Media Release

Mainstream Awards celebrate good employers

Employers in the state sector have been recognised today for going the extra mile for staff with significant disabilities.

At today’s Mainstream Awards ceremony in Wellington, the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) was named the 2009 employer of the year for providing high quality supported employment.

The awards ceremony – into its 10th year – acknowledges those employers who have a record in creating successful job placements for disabled people and encourages other state sector employers to follow suit.

Paula Bennett, Minister for Social Development and Employment, presented today’s award. She says Mainstream is an ideal stepping stone for helping those with disabilities to get a job.

“Having a significant disability can make it that much harder to find work. However, more than 210 people are currently in job placements because of Mainstream.

“I believe the awards are that much more meaningful because staff are the ones who nominate their employers,” Ms Bennett says.

One of the Mainstream judges said NZDF was rewarded for its resolve in creating a position that required defence clearance and the commitment it showed to training and support.

The Mainstream Employment Programme provides a package of subsidies, training, and other support to help people with significant disabilities get work in the state service.

2009 Mainstream Employment Programme award winners:

Mainstream Employer of the Year 2009
New Zealand Defence Force (Wellington)
For excelling in the provision of high quality Supported Employment

Mainstream Employer of the Year Runner up 2009
Bay of Plenty District Health Board (Tauranga)
For creating an excellent Supported Employment opportunity

Mainstream Employer of the Year Merit 2009
Work and Income Thames
For providing a high quality Supported Employment opportunity

Mainstream Employer of the Year Merit 2009
Ministry of Education (Wellington)
For providing a high quality Supported Employment opportunity

Mainstream Placement Specialist of the Year 2009
Tony Pike (Workwise Rotorua)
For excelling in the provision of support to Mainstream Programme participants

Mainstream Placement Specialist of the Year Special Merit 2009
Denise Kelly (Work and Income Dunedin) and Sandy Nicol (RNZFB Dunedin)
In recognition for working as partners in finding quality Mainstream Placements

Mainstream Placement Specialist of the Year Special Merit 2009
Agency Award
Elevator (Auckland)
In recognition of creating excellent job opportunities through the Mainstream Programme

Editors note:

For more information on Mainstream go to:


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