DHBs seeking input from disability community

Paul Curry. Supplied photo.

The Bay of Plenty and Lakes District Heath Boards are reaching out to the community to have its say on a new disability action plan.

Ahead of the development of the Waiariki Disability Action Plan, the DHBs are keen to know what they need to change to make the lives of disabled people better, but also what is already going well and what is currently missing.

Paul Curry, who has been at the forefront of finding solutions to access issues for disabled people for many years, is one of the drivers of this project.

“We have enough strategies for the disability community,” says Paul.

“Now it’s time for a plan with clear deliverables and milestones, and that is
exactly what this Action Plan is all about. I think it’s very brave that the DHBs are taking on a blank sheet approach for the development of this plan where they are truly listening to us.”

Together with Momenta – who have a long history in the BOP working and advocating in the
disability sector – and a group of representatives from the disability community, the DHBs have set up a survey covering topics such as health, access, and employment.

The input from the survey will lead to practical actions to be included in the Waiariki Disability Action Plan, which will be completed by February 2022.

These actions will address: removing barriers, providing greater access, and improving the health outcomes for all people with disabilities in the Waiariki region, while ensuring equity to health services for everyone with disabilities.

Bay of Plenty District Health Board CEO Pete Chandler says as a DHB they need to be ‘disability confident’, not only in how they provide healthcare but also in their role as an employer.

He says 27 per cent of all of the people in the Waiariki region live with a disability and together with their whānau and people working in the sector, they know where the problems lie and can help the DHBs look for the solutions.

“We know that they have been ‘over consulted’ in the past, however, this plan will not land
on the shelf. We are out to make a real change.”

The goal is for people with disabilities to live their best life, knowing the Bay of Plenty and Lakes DHBs as well as their support services are there for them as their needs and goals change.

Take the survey
Paul is encouraging people to share their experiences and ideas.

“We've come up with the questions. But you have the answers. Make sure you fill out the survey if you want to be heard.”

To have your say on the Waiariki Disability Action Plan visit by Wednesday, December 1.

Apart from the standard version, the survey is also available in Te Reo Māori, as an easy read document and in a recorded voice version.

To fill out a printed version or braille, please contact Momenta at or download at



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