Executive Summary - Annual Report 2022/23

This Executive Summary summarises key parts of the 2022/23 Whaikaha – Ministry of Disabled People Annual Report, which provides information on the services, activities and achievements of Whaikaha during the period from 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2023. 

You can find the full report on our Annual Report 2022/23 page.

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About the Whaikaha 2022/23 Annual Report

This Annual Report provides information on the services, activities and achievements of Whaikaha since it was established on 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2023.  

Our work is important to progressing the rights and opportunities of disabled New Zealanders, tāngata whaikaha Māori, and their whānau. We do this through:  

  1. commissioning $2.07 billion of disability supports for approximately 45,000 disabled New Zealanders  
  2. our stewardship role to help other agencies remove barriers and improve outcomes for tāngata whaikaha Māori, disabled people and their whānau  
  3. effective engagement and partnering with disabled people and tāngata whaikaha Māori in transformation of the disability system.  

The first year of Whaikaha has been a year of establishment and progress as well as responding to several challenges. 

Who we serve

We serve disabled people and whanau, who are part of the vast and diverse human experience. Just as we accept and respect differences like gender, ethnicity, language or belief, the difference and diversity of disabled people needs to be understood, acknowledged and celebrated. 

Who we are and what we do

Whaikaha brought together the functions from the Disability Directorate in Manatū Hauora, the Office for Disability Issues (administered by MSD), and the Enabling Good Lives sites in the Christchurch, Waikato, and MidCentral (Mana Whaikaha) locations.  

Most of the funded supports for disabled people previously commissioned through Manatū Hauora, Ministry of Health are now commissioned through Whaikaha. 

Our people

As of 30 June 2023, Whaikaha had 175 kaimahi (staff). 

Gender pay gap

As of 30 June 2023, Whaikaha had a gender pay gap of 12.3 percent. This is a reduction of the gender pay gap that Whaikaha reported as being 14.1 percent at 31 March 2023.   

Supporting Te Tiriti o Waitangi relationships

Whaikaha is committed to equity of access and outcomes for tāngata whaikaha Māori. A Kaihautū – Chief Advisor Māori role has been established to advise on the work of Whaikaha.   

Stewardship in action

Whaikaha is responsible for the commissioning and funding of disability support services, and progresses disabled people’s rights and opportunities through a number of strategies and cross-government work.   

These include the New Zealand Disability Strategy 2016-2026, the Disability Action Plan, the New Zealand Sign Language Strategy 2018-2023, and implementation of the of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).   

Whaikaha supports government agencies to include disability perspectives into their work, and builds capacity and capability in the public sector. 

In partnership with the community

Whaikaha continues to develop community-led engagement and partnership with disabled people, and tāngata whaikaha Māori, to inform the design of disability system transformation and the work programme of Whaikaha.   

Priorities and achievements

Priorities and achievements in the first year of Whaikaha include: 

  • designing the Whaikaha organisational structure, systems, processes, and policies  
  • responding to almost 2,000 requests for disability advice from the public and across government  
  • providing $2.07 billion of support to services for an approximate 45,000 disabled New Zealanders supported daily  
  • supporting the examination by the United Nations (UN) Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities of New Zealand’s implementation of the UNCRPD  
  • engaging with the disability community to receive Budget 2022 funding to implement systems transformation based on the Enabling Good Lives approach. 

Details on key projects progressed in 2022/23

Enabling Good Lives   

Developed by disabled people, families and whānau, the Enabling Good Lives approach focuses on providing disabled people with more choice and control on how they are supported to live a good life.   

Over 2022/23, approximately 4,500 people were supported in the Enabling Good Lives sites.  

Examination by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities  

Whaikaha was the lead agency for the examination of New Zealand’s implementation of the UNCRPD.   

Whaikaha worked across government to develop plans to implement 51 of the UN Committee’s recommendations, with the remaining nine noted by Cabinet.  

High and Complex Framework   

The High and Complex Framework provides a diversionary pathway for people with an intellectual disability in the criminal justice system, with a strong rehabilitative focus. Around 250 disabled people, many of whom have committed serious offences, are supported through the Framework.  

My Home My Choice  

Around 7,700 disabled people currently live in residential care funded by Whaikaha.   

Whaikaha is developing the My Home My Choice programme to focus on transforming the way people in residential services are assisted so they have more choice and control in their lives.  

Collection of disability data  

The collection of reliable and valid data is important for disabled people to understand their rights, and to understand their life-outcomes.  

Whaikaha is working with Statistics NZ to progress the recommendation that New Zealand develop a national disability data framework.   

The Patient Profile and National Health Index Project is a Te Whatu Ora-led project to identify all disabled people and their access needs, to monitor outcomes and enhance service responsiveness and accessibility.  

Family violence and sexual violence  

Disabled people are significantly more at risk than non-disabled people of experiencing sexual assault and intimate partner abuse.  

In 2022, the Safeguarding Adults from Abuse programme in the Waitematā was expanded to include tāngata whaikaha Māori, the Deaf community and disabled people.   

Budget 23 allocated Whaikaha $6.11 million over four years to support and extend the Waitematā Safeguarding response, and supporting improved access to mainstream family violence and sexual violence services.  

New Zealand Sign Language Board  

Around 23,000 people use NZSL as a form of communication. Census 2018 shows this includes approximately 4,500 Deaf people and Turi Māori (Māori Deaf).  

Whaikaha provides support for the NZSL Board and also monitors the New Zealand Sign Language Strategy 2018-2023.  

In early 2022, the NZSL Board supported the development of a sign name for Whaikaha. Whaikaha is the first government agency to have a name in NZSL, te reo Māori and English. 

Significant Budget initiatives

All of the funding listed below is from Budget 2022 and is allocated over four years (2022-2026).   

Disability Support Services Cost Pressures  

  • Total expenditure of $704m to fund cost pressures on the Government Disability Support Services budget.  

Ministry for Disabled People — Establishing a new Ministry  

  • Total expenditure of $107.8m to fund the establishment of Whaikaha and its ongoing operations. This initiative will potentially benefit up to 1.1 million disabled people in New Zealand.  

Payment to Family Members for Support Services   

  • Total expenditure of $39m to ensure that people have the option to choose to pay a family member to provide disability supports. 

Looking to the future

We are proud to be the world’s first Ministry of Disabled People, specifically dedicated to the disabled community. 

Whaikaha will continue working hard to improve the lives of tāngata whaikaha Māori, disabled people, and their families and whānau.