Minister for Disability Issues, Minister Poto Williams welcomes you to our new Ministry and talks about what we hope to achieve.
You can watch the video or find the welcome in the alternate format you prefer. We've also provided a press release for our new Ministry.
Kia ora koutou
I’m absolutely thrilled to be the Minister for Disability Issues.
My recent appointment comes at a historic time for the disability community, which has waited a long time for meaningful change.
The launch of Whaikaha - the Ministry of Disabled People, is a huge step forward for a better, more independent, future for disabled people and their whānau in Aotearoa New Zealand.
I firmly believe disabled people must have more control over their lives and big part of achieving that is improving how government support is provided. This Government has delivered a new ministry with a mandate to do this.
But it won’t be doing it alone. Disabled people know best what’s best for them.
That’s why I, along with the new Ministry, will be working closely with the disability community.
I strongly believe in the importance of working closely with community groups to achieve better outcomes for communities.
For too long the disability community has had decisions made for them without their say.
This Ministry will ensure disabled people have a real voice and increased self-determination. The mantra “Nothing about us without us” will be part of its DNA.
I’m excited to be part of this journey. It’s been a long one, but this is a true turning point and the road ahead is bright.
In the beautiful language of the Cook Islands, I E ra ke ia na Tiaure ei.
It’s a different day!
Alternate formats for Minister Poto Williams video welcome:
Government launches new Ministry
Hon Carmel Sepuloni
Minister for Social Development and Employment
Hon Poto Williams
Minister for Disability Issues
1 July 2022
In what is a milestone day, the Government has launched Aotearoa New Zealand’s first Whaikaha - Ministry of Disabled People, and New Zealand’s first Ministry that will have a NZ Sign Language name, as well as Te Reo Māori and English names.
It comes as Health New Zealand and the Māori Health Authority also officially take effect from today, in what is a significant moment for our country as we stand up a fully national health service.
“Today marks a new chapter for approximately 1.1 million disabled people in Aotearoa New Zealand, and is a significant step toward realising true partnership between Government and disabled people, tāngata whaikaha, their whānau, carers and supporters,” Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni and Minister for Disability Issues Poto Williams announced today.
“Last year we announced a suite of changes for disabled people as part of our Health and Disability System reforms. Today we take the next steps in our disability system transformation,” Carmel Sepuloni said.
“Budget 2022 underlined the Government’s commitment to delivering bold and transformational change for the disability community with over $1 billion of new funding for the sector.
“The disabled community has waited decades for this moment. That’s why work will continue to ensure the new Ministry has the time to get its people and systems established so that it’s well placed to get the transformation right.
“The Establishment Unit, Governance Group, Community Steering Group and officials have been making rapid and pragmatic decisions, informed by community consultation, to stand up the new Ministry and ensure we were ready to go by 1 July.
“As the outgoing Minister for Disability Issues, I want to extend my thanks to everyone for the contributions made. The changes being shepherded through are a reflection of hard work and advocacy from across the sector,” Carmel Sepuloni said.
“I know that it’s been a long journey for many in the sector and as the new Minister for Disability Issues, I look forward to this next exciting new chapter as we work together to achieve our shared vision of transforming Aotearoa into a non-disabling society,” Poto Williams said.
“In the spirit of ‘Nothing About Us, Without Us’, the new Ministry will start the ball rolling with ensuring the Ministry’s culture and values are mana-enhancing, the governance and partnership arrangements are meaningful, and the mechanisms that will give effect to disabled peoples voices are enduring.
“The Ministry will lead and coordinate disability policy across government, including improving outcomes for disabled people in areas such as employment, education, health and wellbeing.
“Having worked across the community, voluntary and social services sectors, including in residential disability services, I’m looking forward to engaging with the disability community to achieve better outcomes for our disabled people.
“Today is another step on the journey toward creating a more inclusive society. It’s a journey which must include all New Zealanders in order to grow awareness and recognise disabled peoples’ potential, and the Government is committed to the part we must play along that journey,” Poto Williams said.
Alternate formats for this press release:
Interim CE for the new Ministry announced
Te Kawa Mataaho Public Service Commission announced on Thursday 30th June the appointment of Ms Geraldine Woods as Acting Chief Executive, Ministry for Disabled People.
An independent recruitment process took place to find a permanent person for the role. Due to the personal circumstances of the preferred candidate, who is a disabled person, the process has not yet been able to be finalised.
The Acting Chief Executive, Geraldine Woods is currently Co-Chair of the Ministry for Disabled People Establishment Governance Group and a respected leader with experience delivering services to disabled people.
To read the full press release, visit the Te Kawa Mataaho Public Service Commission website.
Alternate formats for this press release: