More flexible approach for paying family members made permanent

On 18 March 2024 the purchasing rules governing what disability funding can be used for changed. Find more information on our Purchasing Rules and EMS update news item external URL .

Whaikaha is pleased to confirm that its more flexible approach for disabled people to engage family, whānau and aiga to provide supports is here to stay. 

The expanded flexibility was put in place as part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It gave disabled people, tāngata whaikaha Māori, families and whānau more options about who could be paid to provide support.

Whaikaha has listened to feedback from whānau and carers, disabled people, and tāngata whaikaha Māori, who have told us they value this more flexible approach.

 “After extending this approach several times, I am really pleased to be able to give the community the certainty that flexibility has become a permanent feature of our approach,” says Amanda Bleckmann, Deputy Chief Executive – Operational Design and Delivery.   

When other household whānau, family members can provide support for disabled people, it financially recognises their mahi aroha, work performed out of love, and makes it easier to ensure needed support is available. Most importantly, decisions about who is being paid to provide support and when are made directly by disabled people and their families, whānau and aiga.

Last year permanent changes were also made so family members providing support for disabled people could more flexibly use Carer Support and Individualised Funding. Purchasing guidelines for Carer Support and Individualised Funding were adapted so disabled people and families had more choices about how to use their funding, including being able to purchase items such as books, technology, and exercise equipment.

 These changes align with the Enabling Good Lives approach and the Mahi Aroha Carers’ Strategy Action Plan 2019-2023.  

 Budget 2022 funding (over four years) of $39 million for Whaikaha for paid whānau support in disability services, is supporting this initiative. 

If you have any questions please contact your host or your NASC.