New model for supporting disabled people

The New Model is a new way of supporting disabled people to achieve their goals. It gives people more choice and control over support and funding in their everyday lives.

This section provides background information and updates on the development of the New Model for Supporting Disabled People (the New Model) programme and its elements. Information on the New Model for people with disabilities and their families/whānau is available in the Your Health section of this website.

What is the New Model?

Disability Support Services (DSS) developed the New Model in consultation with disabled people, their families, providers and the wider disability sector. The New Model is made up of four key elements:

Parts of the New Model are being demonstrated in the Bay of Plenty, Lakes, Waikato, Auckland, Hutt Valley and Otago/Southland regions.

The New Model and the key elements have been evaluated over the course of a 3-year demonstration period. The findings are available in the Demonstrating Changes to Disability Support: Evaluation Report (August 2015).

The findings will continue to support the ongoing development of the New Model and are also being used to inform the development of Enabling Good Lives in both Christchurch and Waikato. Enabling Good Lives, an approach to supporting disabled people and their whānau/families, has expanded on the work of the New Model through an intra-agency approach which includes the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Social Development.

Background to the establishment of the New Model

The report of the Social Services Select Committee’s Inquiry into the Quality of Care and Service Provision for People with Disabilities in September 2008 outlined a number of recommendations to which the government needed to respond.

The Government Response to the Select Committee’s Report in February 2009 accepted the Committee’s conclusion that improvements should be made to disability services. Existing development work across government agencies was expanded into a wide-ranging work programme for making those improvements.

In June 2010 Cabinet considered a paper on the New Model:

Following agreement to this Cabinet paper, DSS began to develop and implement elements of the New Model. The Ministry of Health consulted widely on the New Model and received support from local and national working groups that included disabled people and family/whānau.


Choice in Community Living

Choice in Community Living is an alternative to residential services, and aims to open up opportunities for disabled people and their family to have more choice and control about their living circumstances – where they live, who they live with and how they are supported.

We are continuing to demonstrate Choice in Community Living in the Auckland and Waikato regions. The demonstration has been evaluated to identify the key aspects of Choice in Community Living that have proved to be successful as well as identifying barriers that have impacted on its effectiveness, eg, accessing affordable housing.

Many disabled people participating in the demonstration's evaluation reported significant benefits to 'their sense of freedom to live their lives as individuals' as a result of the increased independence that Choice in Community Living provided for them. It has also enabled participants to develop skills and capabilities to support independent living with more opportunities for relationships, community access and participation.

People using CiCL can purchase disability support in accordance with the Purchasing Guidelines. Purchasing Guidelines have been developed to outline how people can use their disability funding under CiCL.

For information on the background of Choice in Community Living, download the Cabinet paper:

More information for people with disabilities and their families/whānau

Information on Choice in Community Living for people with disabilities and their families/whānau is available in the Your Health section of this website.


Local Area Coordination

Local Area Coordination involves a coordinator working with individuals, families and communities to make a practical difference to disabled people's everyday lives.

Local Area Coordination is based on developing ongoing and in-depth relationships with disabled people (and their families) with a view to disabled people identifying what represents a good life for them, and the coordinator working with family and community resources to make that happen.

Local Area Coordination is currently available in the Bay of Plenty, Hutt Valley and Otago/Southland regions, where it is being trialled.

Local Area Coordination in the Bay of Plenty has been evaluated over the course of the last three years. The findings of the evaluations are available in the Evaluation of Local Area Coordination (April 2014) report and the New Model for Supporting Disabled People: Synthesis of Year 1 evaluation findings (December 2012) (PDF, 1.2 MB).

Development of Local Area Coordination

Local Area Coordination was originally developed in Western Australia in the late 1980s, and had been introduced in several other jurisdictions since that time. In May 2009, representatives from the Ministry of Health visited Western Australia and Queensland as part of the Ministry's investigation of Local Area Coordination-type processes. A literature review of LAC-type processes (Word, 1.7 MB) was commissioned.

The Ministry of Health prepared an initial report on Local Area Coordination (PDF, 111 KB) that was considered by the Ministerial Committee on Disability Issues at its meeting on 23 September 2009.

Note that a reviewer from Western Australia identified that the report appears to under-state the significance of the community development aspects of local area coordination as implemented in Western Australia. The reviewer also identified a factual error in Table Two on page 11. The box labelled ‘Funding-related responsibilities’ has two bullet points – the first one says each Western Australia LAC coordinator has a discretionary spend of A$4,000 in total per annum across all the disabled people they work with. The figure should have been A$8,000, not A$4,000.

Further information on Local Area Coordination in other jurisdictions can be found here:

More information for people with disabilities and their families/whānau

Information on Local Area Coordination for people with disabilities and their families/whānau is available in the Your Health section of this website.


Enhanced Individualised Funding

Individualised Funding (IF) is a mechanism that enables disabled people to directly purchase and manage their Disability Supports. IF is available throughout New Zealand for eligible people who have either a Home and Community Support Services or Respite allocation. IF gives disabled people more choice in how they are supported.

Enhanced Individualised Funding (EIF) gives disabled people more choice, control and flexibility in the way they use their disability support budget, by allowing it to be spent on a wider range of supports.

EIF can be spent on support that is:

  • a disability support
  • part of the disabled person’s plan and helps progress towards their goals
  • support that is the responsibility of the Ministry of Health and not provided by other government agencies (such as education).

People using EIF can purchase disability support in accordance with the Purchasing Guidelines. Purchasing Guidelines have been developed to outline how people can use their disability funding under EIF.

EIF is currently available in the Eastern and Western Bay of Plenty regions where it is being trialled.

More information for people with disabilities and their families/whānau

Information on Enhanced Individualised Funding for people with disabilities and their families/whānau (who live in the Eastern and Western Bay of Plenty) is available in the Your Health section of this website.


Supported Self-Assessment

Understanding You and Your Situation is a new self-assessment form which assesses disabled people’s needs based on their strengths and capabilities.

The form replaces the traditional needs assessment used by the Needs Assessment and Services Coordination (NASC) organisation. Self-assessment means that individuals can complete the form at a time, place and pace that suits them, with whoever they want to support them. The completed self-assessment is then discussed with the NASC and used to identify appropriate disability supports.

This change currently only applies if you live in the Bay of Plenty or Lakes region.

Self-Assessment Models, Practice and Tools within Disability Support Services (PDF, 2.2 MB) is a report that was prepared by Dr. Carol MacDonald for the New Zealand Needs Assessment and Service Coordination Association Inc., on behalf of the Ministry of Health.

More information for people with disabilities and their families/whānau

Information on supported self-assessment for people with disabilities and their families/whānau (who live in the Bay of Plenty or Lakes region) is available in the Your Health section of this website.

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