George's story

George shares his story of how his life has changed since he started using Enhanced Individualised Funding and Local Area Coordination.

Peggy and George.
George is making the most of
Enhanced Individualised Funding.

It’s not for everyone, the life ‘George’ lives, on his own on the East Coast of the Bay of Plenty, 25 km from the nearest shop.

Life here brings extra challenges for George who has a degenerative illness that means he requires a power wheelchair for mobility and has limited use of his hands. But he wouldn’t swap this life for the world.

‘From my deck I feed the weka and watch the deer across the valley.’

George asked for his real name to be withheld for reasons of privacy but was keen to share his story about how his life has changed since learning about the New Model.

George thinks it’s the ‘best thing since sliced bread’, because it is giving him the flexibility to plan and make his own decisions.

Under the New Model, George is in control of the funding allocated to him for disability supports and can use it not just on hours of help but in other ways that support him to reach his goals. A new battery for his wheelchair was one of his priorities.

Before he started using Enhanced Individualised Funding (EIF), he found it hard to get good caregivers to come out to his home.

Now he can choose and employ the assistants he wants: people he can trust to do his shopping, pay his bills, people who don’t baulk at filling up buckets of water from the river when his water supply breaks down.

Local Area Coordination, another part of the New Model, has also assisted George to have a good life by connecting him more closely with his community.


Sadly, George passed away in 2014. His family has given permission for his story to continue to be used to tell others about the New Model, as George had wished.


EIF is part of the Ministry of Health’s New Model for Supporting Disabled People. Individualised Funding (IF) already offers disabled people more choice in how funding can be used. EIF takes this one step further by allowing disabled people to buy a wider range of disability support and products/services to assist them with their individual support plans.

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