Posted: November 26, 2021Category: Sector Information

Media Release – Waiariki Action Disability Plan

BOP and Lakes DHBs seeking input from disability community

Do you have a disability, care for a disabled person or work in the disability sector? Then the Bay of Plenty and Lakes District Health Boards (DHBs) want to hear from you.

Ahead of the development of the Waiariki Disability Action Plan, the DHBs are keen to know what they need to change to make the lives of disabled people better, but also what is already going well and what is currently missing.

Paul Curry, who has been at the forefront of finding solutions to access issues for disabled people for many years, is one of the drivers of this project. He says: “We have enough strategies for the disability community. Now it’s time for a plan with clear deliverables and milestones, and that is exactly what this Action Plan is all about. I think it’s very brave that the DHBs are taking on a blank sheet approach for the development of this plan where they are truly listening to us.”

Together with Momenta – who have a long history in the BOP working and advocating in the disability sector – and a group of representatives from the disability community, the DHBs have set up a survey covering topics such as health, access and employment. The input from the survey will lead to practical actions to be included in the Waiariki Disability Action Plan, which will be completed by February 2022. These actions will address: removing barriers, providing greater access and improving the health outcomes for all people with disabilities in the Waiariki region, while ensuring equity to health services for everyone with disabilities.

Peter Chandler, CEO of the Bay of Plenty District Health Board, says: “As a DHB we need to be ‘disability confident’, not only in how we provide healthcare but also in our role as an employer. 27% of all of the people in the Waiariki region live with a disability and together with their whanau and people working in the sector, they know where the problems lie and can help us look for the solutions. We know that they have been ‘over consulted’ in the past, however, this plan will not land on the shelf. We are out to make a real change.”

The goal is for people with disabilities to live their best life, knowing the Bay of Plenty and Lakes DHBs as well as their support services are there for them as their needs and goals change.

Take the survey
Paul is encouraging people to share their experiences and ideas: “We've come up with the questions. But you have the answers. Make sure you fill out the survey if you want to be heard.”

To have your say on the Waiariki Disability Action Plan visit by Friday 26 November. Apart from the standard version, the survey is also available in te reo Māori, as an easy read document and in New Zealand Sign Language. To fill out a printed version or braille, please contact Momenta at or download at Follow Momenta on Facebook for updates regarding the plan: /WaiarikiDisabilityActionPlan.