Last week the New Zealand government announced a Disability Systems Transformation: The creation of a Ministry for Disabled People to be led by people with disabilities. New Zealand has been working on Disability System Transformation for more than a decade; the Enabling Good Lives vision is that all people with disabilities and their families have greater choice and control over their supports and lives.

The paper explains that “New Zealand’s Government current health and disability system reforms provide a strong impetus for the transformation of the disability system”, including New structural arrangements for the health system which will come into effect from July 2022.

In a system based on the Enabling Good Lives approach, disabled people:

  • Determine what type of assistance they require from whom and when to achieve the outcomes that they have chosen for their own lives.
  • Are provided with support based on a ‘whole-of-life’ approach that focuses on strengths and interests rather than being based on their impairment.
  • Are assessed through one centralised process (rather than multiple assessments and applications, each with different criteria).
  • Are welcomed into the system in multiple ways and have access to a Connector/Tūhono who assists them in navigating the system.
  • Have access to a personal budget that can be used flexibly with the aim of seamless access to government funded disability services.

While the focus of Disability System Transformation has primarily been on testing the Enabling Good Lives approach, the opportunities and aspirations are much broader. The paper explains that true change requires transforming the disability system, from one that focuses on service provision and needs-based assessment to a model that takes a whole-of-life approach, emphasises strengths, and enables disabled people and tāngata whaikaha Māori to make decisions to live their best lives.

What will the transformed system provide?

As outlined in the paper, a transformed system will:

  • build the knowledge and skills of disabled people and their families and whānau, so they have opportunity increase their choice and control.
  • Change how services are provided including aligning organisational roles and functions, delivery models, accountability measures, monitoring and evaluation with the Enabling Good Lives approach
  • Create an enabling environment where communities are accessible, and they welcome and recognise the contribution that disabled people make to enhance community cohesion and wellbeing.

Aspirico is an established, leading provider of person-centred case management and care planning solutions for the New Zealand and Australian disability sector since 2015. Our relationship driven platform, iplanit, is used by hundreds of thousands of people supported and providers across Europe and Australia / NZ. Uniquely, the iplanit platform is engineered from the ground up to support the values and objectives enshrined in EGL. Designed to support the shift from transactional, input driven models of service automation, iplanit shines a light on the values of the provider, the aspirations and outcomes of the individual, whilst evidencing value and compliance, supporting inclusion and enabling personalisation, and co-production for some of the largest providers of disability services in the region.

Want to learn more about iplanit? Visit or get in touch at

Thomas is a former senior manager with Life Without barriers, a leading Australian Disability Provider where he had responsibility for over 500 staff across a wide range of services.