Contributing to positive outcomes for Pasifika disability
The Faiva Ora National Leadership Group had an incredibly productive meeting during the preconference workshop for #GPS2016. The group’s purpose is to provide quality advice and support to the Ministry of Health and its funded disability support services on issues relating to Pasifika people with disabilities, their family members and aiga. This advice supports the implementation of the Faiva Ora National Pasifika Disability Plan, and also initiatives focused on reducing negative attitudes and stigma towards Pasifika people with disabilities.
This was our first face-to-face meeting this year. There were substantial updates from each member to reflect on, and a great opportunity to feed into shaping what Disability Support Services for Pasifika communities should look like over the next five years. Barbara Crawford and Lefauaitu Feala Afoa from the Ministry of Health presented to the group on Pasifika disability demographics and service usage before posing two important questions for consultation from the leadership group.
- What do you think will be the top three priorities for Pasifika disabled people, their families and caregivers over the next five years?
- What specific actions, activities or changes need to be undertaken to deliver on these priorities?
The group spent considerable time workshopping these questions, and then responding to the Ministry of Health. The group’s insights will contribute to the updated Faiva Ora National Pasifika Disability Plan, which the Ministry of Health is currently working on.
We were then privileged to have Dr Lana Perese and Tim Rowland from Malatest International present on research they are undertaking on service user feedback about Ministry of Health funded residential services.
It was an honour to have Megan McCoy, Director of the Office for Disability Issues join us towards the end of the day to explain their core function and direction, and the refresh of the New Zealand Disability Strategy which the Office of Disability Issues is leading. The group will provide direct input and will look to facilitate wider Pasifika discussions for this important piece of work, also talking to Megan about innovative CollaborACTION in the future with the leadership group.
Finally, a definite highlight that was unanimous throughout the group was the cohesive work of Fatima Akehurst and Kramer Hoeflich, who were co-chairing their first meeting together! Both demonstrated great team work in sharing responsibilities and leading the day’s proceedings to ensure that the meeting was fluid but also on target!
Faiva Ora National Leadership Group member Lealofi Sio said,
The Faiva Ora National Leadership Group is a good time to meet and hear of the activities that are occurring around the nation. Like most things there is always room for doing things better and I guess for me this meeting was better in many ways. We got information provided to us, we contributed to activities but most of all I like the feeling that we participated to provide a view for Pasifika consideration. Though it is nothing new to be consulted with, but I do get a sense that there are activities that Pasifika contributions would become beneficial for all in supporting services.”