July 06, 2022
Cultural competency needed in disabled ministry
The Minister for Disabled People says her new ministry is a significant step toward realising true partnership between Government and disabled people, tāngata whaikaha, their whānau, carers and supporters.
The ministry, which launched on July 1, is the first to have names in three languages – the Ministry for Disabled People, Whaikaha and a name in New Zealand sign language.
Poto Williams says about one in five people in New Zealand carry some disability.
She says it’s important the ministry can allow disabled people including Māori to realise to their dreams and aspirations.
“It is important we recognise there is competence that is required to do that and that is cultural competence as much as anything else. People need to feel that when they are represented, that is true and authentic to who they are,” she says.
Minister Williams says a disabled person will be appointed chief executive soon, but on an interim basis the ministry is being helmed by Geraldine Woods, who co-chaired its establishment governance group.