Acknowledging Ability

18 Nov

The Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni, welcomed a Maxim Institute discussion paper this month, highlighting the connection between disability and poverty, and exploring how to help people with disabilities to thrive.


The Maxim Institute is an independent think tank, working to promote the dignity of every person in New Zealand, by standing for freedom, justice and compassion. The recent “Acknowledging Ability Discussion Paper” is the start of a project that will continue with a policy paper outlining more specific and detailed recommendations of how each sector of society can make a tangible difference.


Minister Sepuloni said, “Poverty is a major concern of this government and I am committed to ensuring people have access to every assistance available, and no one misses out. This report lays bare the challenges faced by the disabled community and yet seeks to be focussed on the solutions, to help inform how we can make concrete, tangible change.
We know that people with disabilities have less access to paid employment, lower income overall and higher costs of living. As a result they figure strongly in this country’s poverty figures and are often solely reliant on government assistance.


Seventy four per cent of people with disabilities who are not in work want to be working. They are denied the opportunity to use work as a pathway out of poverty, to personal fulfilment and more social participation. While there are already a number of work focussed supports in place, it is clear we need to closely examine what more we can do. I am working closely with MSD officials to look at options to improve the current system.”


Enrich+ have been providing support to people with disabilities, and mental illness for 27 years. Our own research has shown that a person with a disability:

– is more reliable with low rates of absenteeism

– requires few accommodations

– is motivated and loyal

– has a strong work ethic and is just as productive as other employees


The feedback we have had from the businesses that we partner with to provide paid employment to the people we support has been that skills and experience is not crucial and they desire people that are trustworthy, good listeners, reliable and team players.


Our team of Employment Brokers work with people from all walks of life, and know that having a disability does not mean that you cannot work. We focus on a person’s strengths and abilities, and the positive attributes that a person can bring to a business. If you are interested in finding out more, contact Enrich+ today – 0800 enrich or info@enrichplus.org.nz


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