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Published 15 September 2022

Jennifer and Tracey standing behind a podium on stage. Dion is standing behind him


Enabling Good Lives (EGL) Mid-Central Group held a Community Day conference based on safer communities and how people can incorporate the Enabling Good Lives principles into everyday life.

The event was led by the EGL team and included a panel of counsellors, community coordinators, support workers and Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson. Attendees were organisations and workers across the disability sector as well as police and whānau.

Representatives of Young Adult and Youth leaders (YAAY) Abigail and Nat were asking questions to each panellist and sparked conversations about enforcing EGL into policies and what that might look like.

“The weight of the disabled voice is small compared to the wider community. We need to expect counsellors to have an interest in the disability community despite what portfolio they have.” Says Palmerston North City Counsellor Lorna Johnson.

Guest and panellist were educated on what safeguarding meant for the disability community through the Safeguarding Adults from Abuse (SAFA) presentation by Erika Butter and Hamish Taverner.

This presentation touched on Te Aorerekua national strategy for eliminating violence. It spoke on the SAFA Frameworks that provide effective tools to allow people the capacity to be safeguarded.

“Safeguarding is a balanced response promoting wellbeing, rights, cultures as well as safety from harm abuse and violence,” Erika said.

Speakers with lived experiences of EGL were asked to share their stories on stage. This included Jennifer who is part of the Disabled Persons Core Group, Tracey who is part of the Whānau Core Group and Dion who is part of Mana Whenua – Mid-Central Māori Disabled People core group. A common theme shared throughout each story were the eight principles of EGL and how they have supported them to live their good life.

“I now have the ability to live independently and join the community as I am able to tap into resources from EGL and live independently.” Says Jenny.

To end the conference, Whaikaha Chief Executive Paula Teserio spoke on the importance of embedding EGL into the community and what that will look like in the future.

“We cannot do what we’re trying to do alone, it takes multiple organisations. This is the first of many conversations but also the rest of Whaikaha work”  Paula said.

Head to the Enabling Good Lives website to learn more. (external link)

EGL speaker - Maide wearing black is speaking at a podium.

EGL representative, Maide.

Grant Smilth wearing a black suit with a red tie. He is standing behind a podium on stage,

Palmerston North Mayor, Grant Smith

Guest speakers sitting on stage