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Published 23 May 2024

Tucked away in the heart of Whangarei lies a bustling hive of activity, NorthAble.

If you've yet to discover it, it’s Northland's most extensive disability support services hub. A vibrant community centre, brimming with warmth, support, and a whole lot of heart.

From Needs Assessments to emergency planning and equipment hire – they've got the whole shebang. 

Need some budgeting advice? They've got your back. Seeking a community van to swing by your neck of the woods? They've got that covered too. Need some guidance on navigating the labyrinth of equipment options? Fear not! Their NorthAble EQ+ information and equipment store is well crewed to load you with FREE advice.

Firstport had the pleasure of meeting some of the team, Adam and Zelde, while they were visiting the Manawatū disability information store, EASIE Living. Despite being busy with another conference, they made sure to carve out time to connect with us.

Zelde shared the work NorthAble have put into the Āhei internship programme, supporting young people with disabilities get into mahi. The care and support in this programme have made a huge impact on the lives of our disability community involved, particularly that of recent intern Aston.

Aston and his zelde standing in front of the NorthAble EQ+ van

“It had been amazing to see Aston grow and build up his skills, his confidence has grown immensely, and he has become a valuable member of our team.” 

So, whether you're recovering post-surgery, looking for local disability info and advice, or simply in dire need of a friendly face and top-notch support - NorthAble is where it's at. 

If you check out their website and social media, you’ll get a good gauge of how valuable they are to their community. LYNKZ, their community program supporting people to improve life skills, is constantly posting fun reels. They share photos of the gang having a blast at different events and activities. It's so awesome, it makes you wish you were a part of it!

Pop on by the EQ+ store, say hello, and prepare to be dazzled by the warmth and welcome awaiting you.

Disability Information and advice service (DIAS) centres are located across the country. They’re supported by Whaikaha Ministry of Disabled People and the community to deliver experienced advice in-person. Each fortnight, the Firstport team are shining the spotlight on a new spot so you can see what’s available in each region. 

Every DIAS is different, which makes sense when our communities and the available services are different. Disability supports can come from a national pool, but there is a huge amount too that comes from local councils, community groups and even individuals with a passion for people.

It’s worth taking the time to connect with your local DIAS to find out more in our support section.