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Cartoon illustrations of a  young man with a map, two people talking one of whom has a hearing aid, an old couple walking, and a man in a wheellchair and woman holding hands

There are eight key principles that Enabling Good Lives (EGL) is based on. They've been created through working groups in partnership with New Zealand's disability community.

They are principles and not 'strategy' or 'guidelines' or 'system change' because they are ideas that should live and breathe in disability.

How they are applied to different areas will change, because people and our systems aren't all the same.  There's no 'silver bullet' approach, but applying these principles to our every day will transform disability in Aotearoa. 

  • Self-determination – Disabled people are in control of their lives.
  • Beginning early – Invest early in families and whānau to support them; to be aspirational for their disabled child; to build community and natural supports; and to support disabled children to become independent, rather than waiting for a crisis before support is available.
  • Person-centred – Disabled people have supports that are tailored to their individual needs and goals, and that take a whole life approach rather than being split across programmes.
  • Ordinary life outcomes – Disabled people are supported to live an everyday life in everyday places; and are regarded as citizens with opportunities for learning, employment, having a home and family, and social participation – like others at similar stage of life.
  • Mainstream first – Disabled people are supported to access mainstream services before specialist disability services.
  • Mana enhancing – The abilities and contributions of disabled people and their families and whānau are recognised and respected.
  • Easy to use – Disabled people have supports that are simple to use and flexible.
  • Relationship building – Supports build and strengthen relationships between disabled people, their whānau and community.

What does EGL mean 'on the ground'?

Enabling Good Lives came from partnerships in the disability sector and government agencies. It's a way to ensure that disabled people have greater control over their lives.  In practice EGL includes having a say in how resources are used. It also creates opportunities for family, whānau and friends to gain the skills, confidence, and information they need to support disabled people to live an everyday life in everyday places.

The ultimate goal of Enabling Good Lives is to ensure that disabled people and their families have greater choice and control over their supports and lives and make more use of natural and universally available supports.

The EGL approach has been piloted in Christchurch, Waikato, and Manawatū regions with a lot of success.

Visit the Enabling Good Lives website to learn more about EGL (external link)

all 9 enabling good lives principles in a picture

Download a PDF poster of the above  Enabling Good Lives principles here (PDF, 11 MB)

Download an EGL Poster with pictures here (PDF, 2.6 MB)

Nationwide rollout of Enabling Good Lives

On 29 October 2021, the Government announced significant reforms of the disability system in Aotearoa New Zealand. This included implementing the Enabling Good Lives approach to Disability Support Services on a national scale. More information about this is to be announced.

Read the Government’s press release about the disability system transformation (external link)

Key features of an EGL based system

According to the Ministry for Social Development website, the disability system based on the EGL approach will have eight key features, these are:

  • people are welcomed into the system in multiple ways, and can then be provided with information, linked with a Connector, peer network, government agency or disability organisation
  • access to Connectors who can walk alongside disabled people and whānau if they choose, to help them identify what they want in their life, how to build their life, and the range of supports available to live their life
  • easy to use information and processes that meet the diverse needs of disabled people and their whānau
  • seamless support across government, with Government Liaisons supporting people in the background to access other government services (for example, benefit applications), and to build positive relationships with other parts of government (for example, learning support in school)
  • a straightforward process for accessing funding, with flexibility about what can be purchased and how it can be administered, and easy reporting
  • capability funding for disabled people and whānau
  • outcomes-based commissioning and contracting models
  • greater system accountability to disabled people and their whānau so that disabled people and whānau are involved in monitoring and evaluating the system and making recommendations to Ministers about changes to the system.

Information about the principles, and other resources, are available on the Enabling Good Lives website (external link)

Related info

New Zealand Disability Strategy

Lear about the New Zealand Disability Strategy.

Last updated on Monday, 15 August 2022

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