It’s your choice – Frequently asked questions

What’s System Transformation about?

The Government (via the Ministry of Health) is making changes to how disability support services are provided in the Mid-Central area. This is a test before an eventual national rollout.


Why the change?

Many disabled people have complained that the existing system is inflexible and doesn’t empower them to make decisions about their support and their lives. The proposed changes are designed to make the system more flexible and more responsive.


What is changing?

  • The NASC is going to be replaced by a new entity called ‘Mana Whaikaha’
  • Within that entity there will be new roles – such as ‘Kaitūhono/Connectors’ who will work with disabled people and their family/whānau
  • There will be a new process for determining the funding available for each person. The Ministry of Health will provide more information on this soon
  • The mix of funding available is changing. As details of this are released by the Ministry of Health we will know more
  • There will be new ways to use your funding and these will enable you to make more choices and have more flexibility about what support you buy and who you buy it from


I don’t want any changes, can I keep receiving the same support?

Absolutely. But you’ll also have the opportunity to do things differently if you choose to do so later.


Am I in the new/transformed system?

If you live in the following areas, and are eligible for disability support services, you’re in the new system:

  • Palmerston North
  • Horowhenua
  • Manawatu
  • Ōtaki
  • Tararua districts


Am I eligible?

To be eligible to participate in the new disability support system you need to:

  • live in the right area, as stated above – Palmerston North, Horowhenua, Manawatu, Otaki or Tararua
  • have a disability

Further information on eligibility, including the definition of disability for the purposes of eligibility, are available on the Mana Whaikaha website.


Where can I find information about what I can spend money on?

One of the benefits of the changes are that you can now use your funding much more flexibly and creatively. Please see some of our ideas here for what you might want to do. The government sets the rules. According to the Mana Whaikaha website to use your personal budget for something you need to be able to show how it helps you overcome a barrier as a result of disability. In addition, there are some things you can’t use your personal budget for:

  • illegal activities
  • gambling
  • alcohol
  • tobacco
  • a personal injury that is covered by ACC
  • supplementing your general household income
  • paying for things another government agency funds.

You may be able to use your funding for things another government agency funds, if the support is not suitable or involves a wait that would significantly reduce the likelihood of achieving one or more potential good outcomes. In this situation, you will need to give permission for Mana Whaikaha to discuss the purchase with the agency.  More information is available here.


Where do I start?

  • Talk to us by calling 0800 114 496 (toll-free) or email us. We can help.
  • Kaitūhono/Connectors are employed to help you navigate the new system

Information about how to contact a Kaitūhono/Connector is available on the Mana Whaikaha website . There are also hubs where you can visit a connector in Palmerston North, Otaki, Levin and Woodville. Information and their opening hours is available here.


Who does your organisation provide support to?

We support everyone – adults, children, family/whānau, people with different strengths, people who need different types of support.


How do I get behaviour support services?

Explore is still the national provider of behaviour support services and all people with disabilities can still be referred for support. However, if you have a personal budget, and want to buy something a little bit different in the area of behaviour support services, contact us for further information by calling 0800 114 496 (toll-free) or by emailing us. It’s your choice and we are here to help.