Thoughts on Whaikaha – Ministry of Disabled People

Last Friday, July 1, the Honorable Carmel Sepuloni and the Honorable Poto Williams launched Whaikaha Ministry of Disabled People at Parliament. Ohi Mahi General Manager Whaikaha Disability Roger Herangi shares his thoughts on the historic new Ministry. 


Whaikaha is now the leading agency in Aotearoa New Zealand that supports individuals who are disabled and their whānau who are often their main support network. The WDCs anticipate building a long-term relationship with Whaikaha to address workforce issues and influence other Government agencies to do the same.

The creation of the new Whaikaha – Ministry of Disabled People has come from a longstanding desire for independence and the need to address how society disables people.

Entrenched attitudes, behaviours, and design, undermine a person’s right to be included and participate in life. The new Ministry reflects the government’s desire to transform this for tāngata whaikaha.

The role of the WDCs is critical to enable this transformation through modified standards, improved qualifications, and innovative thinking, planning, and design of New Zealand’s workforce. It’s an exciting development for Aotearoa New Zealand.

We know that working for themselves or for others means that a person can contribute to their own self-worth, the economy of their household and family, and the community. This should be available for everyone, without barriers.

I am looking forward to working with Whaikaha to contribute to the removal of barriers, and I congratulate all concerned on the launch of a ground-breaking new Ministry.

Roger Herangi, Ohu Mahi General Manager Whaikaha Disability