Living a good life

Here you will find information about disabled people and whānau being empowered to exercise choice and control, while remaining safe.

The things that can keep disabled people safe are really the same things that are needed to have a good life. These include spending time with people who care about you, participating in the community so you are known, and having control over how you live your daily life.

Mana Whaikaha is about empowering disabled people and whānau to exercise choice and control and remain safe by:

  • building disabled people and whānau’s knowledge, confidence and skills
  • enhancing disabled people’s ability to safeguard themselves (keep yourself safe)
  • enhancing whānau’s ability to safeguard their family member.

Safeguarding is really important for people who are significantly dependent on support, who are not always able to speak up for themselves and who, for various reasons, are not able to remove themselves from a risk of serious harm (to keep themselves safe). 

Safeguards are deliberate actions taken to help a person live the life they choose and stay safe in their community. They include doing things to prevent harmful things from happening but they also build on opportunities for greater involvement in the community.

Safeguards are designed for the unique situation of each person. We need to ask:

  • Can you communicate your choices, ideas, and needs?
  • What do we need to put in place to make it ok for you to do this?
  • How would you like to contribute?

Safeguards attempt to reduce vulnerabilities and increase the chances that good things will happen in a person’s life.

Disabled people should be involved, as far as is possible to the extent of their capacity, in determining their own safeguards.

Supported decision making is one way for people to do this.

Visit the Auckland Disability Law website to read more about supported decision making (external website)

View Easy Read information about supported decision making (external website)

Family/whānau, friends, carers and community connections, who know the disabled person well are key. They will notice if something is wrong, can speak up if there are concerns, and can support the person to speak up if something goes wrong, if things change or if they don’t feel safe.

Safeguarding is not all about reducing risky situations. Instead it involves thinking those situations through to assist the person to understand some of the implications involved.

Whānau-centred safeguarding practice recognises the important role of family and whānau. It promotes positive relationships between the disabled person and whānau; the central role that family and whānau plays in individual wellbeing, which can be threatened if safeguards for an individual are considered and determined independently of the context of the whānau.

You can find strategies for safeguarding on the Enabling Good Lives website.

Check out the Enabling Good Lives toolbox (external website)

If you are concerned about your own safety or the safety of another disabled child or adult, please contact your Kaitūhono/Connector or the On-Call Connector on 027 236 6145.

If it is an urgent situation please call 111 and ask for the Police.