No rest for the wicked?

This week I had the second of the Safeguarding Work Stream meetings for Enabling Good Lives. I’m still trying to get used to urban travel. We travel down to Wellington on a Monday afternoon for the meetings held on Tuesdays. It appears that heading to Wellington once a week (most weeks) will be likely for the next couple of months for this type of work as I am participating in the Network Building Work Stream as well.

Fine then, I’ll sleep while we travel

ADNZ Ben travels pretty well, and he seemed more settled this week compared to last week, probably because he is more familiar with the area. One of the harder things about urban travel is finding a place for ADNZ Ben to relieve himself. Finding a lamppost or a bush for him to pee on isn’t usually too much of an issue and we have been fortunate that the Ministry of Health has put me in accommodation with a patch of grass only a minutes walk down the street. I’m not sure how much sleep he’s been getting on these overnight trips as the accessible bathrooms are built around the elevator shaft, I think ADNZ Ben was checking what was going on every time someone used the elevator. As nice as the hotel is and the food at the restaurant is great, I definitely experienced a “first world assistance dog handler problem” trying to fit ADNZ Ben under the tables at the restaurant because of the chunky central pillar and feet. This meant trying to find a seat where Ben could be tucked out of the way of the service staff.

Thankfully I found a spot for him without traffic
Assistance Dog handler problems



We got up on Tuesday morning to a lovely day in Wellington. It was kind of nice to know that I didn’t have to deal with taxis and navigating the central city as the meeting was in one of the hotel conference rooms. I had breakfast, took ADNZ Ben for a bit of a stroll to a nice patch of grass and packed my stuff.

It was good to get back into this working group, safeguarding is such an important part of this system transformation, as each part of the transformation needs ways of safeguarding in many areas. It is going to be interesting for us to find the balance of ensuring people are safe but allowing for individuals to be able to take risk.  Experiencing risk is a fundamental part of peoples personal development, its how we learn boundaries. I totally acknowledge that some peoples perception of risk is low, and that those people will need support in how to safely experience risk and make decisions.

Beautiful day in Wellington
We discussed the objective and some principles of Safeguarding, and these definitions will probably still need some refining. The main reason for safeguarding is to protect people from harm, neglect and abuse however we also need to safeguard people’s fundamental human rights. People cannot have “choice and control” if they don’t have their basic human rights and we have to ensure that people have self determination to make informed decisions on how to exercise choice and control. At the core of personal safeguarding needs to be the person using the services; and the best way to do this is by relationship building and offering progressive, understandable information to the service user.


At this point we are looking at personal safeguarding and how to keep service users safe, both against harm, abuse and neglect but also safeguarding the fundamental human rights of the service user. I also see a need for ensuring the Connector/Tuhono is safeguarded; the people taking on these potential roles have a huge responsibility and need to be safeguarded against systemic issues, workload and a whole host of other potential risks. People in this role are going to require a lot of support and training to be effective in meeting service users needs while maintaining their own health.

One of the other work streams is looking at funding requirements, no doubt there will be some discussion of how the money is going to be safeguarded in the future. Personally I think this will be one of those sticky situations and discussions as we know the sector needs sufficient funding for this system transformation to work. The funding also needs to be utilized effectively and appropriately, and at the end of the day the bottom line is going to be how do we set criteria for this? At this stage I have no answers to this question, at the moment we are so deficit based it’s almost a game of “who has the worst diagnosis/limitations” to access services.
I don’t have the answers, but just providing some insight to where things are at. This system transformation is exciting because it has so much potential. It’s also a little scary, we all know from experience that the system is broken but really analysing some of the detail is real eye opener as to how many pieces of the entire system are broken. It’s also a bit of an adventure because we really don’t know where the process is headed.
We also did some work looking at different personas and what types of safeguarding methods we could use to safeguard these personas. I have found this a good way to think more practically at what safeguarding actually is rather than the theory of it all.


Kapiti Island looking fabulous


It was a good trip home with a beautiful view of Kapiti. ADNZ Ben seemed to nap the whole way home.

I managed to get some much needed wandering time out in the sun today before I got elbow deep in paperwork and writing. It was just what I needed, some time out to enjoy the neighborhood and clear my head from all the heavy duty thinking!

Have a great end of the week and weekend everyone! AntnzVenture on!

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