Gordon Boxall named as Director of Christchurch Demonstration

On 29 August 2013, the Enabling Good Lives Christchurch demonstration director was announced.

The Director of Christchurch’s Enabling Good Lives (EGL) Demonstration has been announced.
Gordon Boxall, who has had more than 35 years experience in the health, housing and disability sectors, comes to this new role with an in-depth understanding of Enabling Good Lives. He co-drafted the 2012 plan for how this approach could be implemented in Canterbury to assist disabled people to achieve greater choice and control over the supports they receive and the lives they lead.  He has also been involved  in a parallel initiative in the Waikato.

His experience also includes coordinating the Ministry of Health response to the Canterbury earthquakes, as they affected providers of services to disabled people, and more recently has been supporting the implementation of  the Ministry of Health’s demonstration of Choice in Community Living in the Auckland and Waikato regions. Choice in Community Living offers alternatives to residential services for people with significant disabilities.

Matthew Whiting, a member of the Enabling Good Lives Local Advisory Group and of the National  Executive Committee, DPA, says “Mr Boxall’s appointment is an exciting one, and I look forward to supporting him in his role”.

Mr Boxall, who lives on Banks Peninsula, has worked as a public servant, service provider and independent contractor. In the United Kingdom, he was the founding chief executive of a charity offering alternative services to institutional care. He says he has first-hand experience of knowing how beneficial it is for  disabled people and families to be supported to live the life of their choice rather than having to fit into pre-existing services.

“My experience of listening to disabled people and families is that they want the same as the rest of society, as someone put it recently, ‘having somewhere to live, something to do and someone to love’,” he says.

“Traditionally people have had to fit into services that were contracted by different parts of government. Enabling Good Lives offers more choice and control to individuals and families so they can purchase supports that are personal to them. It brings together resources from Health, Education and Social Development with the aim that the same approach will apply throughout a person’s life.”

Enabling Good Lives will initially focus on this year’s Christchurch school leavers with high needs to give them a flying start but will also encourage others to seek to opt-in to the demonstration over time.

Mr Boxall said, “some service providers have been pushing for change so that they can offer more creative, community based supports based on what people who use their services are telling them they want. Enabling Good Lives supports this by shifting the central point of control towards local people and local communities which is very much in line with what people said they wanted throughout initial consultation”.

In the medium term, Enabling Good Lives will provide information and impetus for sustained change in the New Zealand disability sector.  The Ministry of Health’s demonstration of the New Model for Supporting Disabled People, which includes Choice in Community Living, will also contribute to the wider changes.

Gordon will lead the three year-long Christchurch demonstration with strong input from a local advisory group, whose members include disabled people, family members and other leaders in the disability sector. This group will help with the demonstration’s design and oversee its work as it develops.

A National Enabling Good Lives Leadership Group is providing advice to the Local Advisory Group, and to government agencies and Ministers.

More information on Enabling Good Lives is available at www.odi.govt.nz.
Details about the New Model are at www.health.govt.nz.  Search for New Model.

For further information, please contact Michele Hider, Mob 0275 513 458.

Enabling Good Lives is supported by the Ministries of Education, Health and Social Development.