IHC Annual Report 1 July 2017 - 30 June 2018

Our Mission

IHC will advocate for the rights, inclusion and welfare of all people with intellectual disabilities and support them to live satisfying lives in the community.

Message from the Chief Executive

This financial year has seen a period of significant change in the organisation – particularly in our services, under the leadership of our new Chief Operating Officer Joan Cowan and General Manager of Service Delivery and Strategy Donna Mitchell.

We are working hard to ready ourselves for the change in approach to funding with the Government's disability support system transformation, which is set to give people with disabilities far more choice and control about the services they use.

We are always working to provide quality services and have invested in a number of initiatives, including appointing clinical practitioners.

We have been focusing on the Service Manager role this year in order to support those managers to spend less time in offices and more time in our services. We now have an increased Service Manager presence around the clock, have recruited Service Managers with particular expertise who can support their colleagues and are appointing a Service Manager - Workforce in each area so that schedules are coordinated by someone locally who knows the staff and people we are supporting.

We have rolled out new technology across the organisation that means everyone is connected 24/7 and has instant access to key information to support them in their work.

At IHC, we have seen a huge response from families wanting to Take a break with us. More than 600 families have contacted us to have a pamper package, gift package or break away in a hotel. We know families find it hard to get downtime or a break and I'm pleased that so many are connecting with us on this important initiative.

We run a number of professional fundraising programmes and are proud to ask for donations. Our fundraising programmes need to be nimble and responsive to ensure that we are able to continue to run our charitable programmes. At the end of this financial year, the threat of mycoplasma bovis prompted us to make a tough decision to suspend the transfer of livestock as part of our Calf and Rural Scheme. People with intellectual disabilities have benefited from the support of farmers for more than 33 years and we could not risk being part of the spread of the disease. We have been honoured by rural organisations stepping up to continue to fundraise for us, or encourage people to donate virtual calves through our website. Nonetheless, we raised $1.5 million dollars this financial year through the Calf and Rural Scheme and will monitor the impact of this decision in the year ahead.

Accessible Properties continues to work with its dual purpose – providing quality housing to people with disabilities and providing housing and tenancy services that support long-term successful inclusive living in a community.

Accessible Properties is constantly working to find housing solutions for the many people with intellectual disabilities who are seeking to live more independently, but they are also being responsive where many people in IDEA Services have increasingly complex housing needs.

In Tauranga, Accessible Properties has been working hard to improve the quality of the homes acquired from Housing New Zealand just over a year ago. We have been particularly focused on building relationships with our tenants with far lower tenancy manager to tenant ratios and more personal visits to tenants.

Ralph Jones, IHC New Zealand Chief Executive

A Year in Review

Strategic Objectives


To be recognised as a leader in intellectual disability.

Throughout the year, IHC campaigned on a number of issues in the health, disability and education sectors. IHC made 47 media and sector announcements, and were mentioned in the media 616 times.

We have made significant changes to concentrate on our core services and ready ourselves to show leadership for people with intellectual disabilities as the Government's disability support system transformation is put in place.

We have restructured our Service Manager role to lead services that are even more responsive to people's changing needs and are always focused on quality improvement.

We played an active role in negotiating for all staff to be covered by pay equity so that staff working in our vocational services weren't excluded from the settlement as initially intended.

We spoke about the delays in getting a hearing for the education complaint that argues all children deserve the right support to achieve at their local school. We called on the new Government to rebuild its policy and framework around learning support funding, to make sure children with intellectual disabilities will get the help they need to learn.

We shared the concerns of the Disability Rights Commissioner regarding the End of Life Choice Bill, which links assisted dying, quality of life and disability.

IHC's volunteer programme was named a winner at the 2018 Minister of Health Volunteer Awards. The programme was chosen as the joint winner of the award for “Outstanding Achievement as a Community or NGO Health Service Volunteer Team”.

The Chief Executive appointed three new members to the Executive Group: Joan Cowan, Chief Operating Officer; Donna Mitchell, General Manager Service Development and Strategy (and General Manager Human Resources); and Andrew Procter, General Manager Corporate Services (and Chief Financial Officer and Chief Risk Officer). Other members of the Executive Group are Gina Rogers, General Manager Communications; Janine Stewart, General Manager IHC Programmes; and Greg Orchard, Chief Executive of Accessible Properties.

IHC Director of Advocacy Trish Grant is the Asia Pacific Regional Representative for Inclusion International and was involved in facilitating sessions and presenting at the Inclusion International World Congress - Learn, Lead and Inspire Conference in Birmingham, England. Trish also attended the Workability International Conference in Stockholm, Sweden and a United Nations meeting in Fiji on guidelines to involve people with disabilities in Humanitarian Action.

IHC Self Advocate David Corner traveled to Beijing, China to continue his work as Inclusion International Asia Pacific Regional Representative on the Civil Society Organisations' working group. David also traveled to the Hear our Voices conference in Brussels, Belgium to discuss topics such as being a board member in an organisation, being included in the community, setting up a self-advocacy group or the right to vote. In May, David traveled to Birmingham, England to facilitate workshops about the issues and challenges faced by people with intellectual disabilities and their families, as well as strategies that have been successful in achieving change.

Relationships and Community Connectedness:

To be well recognised, highly regarded and sought as an organisation with which people want to engage.

IHC maintained and developed its vital relationships to engage and support families and people with intellectual disabilities – an important step as we focus on choice and control for people.

IHC received 605 applications for its Take a break with us programme – with 125 people receiving gift packages, 100 people receiving pamper packages, and 388 people going on short breaks. Take a break with us sponsors include the IHC Foundation, Zena Elsie Orr Trust, Millennium Hotels and Resorts, and IHC Associations.

Across all media, there was more positive than negative coverage.

Almost 4,000 items were borrowed from the IHC Library. The number of free book recipients rose 27 per cent, and the number of new members rose 16 per cent.

IHC Associations helped provide a number of services and equipment for people with intellectual disabilities across the country, including the installation of a monorail pool hoist, cross-fit classes, mid-winter Christmas outings, outdoor sun-shades and furniture, music therapy classes, gym memberships, smart TV and projector equipment, camps, horticultural programmes, uniforms for a social enterprise project - Koha Kai, equipment for sensory gardens, and support for people to attend the Special Olympics.

Through our friendship and skills-based volunteering programmes, 572 volunteers gave more than 24,000 hours of their time.

In addition to managing six websites (for ourselves and others) and running a number of social media feeds, we produced four Community Moves magazines, three Calf and Rural Scheme Newsletters, three Smile Club Newsletters and five At Home Newsletters for tenants.

Our Art Awards invites artists from all over New Zealand to participate and engages artists, families and art studio staff throughout the year. Our Art Awards Ambassador, Denise L'Estrange-Corbet, visited artists in Auckland, Christchurch, Lower Hutt and Whanganui in the lead up to the 2018 Art Awards.

Accessible Properties is working closely with a number of organisations, including the Ministry of Social Development (assisting people into work), the Salvation Army (addiction support), a methamphetamine programme that supports 10 high-risk families, Habitat for Humanity, a food bank and the Good Neighbour Trust.

There were 22 referrals for Individual Advocacy in the last 12 months.

We appointed several people to Community Liaison roles in Christchurch, Manawatu/Horowhenua and Whangarei/Northland, to provide knowledge, experience, and direction to families about the range of services and supports available in their community.

Service Excellence:

To be sought as a provider of excellent support and housing services.

IDEA Services has focused on its core services over this period – residential, vocational and supported living. In the last year, IDEA Services provided support to more than 4,200 people.

IDEA Services has refocused the role of Service Manager to allow them more time in services and more time with families.

We established 36 new leadership roles to better assist Support Workers and even out the workload. This included recruiting some new health professionals to our organisation in order to provide leadership and advice around best practice. Putting in place additional expertise has meant Service Managers can go to these professionals for advice on how to best access health supports locally.

The inaugural Service Manager Excellence Awards were held at the Turn and Face the People Forum in Auckland – bringing together more than 200 Service Managers, and senior IDEA Services and IHC managers, to recognise and celebrate Service Managers within our organisation who have demonstrated an outstanding contribution to our services. A key part of this forum was listening to and discussing the changing needs for people with intellectual disabilities and family members.

Accessible Properties remains committed to improving the lives of people with intellectual disabilities throughout the country, including working with IDEA Services to ensure people are supported to live in warm, dry homes that meet their needs. Accessible Properties is working closely with IDEA Services to identify changing housing needs and deliver innovative housing solutions.

Since taking over our 1,138 homes in Tauranga in April 2017, we have busily established ourselves as a provider of quality homes in the Tauranga area, and a champion of public housing need, while continuing to deliver a great service to all tenants throughout New Zealand.

In Tauranga, we have worked to partner with organisations including the Ministry of Social Development, the Bay of Plenty District Health Board, local councils, and other non-government organisations to share knowledge, build connections and support people living in our homes.

We continue to deliver on our promise to grow the number of homes we provide so that more people can have access to a warm, dry home and the quality service our Tenancy Managers deliver.

Smart Business:

To be recognised as a smart, modern and efficient business.

A number of key projects have been implemented to enable better two-way communication and efficient working through digital technology.

IHC introduced new technology systems in the past year to better link all aspects of the organisation. The Working Smarter rollout was completed – connecting all 4,500 staff to tablets, phones and computer devices, and their applications. All IHC staff are now kept up to date with regular news posts on the IHC Intranet and can have their say.

More than 94 per cent of Support Workers have completed all online training modules for IHC Email, IHC Intranet, IHC Shifts (a tool for Support Workers to see when they are working and what shifts are available), IHC Staff (an application that gives all staff access to their information held in the Payroll System), My IHC Learning and My IHC Tablet.

IHC is increasingly communicating with our supporters online and is reducing printed communications.

An increase in online webinars and training modules has allowed the organisation to deliver on-demand training to staff across the country.

All residential and vocational sites were connected to high speed broadband connections, making the most of fibre optic connections where available. These connections ensure that anyone on these sites has good access to digital services.

Staff have been given access to Skype for Business, a tool to facilitate quick and easy communication by screen sharing, instant messaging, and audio and video calling. A complete unified communications system that blends telephony with these other features will be implemented this year.

The foundations have been laid for IHC My Support and this is ready to rollout. This new system provides specific information about Service Users' care, aspirations and plans, and will be put in place over the coming year.

Right People:

To offer valued roles and careers to the right people.

We seek people who are driven by a common purpose: to support our communities and make a real difference throughout New Zealand. As part of this, we seek to empower the people we support and the people we work with, aim to be innovative and early adopters of new ways of working, make a real difference through policy influence, create a culture of celebration and provide the best possible experience for everyone involved in delivering services.

We have recruited more Service Managers, including those with specialist experience and clinical practitioners. And we are recruiting Service Managers - Workforce in each area to give scheduling responsibilities back to local areas where people have a greater understanding of the capability of local staff and the people we support.

Almost 70 per cent of Support Workers have a minimum Level 2 (or equivalent) qualification.

All staff have access to the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) – a counselling service.

We have brought together three working groups in partnership with E tu union delegates:

  • Positions of Responsibility
  • Worker Participation Agreement
  • On-call responsibilities

Staff qualification levels:

Diversification and Sustainability:

To succeed in the pursuit of new opportunities and be proactive in ensuring the sustainability of existing business.

We are committed to a programme of work that ensures we turn and face the people we support. Our focus on providing services that give people as much choice and control of their own lives as possible readies us for service provision in the future under the Government's disability support system transformation. We made some brave decisions in the previous year to move out of services where others were better placed to provide them. Now we are ensuring our sustainability in working towards providing the best possible residential and vocational services and will diversify our business by responding to what people need. We are already seeing an increase in people wanting to live more independently and are also responding to provide specialist services for those people with complex needs. We see these two areas as providing likely growth for IDEA Services.

With many people with intellectual disabilities continuing to live with their own families, we are working closely with the Carers Alliance and Carers New Zealand amid changes to individualised funding and family funded care. IHC Programmes General Manager Janine Stewart Co-Chairs the Carers Alliance.

We are continuing to exemplify best practice and are constantly evaluating our fundraising programmes to ensure the best return and long-term success in our fundraising. This year we have been focused on monthly giving and we see this programme as a key area for growth in the year ahead.

IHC and Accessible Properties own and manage more than 2,700 properties throughout New Zealand. Around 1,700 are available for social housing, with Accessible Properties retaining a particular expertise in housing for older people and those with disabilities. The more than 1,000 properties owned or leased by IHC provide us with a solid foundation and competitive advantage for providing services in the future.

Accessible Properties continues to work closely with IDEA Services to ensure our homes and the services we deliver for tenants meet their needs now, and into the future. We remain committed to increasing the number of accessible homes available for people with disabilities and the elderly, with 80 per cent of Accessible Properties homes built to meet the three-star Life Mark standard for properties, and 60 per cent to meet the four-star Life Mark standard.

IHC continues to look at future opportunities for business in the disability and housing sectors.

Partnerships and Collaboration:

To be a valued partner across a range of initiatives.

We want the people we support to have the greatest choice, flexibility and control about the services we provide. That means we need to collaborate with others to ensure we are helping support people to have satisfying lives.

We are thoughtful about the organisations we work with ensuring the partnerships are mutually beneficial and can deliver great outcomes for people. We share our professional expertise with organisations less well resourced.

We are also well sought out as strategic influencers who serve on a number of boards and working groups.

Our Advocacy team has worked with a number of organisations over the year including as a foundation member or representative on governing bodies of Education for All, Inclusive Education Action Group (IEAG), Action for Children and Youth Aotearoa (ACYA), Children's Convention Monitoring Group and the Disability Employment Forum. They have also worked with the New Zealand Police and the Rural General Practice Network.

We were pleased to receive continued support from partners including the Zena Elsie Orr Trust, Millennium Hotels and Resorts and IHC Associations for the Take a break programme.

Fundraising continued its partnerships with PGG Wrightson Livestock, Allflex, Volkswagen and Peach Teats.

IHC is proud to support the following organisations:

Maori Responsiveness Strategy

To support Maori people with intellectual disabilities and their families.

IDEA Services Central Region Kapa Haka Festival in Rotorua.

Passionate kapa haka performers from throughout the central North Island showcased their talent at the first IDEA Services Central Region Kapa Haka Festival in Rotorua. The goal of the regional festivals is to encourage the people we support to perform at Te Matatini regional stage and in the future Te Matatini national stage. Te Matatini is the top event for Maori performing arts. Held every two years, it is one of the most highly anticipated events for performers, their whanau and Kapa Haka fans.

IHC refreshed its strategy Te Horopaki o te Rautaki for Maori in IDEA Services. In developing our 2017 plan, we remain committed to four areas and have mapped them against the priorities for Whaia Te Ao Marama.

  • Priority One: Improved outcomes for Maori disabled (support kiritaki to reconnect or stay connected to their whanau).
  • Priority Two: Good partnerships with Maori (Raise profile of the organisation in the Maori community).
  • Priority Three: Responsive disability services for Maori (Increase the number of Maori staff to reflect the proportion of kiritaki in services and in the population).
  • Priority Four: Better support for whanau (Connect with Maori to understand and respond to their support needs).


This year, 18,086 Smile Club members donated $5.3 million. We also received 4,474 pledges through the Calf and Rural Scheme, which raised $1.5 million. We received $2.4 million in bequests for the financial year.

Celebrating - IHC Art Awards 2017

The IHC Art Awards provides artists with an intellectual disability the opportunity to have their talent recognised, their voices heard and to sell their work, with all proceeds from the sales going solely to the artists. It highlights the talent and achievements of people with intellectual disabilities.

Wellington-based artist Emma Lou (centre) won the 2017 IHC Art Awards and $5000 with her finely detailed pastel drawing, self-titled Emma Lou. Second prize of $2,000 went to Wellington artist and 2016 Winner, Jo-Anne Tapiki (left) for her tapestry work Kiwiana, and third prize of $1,000 was won by Cherie Mellsopp of Hamilton for her drawing Jade on Black.
Hamilton artist Julian Godfery won the 2017 IHC Art Awards People’s Choice Award for his work, Invisible Magic.

Financial Statements

IHC will advocate for the rights, inclusion and welfare of all people with intellectual disabilities and support them to live satisfying lives in the community.

IHC was founded in 1949 by a small group of parents who wanted equal treatment from the education and health systems for their children with intellectual disabilities. The IHC of today is still striving for these same rights and is committed to advocating for the rights, welfare and inclusion of all people with intellectual disabilities. We support people with intellectual disabilities to lead satisfying lives and have a genuine place in the community.

We work to support more than 4,000 people in IDEA Services receiving residential care, supported living services and vocational support. We also lobby and advocate for the human rights of all people with an intellectual disability at both a national and an international level. We raise money and awareness of the issues facing people with intellectual disabilities through our charitable activities, including an extensive advocacy programme, a one-to-one volunteer programme and the country’s largest specialist intellectual disability library. We manage more than 2,700 properties through Accessible Properties with a particular focus on people with disabilities, older people and those in need.

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