About us

We offer meaningful support, information and connections that assist disabled people and their whānau to plan for, and have, their good life. The support we provide is disabled-person led in that the disabled person has the choice and control over the decisions made.

What we do

My Life My Voice offers Kaitūhono/Connector support to disabled people and whānau. Many of our Kaitūhono/Connector team are people who have personal lived experience of disability.

My Life My Voice currently operates its Kaitūhono/Connector service in the MidCentral region only (at this stage) and has an office in Palmerston North. The team travels across the region to meet people wherever and whenever is best for them.

People can choose between our service, Mana Whaikaha or an independent connector. If people decide to work with us, our role is to assist people to have a good life in whatever way that may look for them. We can connect people to disability supports, arrange funding, build connections with community options and help people work through issues.

We have established a Peer Supporters programme where disabled people support other disabled people by providing informal support and advice. People can choose which peer supporter they wish to connect with.  Peer supporters are volunteers who offer a listening ear, have been trained to support other disabled people, understand the challenges and unique joy of being a disabled person, and can share experiences and offer practical solutions.

We also have a Community Capacity Builder role in the Waikato region to develop and build disabled people and community capabilities and capacity to progress disability rights, disabled voices and leadership and to improve outcomes for disabled people.

Our Commitment

My Life My Voice acknowledges the Te Tiriti o Waitangi / the Treaty of Waitangi (Treaty), the New Zealand Disability Strategy (NZDS), the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and any other relevant regulations regarding people with disabilities, and their principles as touchstones for our commitment to helping and supporting the disability community and reducing the inequities that exist in health, social and life outcomes for disabled people.

My Life My Voice board members

Male silhouette - Grey

Tristram Ingham

Dr Tristram R. Ingham is the Deputy Head of Department, Research Associate Professor and Clinical Epidemiologist in the Department of Medicine at the University of Otago - Wellington. Dr Ingham has clinical, academic, and governance expertise in addressing health inequities, Māori health, long-term conditions, disability rights and health care governance. Tristram is the Director of Manatohu Limited, chair of the Foundation for Equity and Research New Zealand (FERNZ), and also chairs Te Ao Mārama Aotearoa Trust a nation-wide organisation representing Tāngata Whaikaha Māori.

Gerri Pomeroy photo.

Gerri Pomeroy

Gerri has identified as a disabled person for more than 20 years and has been active in the disabled community during that time. Gerri has built strong relationships with disabled people, family and whanau as well as disabled person’s organisations. Gerri believes passionately in disabled people’s right to have authority, control and choice in their everyday lives. Gerri supports the development of strong peer networks so disabled people can provide support to each other and grow their expertise together.

Sorry, no image description is available at this time

Joanne Dacombe

Joanne was diagnosed as deaf in 1972 and Autistic in 2012. Joanne is passionate about the UNCRPD and the NZ Disability Strategy and is keen to see disabled people from all walks of life increase in their capacity and capability to have a good life of their choosing with the right support. Joanne is passionate about disabled people helping other disabled people and saw My Life My Voice as a natural vehicle to facilitate this.

Sorry, no image description is available at this time

Huhana Hickey

Huhana Hickey has been long active in the disability community. She was a solicitor at Auckland Disability Law and a Māori Research Fellow at the Taupua Waiora Māori Health Research Unit. Dr Hickey was also the indigenous peoples’ representative for the International Disability Association steering group caucus during the development of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and is still involved with the IDA international networks. In 2015, Huhana was awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to Māori and disability community. She is currently a director of Pukenga Consultancy Ltd., holds several governance roles, is a member of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of New Zealand, is chair for a Māori advisory group at Waka Kotari, sits on multiple boards and groups, and is a life member of Rostrevor House in the Waikato.