A history of Local Area Coordination in the Bay of Plenty and Lakes District
Local Area Coordination was developed in Western Australia in the late 1980s.
In 2009 it was suggested to the Ministerial Committee on Disability Issues that Local Area Coordination be started in New Zealand.
The Minister of Health, Hon Tony Ryall, launched the Local Area Coordination demonstration in August 2011 at Huria Marae in Tauranga, as part of the Ministry’s New Model for Supporting Disabled People.
Inclusion Aotearoa was contracted to run the Local Area Coordination demonstration.
Local Area Coordinators (LACs) first started working in parts of the Western Bay of Plenty.
In late 2012, the demonstration was extended to include the Eastern Bay.
In February 2013, LAC areas of work were further extended to cover the entire Western Bay.
A late 2013 evaluation of the demonstration showed that Local Area Coordination was helpful to many disabled people and their whānau. The Ministry of Health decided to continue Local Area Coordination.
In August 2014, the Ministry of Health selected Imagine Better to provide Local Area Coordination in the Bay of Plenty and to extend it to the Lakes District.
Local Area Coordination also began as a trial in the Otago/Southland and Hutt Valley areas through two Needs Assessment and Service Coordination (NASC) organisations – AccessAbility and Life Unlimited.
Imagine Better introduced Local Area Coordination in the Lakes District in late March 2015.
A third company called Journey Together was added to the AccessAbility group in 2019 to run the Bay of Plenty LAC service and allow Imagine Better to move out of service delivery and into advocacy.
Read about the New Model for Supporting Disabled People, which included the Ministry of Health’s Local Area Coordination demonstration.