Ko koe, ko au, ko mātau, ko tātou, ngātahi he hāpori tātau.  

You, me, we, us, together we make a community.

Our whakatauki was gifted to the Local Area Coordination programme by Rena Savage, a good friend and strong advocate for inclusion. She passed away in March 2013 but her spirit remains with us as we continue this journey.

We know communities are enriched when everyone can contribute.

Inclusion Aotearoa promotes

  • social inclusion

  • rangatiratanga – self-determination  and rights

  • the voice of disabled people and their families/whanau, so they may

    • share inspiring stories that support growth and encourage inclusion

    • be heard by people with the power to change policies​


Inclusion Aotearoa supports


Inclusion Aotearoa was formed in 2010 to support New Zealand’s Ministry of Health in the implementation of the New Model for Supporting Disabled People.

This included setting up the innovative Local Area Coordination programme in the Bay of Plenty that promotes inclusion.

Prior to this work we (Ruth Gerzon and Lawrence Chok) had both been involved in grass roots work in the disability sector, supporting people to gain a voice and power, and to lead good lives, contributing to their communities.


Importantly we share common values, a passion for our work. We are continuing our involvement in the disability and community sectors.


This website brings into one place the many resources from our work over decades, making some available for the first time on the web.   You will find here not only information on the supprot we can give to families, disabled people and services but also

  • inspiring stories – both written and video clips

  • video clips on people’s rights in residential services and resources on advocacy

  • writing on community building in disability sector, on inclusion, on Te Tiriti o Waitangi

Rena Savage 
Click on her photo to hear Rena and her mother, Reina, speak about her life. 

Inclusion Aotearoa is based in New Zealand.


The people behind Inclusion Aotearoa are:

Lawrence Chok


0278 723968

Palmerston North

Aotearoa/New Zealand

Ruth Gerzon


0274 308149

Bay of Plenty

 Aotearoa/New Zealand