Welcome to the New Zealand Federation of Vocational and Support Services (VASS)

We are a federation of 70 community organisations that support disabled people by helping them identify and fulfil their personal goals and aspirations, find work and participate in their communities.

Our goal is to ensure disabled people are working, participating and fulfilling their aspirations in inclusive communities.

We provide the following services for our members to help them achieve this:

  • Provide opportunities for peer support through meetings, seminars and a peer mentoring programme
  • Provide members with a joint voice to Government and fund holders
  • Provide members with information through our popular e-newsletter, as well as providing information about government policy, current research and issues

Election 2014

As the 2014 Election draws closer, VASS has put together it's election messages which are based on the challenges and opportunities our members' have shared with us.

We have also put together other election resources we hope our members' will find helpful.

To view and download copies of these resources please click here.

Congratulations Lifestyle Choices

photo supplied by

A huge congratulations to Lifestyle Choices who were honoured with an award at this year’s New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) In Action Awards.

Lifestyle Choices took out the Accessible Service Award which acknowledges an organisation’s outstanding commitment to the deaf in their community.

Award organisers said Lifestyle Choices were chosen as the worthy recipient of the award through its implementation of staff sign language classes. In fact the disability support organisation that caters to the Bay of Plenty region received the nomination by one of the sign language interpreters who trained staff.

Lifestyle Choices Director Russell Smith said the award had been a welcome surprise.

“When we first heard that we were nominated we were a bit taken aback, but never the less very pleased and honoured.

“We always get great feedback from the staff about the training as through it they say they are able to build a strong rapport with the deaf clients that they work with.”

Photo supplied by: Deaf Aotearoa

Need a Capability Mentor?  Visit

One Fish Solutions (which was launched by VASS last year) is now a Ministry of Social Development approved Capability Mentor.  If you have received funding from the Capability Investment Resource we can assist you with your Capability Self-Assessment, developing a Capability Plan based on your assessment and implementation of your plan in the following areas:

  • Strategic Governance
  • Adaptive Leadership
  • Operational Management
  • Workforce Development
  • Innovation
  • Collaboration
  • Organisational Responsiveness
  • People Living with Disability

To find out more go to

News & Views

Our Community

Pou Whakaaro - Collaboration with design school creates new community hub

Creating a multi-purpose Community Hub in the Eastern Bay of Plenty is one step closer thanks to a design collaboration between Pou Whakaaro and the Unitec School of Architecture.

Through the collaboration a detailed plan of the project has been designed and released with three potential sites being put forth in the proposal.


Our Members

Lifestyle Choices - making good choices

When Lifestyle Choices – Disability Support opened its doors back in 2001 they had one client on the books. Fast forward 13-years and they now support 78 clients from around the Bay of Plenty area.

Not only have its numbers grown since the early days but its core services too, which now include residential support, supported independent living, creating individual personal plans, advocacy and providing Privacy Act and Health information.


Our People

Daniel's award-winning results

When Avalon BOP Inc member Daniel Kitchen made the decision to work towards the Duke of Edinburgh Hillary Award - Bronze level, he was under no illusion it was going to take a lot of hard work.

But after completing six months volunteering at the SPCA, three months each of physical recreation at the BOP polytechnic gym and art at the Avalon Art room, along with one practice and adventurous journey, the hard work has paid off and Daniel is now the proud owner of the award.


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