Terms of Reference

Care Matters Advisory Group
(National Carer Learning and Wellbeing Resource Service)

Purpose and role

1. The purpose of the Care Matters Advisory Group is to provide Care Matters (i.e. the National Carer Learning and Wellbeing Resource Service) with input to and advice on the development and delivery of the National Carer Learning and Wellbeing Resource Service.

2. The role of the Care Matters Advisory Group is to:

  • Review current materials.
  • Advise Care Matters regarding carer needs, challenges and aspirations.
  • Advise Care Matters regarding resources that need to be developed and the content and format of face-to-face carer learning opportunities.
  • Co-develop resources, with Care Matters, the e-leadership group and other family networks.
  • Provide advice and information to the Ministry, from the Advisory Group and family networks, as requested.
  • Support the delivery of the new service by promoting service marketing materials and also circulate any communications to be distributed to the wider public.
  • Be transparent – notes from the Advisory Group meetings and Terms of Reference will be made public on the Care Matters website
  • Provide advice to government (and other sector bodies) specifically on Carer Wellbeing and Learning and the Carers Strategy.

Scope of interest

3. The initial scope of interest for the Group will be existing and new initiatives to provide Carers with accurate, current and enabling resources.

4. Advice on establishment and delivery of Care Matters.

5. This group has a national scope and relates to disabled people accessing Ministry funded disability support services.

6. To ensure Care Matters materials and approach is aligned with the Carer Strategy and the preferences and aspiration of carers/family/whānau in New Zealand. In particular, the Advisory Group will ensure the following principles are the basis upon which Care Matters operates.

Principles contained in New Zealand Carers’ Strategy Action Plan for 2019 to 2023


  • Recognise diversity: acknowledge and respond to the diversity of needs and aspirations of carers
  • Be proactive: enable family focused support to be in place for carers when they need it
  • Enable carers: enable carers to have choices and the autonomy to develop, grow and sustain their personal, family and community support systems; and ensure that formal supports are reliable and are able to provide real support to carers.
  • Be inclusive: acknowledge that the needs of carers, family, whānau, or aiga and the person being supported are often intertwined

7 . The Care Matters Advisory Group will have six to eight members in total. Nominations will be requested from:

  • the Convention Coalition,
  • the Carers Alliance one member,
  • the Family Leadership Alliance one member,
  • the Complex Care network one member,
  • the Carer e-Leadership Network
  • a Carer Facilitator from SAMS
  • a Carer Facilitator from Parent to Parent
  • the Ministry of Health
  • New Zealand Disability Support Network

Advisory Group nominations will take account of the need to ensure disabled people, families, providers and Carer leaders are involved.  Māori and Pasifika perspectives will also be represented.  If any of these perspectives are not represented in the nominations, further nominations may be sought from other disability community and Carer groups.

8. Members participate in the Group in their own right as leaders and do not represent any one perspective.  Knowledge and understanding of the needs and aspirations of Carers will be important.  Knowledge and experience of the current disability support system, and being widely trusted and respected among the disability community and sector will also be important.

9. Members will be initially appointed for two years.  Turnover of the Advisory Board must be staggered so that there are no more than 50% of new members at any one time.  There must be at least 60% of the Care Matters Advisory Board who are family members.

Link with the Care Matters National e-Leadership Network

10. While the Advisory Group provides high level advice and direction, the e-Leadership group and other family networks exists to ensure a wide variety of local Carer Leaders, from around New Zealand, are enabled to routinely contribute to Care Matters.  The Care Matters National e-Leadership group is an on-line forum and will provide advice on emerging issues/trends, the relevance and format of Care Matters services and will directly contribute to the review and co-design of resources.  Members of the Advisory Group may also be involved in the Care Matters National e-Leadership Network.

Notes from the Advisory Group meetings will be made available on-line.


11. The Group will operate as a collective that is focused on progressing the National Carer Learning and Wellbeing Resource Service (Care Matters), rather than operating as a committee of members representing various constituencies.

12. The work of the Advisory Group will be self-directed within the scope of its role.

13. The Group will meet two times a year.  In addition, individual members of the Advisory Group may also choose to participate in the Carer e-Learning Leadership Network.

14. Care Matters (SAMS) will provide administrative and secretariat support to the Advisory Group, including making meeting and travel arrangements to support the Group to fulfil its role.  Direct meeting costs will be met by Care Matters.

Reporting and relationships

15. The Group has both a leadership and a support/advisory role in respect of the National Carer Learning and Wellbeing Resource Service.  Reflecting this ‘work with us’ approach, the Group will not have any formal reporting lines.

16. In their support/advisory role, Group members will work directly with Care Matters and any project teams that may arise.

Conflicts of interest

17. Members of the Group or the organisations they are employed by, or associated with, may have existing roles in governance groups or hold contracts for government funded services.  Care will need to be taken to ensure that members can fulfill their current obligations to their organisation or employer, and meet any contractual requirements, without conflicts of interest arising because of their role on the Care Matters Advisory Group. The way to handle this is openly, transparently and pragmatically.

18. Individual members and the Group as a whole will need to be mindful of any potential conflict of interest, and undertake to raise it at the earliest possible time.  Any actual or potential conflicts of interest will be discussed with the parties concerned and steps taken to manage these conflicts on a case by case basis.

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