An independent, not-for-profit charitable company which provides services for disabled people and their families, is expanding in Rotorua and the Bay of Plenty.

ImagineBetter provides local area co-ordinators (LACs) who act as independent guides to work with disabled people and their whanau to help them consider the life they want to lead and how to pursue it.

They also support communities to be inclusive and accessible to disabled people from all walks of life.

Local area co-ordination manager Tony McLean said it took a much broader view than traditional disability support services.


"LACs don't just work with disabled people and their whanau but involve neighbours, marae, businesses and others in making communities more welcoming for disabled people. There really has never been a better time for disabled people to plan for a good life."

Mary Barnett is the first LAC in the Lakes District. Mr McLean said she was well-known and much respected in the area and he was happily anticipating an influx of people wanting to work with her.

Anyone can seek information and advice but people wanting to have longer-term support will need to live in the Lakes region, require support in some parts of their lives because of a disability, and be younger than 65. You do not have to pay to work with a LAC.

-To find out more about LAC in the Lakes District, call Mary Barnett on (027) 558 6565 or email

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