One of the ways we push for change is through submissions. Check out our latest submissions here
Submission on the Social Security Legislation Rewrite Bill
We submitted on the Social Security Rewrite Bill. This Bill aims to simpify the welfare system. The Government is unlikely to make any major changes to the welfare system through this Bill, but we took the opportunity to nudge them on two issues (the income exemption system and the inconsistency between the Child Disability Allowance and the Disability Allowance).
Joint Submission Parliamentary Inquiry into Mobility
We submitted to the Transport Select Committee on the future of transport. We think it is important to stay on top of new technology. We cannot assume that new technology will automatically take into account people with access needs. Sometimes the companies behind new technology will need a push to be inclusive. This submission was with the Blind Foundation.
Submission on the future of small passenger services consultation document
The Ministry of Transport recently reviewed the taxi industry and the rise of new alternatives to taxis, such as Uber. We submitted on this review. Uber is a phone app that matches you with someone who is willing to drive you for a fee. The rise of new technology, such as Uber, and its impact on transport, offers both risks and opportunities for people with access needs. Internationally, the evidence so far is mixed with both positive impacts and negative impacts.
Submission on the fetal alcohol syndrome disorder discussion document
The Ministry of Health has released a Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder discussion document. It is good that the government is looking at the gaps in support for people with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder. We did feel the government’s discussion document was a bit weak on human rights, however. The document also failed to think about what people with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder might want themselves in terms of support and a good life. There was too much focus on the views of professionals, which is important, but only part of the picture.
Submission on support for students with dyslexia, dyspraxia, and Autism Spectrum Disorders
The Education and Science Select Committee has launched an inquiry into support for students with dyslexia, dyspraxia, and Autism Spectrum Disorders. Our submission drew on the views of children and social psychology to emphasise the importance of having an inclusive environment in the classroom. We also noted the current inequality in access to assessments, which are often expensive and/or difficult to access.
Submission on the Disability Action Plan
For the first time, the government allowed public submission on the Disability Action Plan. The Disability Action Plan prioritises the government’s actions on disability issues over the next few years. Our submission said the Disability Action Plan needs more ambition, imagination and innovation. We also said it needs more engagement with the wider disability community and the public.
Submission to the Better Family Violence Law Consultation
The Government is looking at improving domestic violence laws. We submitted on this together with IHC New Zealand and Disabled Persons Assembly. Based on the available evidence, children and adults with disabilities are at a much higher risk of domestic violence as well as violence in general. We pushed for the Government to overhaul the existing law and processes to ensure disabled people have access to the same protections against domestic violence as people without disabilities.
Submissions to the Productivity Commission
The Productivity Commission, which is an independent government advisory organisation specialising in economics, has been looking at social services. The Productivity Commission looked at disability supports as part of this.
Our submissions focused on rights, fairness, equity and equality. We were critical of the Productivity Commission’s tendency to prioritise cost saving and efficiency over fairness.
Submission to the Ministry of Social Development on their vocational review
The Ministry of Social Development recently reviewed vocational services. They proposed significant changes. This submission is our response to those proposals.
Submission on out-of-home care for disabled children
We recently submitted on a review of out-of-home care for disabled children. Currently, disabled children have fewer rights when placed in out-of-home care than non-disabled children. Last year, together with IHC, Disabled Persons Assembly and the Human Rights Commission, we were able to get the Government to agree to review the existing law and policy around out-of-home care for disabled children. Since then we have been working with the Government to look at possible changes. This submission was another chance to push for change.
Submission on services for children
The Treasury recently asked for advice on improving services for children. We put in a submission talking about the invisibility of disabled children, the need for mainstream services to be more responsive to children with disability and the importance of early support.
Submission on Gender Identity
Member of Parliament Louisa Wall tried to get gender identity included in the Human Rights Act. We submitted in support of this move. Unfortunately, the attempt was unsuccessful (Due to a technicality), but hopefully there will be other opportunities.
We submitted on the Vulnerable Children's Bill. We focused on a section of the Children, Young Persons and their Families Act that gives disabled children fewer rights. This submission caused the government to review this section of the Act. This review is currently underway and we will keep the pressure on.
Submission on earthquake strengthening
In a disappointing move, the Canterbury Royal Commission recommended accessibility requirements be bypassed when carrying out earthquake strengthening. This would be a step backwards for accessibility.
The Royal Commission did not consult any accessibility experts when making this proposal. We have made two submissions on this important topic.
Submission on Human Rights Amendment Bill
We submitted on the Human Right Amendment Bill. The Bill made changes to the role of Disability Commissioner. We had concerns over these changes, although we could see some opportunities too.
Submission on the accessibility of parliament
We submitted on the accessibility of Parliament. We stressed the importance of ensuring Parliament is accessible to people with access needs. We hope to see more people with access needs standing for and getting elected to Parliament!
Submission to the United Nations Human Rights Council
We submitted to the Human Rights Council about the recent Paid Family Carers Bill. We said that the Bill directly impacts the ability of disabled people and their carers to seek legal redress for human right breeches. Worse it sets a dangerous precedent that erodes the independence and effectiveness of New Zealand’s official human right guardians.
Submission on Expert Advisory Group's solutions on child poverty
The Expert Advisory Group was created by the Children's Commissioner to look at child poverty. The Group recently released a paper of solutions to child poverty and asked for feedback. We submitted on the paper. Our submission focused on the invisibility of disabled children.
Submission on Local Government reform
The Government is changing the purpose of local government away from broad social and economic goals to simply focusing on infrastructure, public services and regulatory functions. One of our disabled staff members who is on an advisory panel at a city council said this about the changes:
“This legislation has the potential to undo countless small gains that have been won on behalf of the disabled community over many years.”
Health Select Committee - Submission on Inquiry into preventing child abuse and improving children's health outcomes
Children with disabilities have over three times the risk of abuse and neglect. Often this is due to the lack of support familes get, especially in the early years. Our submission looks at ways to address this.
Social Services Select Committee - Submission on the Social Security (Youth Support and Work Focus) Amendment Bill 10-1
This Amendment Bill is just one part of the welfare reform process. CCS Disability Action believes the provisions in this Bill and the proposed welfare reform package do not adequately address the substantial barriers single parents with disabled children face when entering the workforce. For this reason, we oppose this Amendment Bill in its current form. What these parents really need to allow them to access the job market is more flexible support and equal access to childcare and education.
Submission on the Human Rights Commission's The Wider Journey Report
CCS Disability Action is very supportive of The Wider Journey report and its recommendations. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is one of our core documents and accessibility is one of our key areas of concern. It is essential that the Human Rights Commission continues to push for greater accessibility in society.
We believe that The Wider Journey report should include information about the universal benefits of improved accessibility in addition to existing information about obligations.
Submission on Every child thrives, belongs, achieves: Green Paper on Vulnerable Children
To help prepare our response to the Green Paper, we talked to families with disabled children as well as disabled parents in the Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Northland regions. We identified these areas for comment in our submission - disabled children and their families need to be visible; cooperation between government agencies; more responsive social services; and education.
Key recommendations include:
- Include disabled children and their families in all policy and reports on child poverty and abuse
- Raise awareness of the barriers disabled children and their families face
- Make government funding more easily shared between departments
- Change attitudes in government agencies to make them more welcoming to families
- Make services more flexible and reduce spending on compliance and auditing
- More training in inclusive education for early childhood educators
Over 9000 submissions were received on this discussion paper - read our submission to the Green Paper. (DOC 140 KB)
Previous Briefings to the Incoming Ministers