New Zealand Disability Strategy

Front cover of the Disability StrategyThe New Zealand Disability Strategy launched in 2000, is the government framework for removing barriers to the participation of people with disabilities in society.

The Minister for Disability Issues must report every year on what the government is doing with the Disability Strategy.

The Disability Strategy operate across all sectors and government agencies. It sits alongside other government policies like the New Zealand Health Strategy and the Positive Ageing Strategy.

The Disability Strategy was developed in partnership with disabled people and their organisations. There are 15 objectives and over 100 action points.

There are a lot of ways to read the Disability Strategy including New Zealand Sign Language, an easy read version, an audio version and a pictorial version.

The Office for Disability Issues monitors and promotes the Disability Strategy within government and the wider community.

What are the objectives? 

  • Encourage and educate the community and society to understand, respect and support disabled people
  • Ensure disabled people’s rights are understood and promoted
  • Provide the best education for disabled people
  • Provide opportunities in employment and make sure disabled people have an adequate income
  • Strengthen the leadership of disabled people
  • Make sure government organisations, and organisations that get money from the Government, know about and respond to disabled people
  • Have services for disabled people that work for disabled people and are easy to get
  • Support disabled people to have a good life in the community and to have the opportunity to live in their own homes
  • Support disabled people to have choices and help them to have access to recreation and cultural opportunities
  • Collect information about disabled people to help with planning and understanding what disabled people want and need
  • Promote the involvement of disabled Maori so that their culture is understood and recognised
  • Promote involvement of disabled Pacific peoples so that their cultures are understood and recognised
  • Help disabled children and young people to have good lives that prepare them to be adults
  • Assist disabled women to improve their lives and be a part of their communities
  • Recognise the importance of families, whanau and people who provide support for disabled people

Helping the government

One way the government gets feedback and ongoing input from people with disabilities is the Disability Advisory Council.

This is a forum made up of 13 people appointed by consumer based disability organisations. They meet four times a year to provide advice to the Office for Disability Issues on the Disability Strategy and other issues that may have an effect on disabled people.

The current chair of this group is Beverley Grammer.