Disability Policy

In an inclusive society, everyone has their full rights recognised and actively participates in their communities.

We will ensure that New Zealanders with impairments have access to quality education, essential services, and suitable employment.
We will also ensure that people with impairments can participate fully in our democracy and in decisions affecting them, are safe from discrimination, and have support to maintain their autonomy.

Key Principles

That people living with impairments have:

  • Access to education in an appropriate form.
  • Access to and information on citizen rights and are involved in decision-making affecting them.
  • Services that are responsive, flexible, assessable and culturally appropriate.
  • Barriers to their active participation in society removed.

Specific Policy Points

Human Rights

  • Immediately establish a process to implement the recommendations of United Nations Convention on the Human Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Inclusion, Access & Affirmative Action

  • A national awareness-raising project on disability issues.
  • Affirmative action on barriers to inclusion so people with impairments can be active in their communities.
  • Ensure public transport is accessible to all.
  • Include disability awareness in public sector induction courses and continuing education.
  • Enact legislation similar to the U.K. Disability Discrimination Act to close existing loopholes in our legislation.
  • Ensure all new houses and buildings fully comply with disability access requirements unless specifically exempted.


  • Design and use processes that enable and empower people with impairments to become leaders at all levels.
  • Include tangata whenua in auditing all services.

Work & Education

  • Bring schools into the NZ Disability Strategy, and ensure they are fully resourced to educate children with impairments.
  • Increase support for people with impairments to gain paid work.
  • Provide assistance to employers of people with impairments for adaptations and special equipment.

Service Provision

  • Take steps to integrate and ensure services work for the users.
  • Establish a Disability Issues Commission.
  • Services are based on level of need and culturally appropriate.
  • Better support for families with high needs children.

Protection & Advocacy

  • Provide free, accessible advocacy services while supporting the right to self-advocate.
  • Encourage a culture that speaks out against and works to eliminate abuse.
  • Reinstate Parent Advocacy phoneline.

Reproductive Rights

  • Ensure those who are competent to make informed decisions on their sexual and reproductive rights have the freedom to do so.
  • No sterilisation of anyone under 18 unless necessary to save the person's life.
  • Ensure screening for foetal abnormalities is not biased toward termination.
  • Ensure full information must be given where an abnormality is diagnosed before the family makes their decision on whether to proceed with the pregnancy or not.

Read the full policy here