Report illuminates support for disabled people in New Zealand

DPA recently sent a hard hitting report to the United Nations about social protection programmes for disabled people in New Zealand.

Our Chief Executive Rachel Noble urges people to read the report, written by Dr Heather Barnett, saying “The report provides an excellent way to understand how the disability sector works in New Zealand and how complex it is to navigate.”

The report cites disability related statistics, provides an overview of the mechanisms in place in New Zealand to implement the Disability Convention, examples of good disability support practice and areas of particular concern for disabled people.

Topics discussed in the report provide a disability perspective across most areas of New Zealand life, such as: employment, income levels, education, safety, community participation, and overall well-being. It also looks at concerns specific to disability support like: accessibility, stigma and discrimination and the way disability support systems work, or don’t work, for disabled people.

Rachel says, “We aren’t talking about small numbers of people here. According to the Statistics New Zealand 2013 Disability Survey approximately 24 percent or 1.1 million New Zealanders identify as having one or more disabilities.

“The report notes that there is no centralised list of all forms of social protection available for disabled people. , And outlines the way forms of social protection for disabled people sit across different government agencies and local bodies.

Rachel says this scattergun approach along with instances of legislative inequalities for some groups of disabled people (also outlined in the report) make it difficult for disabled people to effectively contribute as equal New Zealand citizens.

“We want to contribute,” she says. But we need the right support in place to enable us to do that.”

Read the social protection report to the United Nations.