About Us

The Office for Disability Issues is a strategic and whole-of-government focused policy group, located within the Ministry of Social Development. We were established in July 2002 to provide dedicated support to the Minister for Disability Issues and to be the focal point in government on disability issues.

Our role

The Office of Disability Issues works across portfolios and with government agencies to support progress on disability issues. Our work is underpinned by the New Zealand Disability Strategy and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

However, we are not responsible for implementing the New Zealand Disability Strategy. Instead, our role is to promote, guide, lead, inform and advise wherever appropriate. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities provides the detail that will help to inform implementation the New Zealand Disability Strategy.

We also have a key role in supporting partnerships between disabled people, central and local government, communities and support agencies.

The Office for Disability Issues does not deliver disability support services, or hold funding for services.

We are located within the Ministry of Social Development's Social Policy Group. This enables us to access corporate support from the Ministry. Our administration and overhead costs are minimised through the economies of scale available to us as part of a bigger Ministry. Our inclusion within the Social Policy Group means we can ensure the issues and interests of disabled people are considered during the Ministry's strategic policy development.

Our activities are funded from Vote: Social Development. Our annual work programme is agreed directly with the Minister for Disability Issues.

Our team

The Office team includes:

Director: Megan McCoy.

Senior Advisors: Paul Dickey, Jacinda Keith, Carol Cowie, Sonia Pivac (NZSL).

Advisors: Catherine Brennan, Amy Evanson.

You can contact the Office for Disability Issues by email: odi@msd.govt.nz or by phone: 04 916 3300.

Our responsibilities - what we do

The Office for Disability Issues has the following key roles:

  • supporting the Minister for Disability Issues
  • providing advice on disability issues
  • maintaining an overview of, and contributing a disability perspective to, policy development by other agencies
  • meeting formal international obligations in relation to disability issues
  • promoting, monitoring and reporting on the progress of the New Zealand Disability Strategy within government and the wider community 
  • ensuring the disability sector has a voice within government by building strong government - disability sector relationships to enhance understanding of sector perspectives, issues and concerns (including around emerging issues).

Career opportunities

Career opportunities with the Office for Disability Issues are managed by the Ministry of Social Development. Exciting career opportunities are available for talented, energetic, creative and dedicated people who want to make a positive difference in the lives of others. We offer on-the-job career development, secondments within the Ministry and to other government agencies, management support and leadership training. When career opportunities are available they can be found on:

  • the Ministry of Social Development website
  • New Zealand Government Jobs Online website
  • and in major daily newspapers