Outcome 5: Accessibility

Goal: we access all places, services and information with ease and dignity.

Outcome 5 contains five work programmes: 

  • Accelerating Accessibility 
  • Accessibility Charter
  • Accessibility [Policy implementation] 
  • Ministry of Transport Action Plan 
  • Waka Kotaki NZ Transport Agency’s Disability Action Programme 2019-2023 

Ministry of Social Development: Accelerating Accessibility 

Overall status: On track or ahead 

Progress against Plan for the period

Actions that were planned for 1 January 2020 to 30 June 2020

Actions completed in the period

Note any impacts from COVID-19


June 2020: Cabinet paper - Framework to accelerate progress towards accessibility in New Zealand

Cabinet paper completed and Cabinet agreed to next steps.

COVID-19 shifted the timeframe of Cabinet's consideration from April 2020 to June 2020


Narrative – Any celebrations? What is going well? What is being learned? Any impacts?

MSD officials, in partnership with the Access Alliance, have made good progress on the Accelerating Accessibility work programme and are now working towards accelerating accessibility through the development of a new legislative framework that can act as a vehicle for progressive implementation of a new system of accessibility over time. We intend to seek Cabinet agreement to a complete policy proposal in May 2021. In June 2020, Cabinet agreed to officials progressing further work on the detailed aspects of the legislative framework, such as costs, standards development within domains of accessibility, and institutional arrangements. In light of COVID-19, officials are aware of the risks in progressing this accessibility work too quickly, at a time when agencies and organisations are under pressure and navigating through the recovery period. Accessibility, nevertheless, has the potential to support the overall COVID-19 response and recovery and officials have been directed to identify opportunities within the COVID-19 context that the government can take advantage of, that will help maintain momentum on accelerating accessibility.

Note any impacts on inequities, particularly among disabled Māori, Pacific Peoples, women and children

The proposed accessibility legislative framework, which aims to reduce barriers to accessibility, will help address the challenges of inequity and disproportionate disadvantage experienced by groups such as disabled Maori, Pacific Peoples, older people, women and children. The policy work programme arising from the legislative framework should result in proposals that have positive impacts for these groups, e.g. it will support better social and economic wellbeing and outcomes.

Ministry of Social Development: Accessibility Charter

Overall status: On track or ahead 

Progress against Plan for the period

Actions that were planned for 1 January 2020 to 30 June 2020

Actions completed in the period

Note any impacts from COVID-19

Development of Accessibility website



Development and delivery of monthly training


Delayed during COVID19

Drafting of Accessibility Experts Group ToR



Development and operationalising the All of Government Alternate Formats



Increasing the number of signatories to the Accessibility Charter especially in DHBs and Local Government



Providing advice to agencies




Six monthly reporting



Narrative – Any celebrations? What is going well? What is being learned? Any impacts?

The training to government agencies has been well received with very positive comments. The training is full through to October. The Accessibility All of Government process has been well received. One of the issues is the capacity of the DPOs. This is very big for them and they need to be better supported. The number of innovative activities occurring in government agencies as a result of the development of action plans.

Kāinga Ora - Homes and Communities: Accessibility [Policy implementation] 

Overall status: On track - with minimal risk

Progress against Plan for the period

Actions that were planned for 1 January 2020 to 30 June 2020

Actions completed in the period

Note any impacts from COVID-19


Stakeholder Engagement
Engage with stakeholders and confirm stakeholder engagement approach

We continue to engage with:

  • Our People
  • Our tenants and their families/whanau
  • Key external stakeholder organisations and groups

As part of Kāinga Ora’s responsibilities under the Kāinga Ora — Homes and Communities Act 2019, we are developing a new overarching Partnering and Engagement Framework, which we expect to engage on externally later in the year.  The Framework will set the scene for how we engage with our customers and stakeholders.

 Recent examples of engagement include:

  • Participating in the Community Housing Collective’s Housing Hui in February 2020, presenting and discussing the Accessibility Policy.
  • Working with external accessibility information providers to ensure Kāinga Ora’s key Covid-19 messages for our customers are publicly available and accessible.


On track with minimal risks/issues

Performance Requirements
Review performance requirements for new build properties in light of Accessibility Policy

This work inter-links with reviewing the Standard Designs whereby a check-list has been developed which will inform the wider Performance Requirements resource along with the Design and Product Performance Requirements and will clearly outline the expectations for properties built to universal design principles.

We are currently reviewing performance requirements for new build properties in light of the Accessibility Policy. 

The Covid-19 environment has delayed consultation, and the timeframes are to be advised.

On track with minimal risks/issues

Asset Data
Enable the collection of asset information about accessibility features within Kāinga Ora systems

We are developing a tool to help provide the level of detail required to ensure that properties can be built and accurately reported on as being universally designed and/or accessible.

To date the definition of what we want to achieve, scoping, and requirements have been completed, and we’re now working to implement these in Kāinga Ora systems.  As part of this a data dictionary will be developed and will specify exactly what we want to survey in our homes. 

It is anticipated that the initial release will be a Pilot, timeframes to be confirmed.


On track with minimal risks/issues

At least 15% target'
From 1st July 2020 - start to record public housing new builds that meet full universal design standards as a bassline measure. 

We are planning for the implementation of recording against the ‘at least 15% target’ and monitoring and reporting of the target within Kāinga Ora’s systems.

We anticipate beginning to record and report on the number of our new builds that meet our universal design standards from later in 2020.


Although implementing this function has been delayed due to the impact of COVID-19 and the resulting change freeze, work is underway to build the IT requirements.

On track with minimal risks/issues

At least 15% target
New measure in our key accountability documents to reflect the target of at least 15% of public housing new builds meeting full universal design standards from 20/21/22

We have referred to the target of at least 15% of public housing new builds meeting universal design standards in Kāinga Ora’s 2020/2021 Statement of Performance Expectations (SPE) document.

Text from SPE 2020/21:

“We will continue to implement our Accessibility Policy, providing homes that more effectively meet our customers’ current and future needs. In 2020/21 we will set up systems so that we can collect information to benchmark our current performance in advance of being held accountable for the key performance indicator of at least 15 percent of new builds meeting universal design standards in 2021/22. We will start reporting on our performance against the Government’s Disability Action Plan in 2020/21”


On track with minimal risks/issues

Ongoing engagement with MOH and to identify and implement any operational efficacies in the process for modifications

We are continuing to work with the Ministry of Health and ACC.


Engagement and initiating this work has been delayed due to Covid-19

On track with minimal risks/issues

Retrofit and Accessibility
Confirm approach for accessibility as part of the retrofit programme

We are continuing to work with our Retrofit Programme team to evaluate the results of the Retrofit pilot so far, and to see how accessible homes will be considered as the Retrofit team rolls out the Retrofit Programme to another 18 new towns across New Zealand.

The Retrofit Programme team is developing a close-out report on the pilot, which will include findings and next steps. The report on the pilot will be available in the near future.


On track with minimal risks/issues

Narrative – Any celebrations? What is going well? What is being learned? Any impacts?

On track with minor risks that are regularly monitored

During the Covid-19 response Kāinga Ora responded immediately and effectively with Welfare Checks and providing accessible format information to our disabled customers. Kāinga Ora also conducted 47,980 welfare checks to Kāinga Ora customers as part of our Covid-19 response. Welfare Checks (now Welfare visits) continue to occur with a focus reaching those who we haven't yet been able to contact, particularly where there are vulnerable customers, such as the disabled or elderly.

Kāinga Ora recognises there is an opportunity to build on lessons learned during the Covid-19 response, including ensuring there is equal access to information to all of our customers, across all cohorts, including our disabled customers. We will endeavour to implement improvements to our accessible information over the next 12 months.

Ministry of Transport Action Plan 

Overall status: Off track - but low risk/issues

Progress against Plan for the period

Actions that were planned for 1 January 2020 to 30 June 2020

Actions completed in the period

Note any impacts from COVID-19

Accessible Streets regulatory package – publicly consult on the proposed Accessible Streets package and make necessary rule changes to implement the package.

Public consultation on the proposed Accessible Streets package has taken place. Targeted engagement with a range of groups has also taken place, including with the disability sector, and a disability impact assessment is being completed.

The public consultation period was extended by four weeks given the impacts COVID-19 had on people’s ability to provide feedback in the original six-week period. This has postponed necessary rule changes being made.

Strategic assessment of the provision of services for people with different transport needs – initial engagement with the DPO Coalition/key stakeholder groups to develop the scope of the assessment.

Due to the Government’s response to COVID-19 and reallocation of resources, the commencement of this project has been delayed. It is expected that this will commence after the 2020 General Election.

See previous column.

Narrative – Any celebrations? What is going well? What is being learned? Any impacts?

Accessible Streets regulatory package: The package proposes a number of new rules to respond to the rise of micro-mobility devices like e-scooters, and proposes that these devices and bicycles would be able to use the footpath under certain conditions (this is primarily aimed at allowing children to cycle on the footpath). The disability community is concerned that these proposals will create an increased safety risk to disabled people and limit their ability to access places. To address these concerns, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is undertaking targeted engagement with the disability sector, and is conducting a disability impact assessment.
Strategic assessment of the provision of services for people with different transport needs: Despite this project being postponed, the Ministry of Transport has continued to receive feedback from Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and councils about issues with the Total Mobility Scheme (a review of the Total Mobility Scheme will take place as part of this work). In addition, Waka Kotahi is scoping a research project on the Total Mobility Scheme. The findings of this project will help inform the Ministry of Transport's review of the Total Mobility Scheme.

Waka Kotaki NZ Transport Agency’s Disability Action Programme 2019-2023 

Overall status: On track or ahead

Progress against Plan for the period

Actions that were planned for 1 January 2020 to 30 June 2020

Actions completed in the period



Three-yearly review of the Requirements for Urban Buses.
The Requirements for Urban Buses in New Zealand 2014 (RUB) is currently being reviewed in line with its stated 3-year update objective. The RUB was initiated by the industry and its purpose is to standardise urban bus requirements across regional councils and Auckland Transport (AT) to create efficiencies and improve the usability and accessibility of buses for all customers. 

Consultation with bus operators and manufacturers held in December 2019. The third RUB consultation meeting with regional councils and bus operators and industry stakeholders was held on the 9th July.

Review and update the Pedestrian Planning and Design Guide, which provides guidance and best practice examples for the walking environment for all users, including those with mobility impairments

  • Multi-provider project team of consultants from Abley, ViaStrada and MRCagney are updating the guidance.
  • The review of existing content and updating of new guidance is progressing well.
  • An Info session on the guidance is planned for 5 August 2020 to update interested parties on the process and improvements we are making.  A wide range of stakeholders including the DPO coalition have been invited to the in person or online session.
  • It is anticipated that the draft on-line framework will go live in September 2020.

NZ Public Transport Design Guidelines Review. The guidelines are intended to help support regional and local councils in delivering high quality public transport by providing a ‘one-stop-shop’ of high quality, best-practice guidance, specifically suited to New Zealand’s regulatory and operating environment.

  • Draft guidelines received for five topics:

1.bus stop design

2. corridor clearance

3. bus layover design

4: getting to and from public transport: the first and last mile received

  • Revisions to these draft guidelines are underway. Once each topic reaches a near-finalised form they will be posted on the Waka Kotahi website and then consulted on.
  • Public Transport Reference Group workshop took place on 3 March 2020. The group includes Transport Agency staff leading the Ped Guide and RUB.
  • It is expected that the finalised draft guideline for the five topics will presented to the NZTA ratification committee near the end of December 2020 or in early 2021
  • Public transport Interchanges topic beginning development in July 2020

Work with regional councils to develop a next generation public transport ticketing solution called ‘Project NEXT’, which aims to design, build, implement and operate a nationwide ticketing solution and related services that enables and processes payments for journeys on public transport.

This project is currently in the detailed business case and procurement phase, with a Request for Proposal in the market now, and a decision point in mid-2021 with respect to whether the project will move into implementation.

Review of bus driver training unit standards (with Motor Industry Training Organisation, Careerforce, and MoE).  

  • The Motor Industry Training Organisation (MITO) held meetings with the Agency, local government and the Ministry of Education (MoE) to review driver qualifications for P-endorsements (fare-paying passengers).
  • A competency model that recognises the required competencies of a SESTA and/or Total Mobility vehicle driver has been scoped by MITO and agreed by NZTA and MoE.

Investigation of the incorporation of a human right’s view into our Investment Decision Making Framework (IDMF). The Agency is considering social equity issues and assessing the value of benefits of accessing the transport network.

The IDMF review of the strategic alignment workstream has drafted a social equity policy as part of the new investment policy suite. This was to be finalised by mid-2020, however COVID-19 has delayed this process. Work is also continuing on the best approach to ensure social equity is incorporated into the overall business case approach as well as ongoing assessment of the various transport programmes.



Work with DPO Coalition to create a dedicated Disability Advisory Group (DAG).The disability co-ordinator attended meetings with the Disabled People’s Organisation Coalition to discuss the format of the DAG, including setting up a Terms of Reference (ToR) with information for the members to be involved (depending on the topic); payment for time etc.




Update on analytical data research of disabled people’s access to the transport system.

The insight team within NZTA is currently undertaking qualitative customer research, Barriers to Better Outcomes (Ipsos), to understand the barriers people face to accessing social and economic opportunities and how the land transport system can enable or inhibit desirable outcomes. This work will include a focus on barriers faced by people with disabilities. 

Final reporting has been completed and circulated.  Insights from this foundational piece of research for NZTA are available for use within the Agency to feed into the data and evidence base.



Review public facing websites for accessibility benchmarking.

Project to improve nzta.govt.nz scoped and approved

Accessibility statement published on nzta.govt.nz - outlines the work we have planned to improve the accessibility of the site

Build accessibility into our BAU processes so that we write accessible content and build accessible websites and apps.

Accessibility advocate identified in our test team, so that accessibility is considered for all new web projects

Collaborated with the Technology team on accessibility guidelines for user experience and design teams

Provided accessibility testing and advice for Road User Charge (RUC) calculator, Crash Test Simulator and Right Car website

Updated social media guidelines to include guidelines for video content



Undertake an audit of the Agency’s internal policies and practices to ensure they are inclusive for employees with disabilities.

  • The People Group expect to deliver this review of existing policies and practices in the 2020/2021 year.
  • Confirming resourcing support for the Diversity and Inclusion portfolio, and prioritisation of initiatives to be completed by end of q1 the 2020/2021 financial year. 



Ensure that new applications meet accessibility standards. 

  • Our approach to ensuring that all new applications meet accessibility standards is embedded in our Technology and Product Approach.  All new application requests follow a defined process where our Product Managers ensure and confirm that these meet the accessibility standards as part of their acceptance process into the NZTA environment.  This is along with other considerations such as Security, Data, Privacy and Financial. 
  • A further action for the Technology team is to include the review of existing applications within the NZTA environment (as time and resource allows) to identify those that currently do not meet accessibility standards.  For those identified, we would work with the business owners and users and determine the best approach to remedy.  This work for existing applications would need to be carefully prioritised and balanced with our existing demands on time, resource and funding.  As such, any accessibility work related to our existing applications should be expected to be delivered over a longer timeframe.

During the lockdown, the Total Mobility scheme was provided free up to the regional cap, until 30 June 2020. This was well received by the disabled community.

Read the full report for January to June 2020

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