Action: Investigate the feasibility of introducing a companion card programme in New Zealand to reduce the cost barrier for disabled people who require a companion to attend paid-entry activities.
The action outlined below will help achieve this outcome. This work was started under the existing Disability Action Plan.
12. Priority: Promote opportunities for disabled people to participate in cultural life, recreation, leisure and sport
12 A: Investigate the feasibility of introducing a companion card programme in New Zealand to reduce the cost barrier for disabled people who require a companion to attend paid-entry activities.
On this page
- Action 12 A
- Context: brief background, what is this action intended to achieve?
- Proposed scope
- Contributors/partners with lead – who is involved in this action?
- Reporting – key milestones/deliverables
- Impact – what are we trying to achieve?
- Evidence base
- Related work
Status: Completed October 2016
Agreement from Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage and other Ministers for a cross-agency feasibility study (June 2015) [complete]
- Cross-agency feasibility study completed.
Final advice to Ministers (October 2016) [complete]
- Final advice provided to Ministers.
Lead: Ministry for Culture and Heritage
DPOs Lead: Kāpo Māori & Blind Citizens
The scope of this action was approved at the 11 March 2016 meeting of the Chief Executives' Group on Disability Issues and Disabled People's Organisations.
Investigate the feasibility of introducing a companion card-type scheme in New Zealand to reduce the cost barrier for people with disability who require a companion to attend paid-entry activities.
2.1 The lead agency for this work is the Ministry for Culture and Heritage (MCH).
3.1 In New Zealand people with disability who need the support of a companion to participate in paid-entry activities generally have to pay for two tickets – one for themselves and one for their companion.
3.2 A few countries, most notably Australia, have introduced companion card schemes, which provide eligible cardholders (those with a disability who require companion support to attend paid-entry events) with a second ticket free of charge for their carer. MCH is leading a cross-department feasibility study on options for introducing a companion card-type scheme in New Zealand.
4.1 The purpose of this action is to provide advice to government Ministers on the feasibility of introducing a companion card-type scheme in New Zealand. The action will be implemented through the provision of a briefing from MCH (with input from other relevant government agencies – see paragraph 4.5) to the Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage and other relevant government Ministers.
4.2 Scope: the project will provide information on the case for introducing (or not) a companion card scheme (or a similar transparent, fair and cost-effective system) to reduce the cost barrier for people with disability who require a companion to attend paid-entry activities.
4.3 Timeframes: The Ministry for Culture and Heritage is proposing to provide a briefing with options and costings for potential New Zealand companion card schemes to its Minister by the end of May 2016 (to be confirmed).
4.4 Resources: MCH is providing approximately 0.5 FTE staff resource for this project, and most costs for the feasibility study.
4.5 MCH is lead agency, supported by an informal working group with officials from the Ministries of Health, Social Development, and Transport; the Office for Disability Issues (ODI); the New Zealand Transport Agency; Sport New Zealand; and Creative New Zealand.
5.1 As well as the agencies listed in 4.5, we have worked in consultation with Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs), other disability sector representatives, event promoters and venues, and ticketing agencies.
5.2 In October 2015 MCH, supported by the Ministry of Health, held a consultation workshop with representatives from Deafblind New Zealand (DPO nominee), Kapo Māori Aotearoa (DPO nominee), Carers New Zealand, New Zealand Disability Support Network, Vincent’s Art Workshop (nominated by Platform Trust), Parent to Parent, CCS Disability Action, Arts Access Aotearoa, Halberg Disability Sport Foundation, New Zealand Association of Event Professionals, Positively Wellington Venues (nominated by the Entertainment Venues Association of New Zealand), and Ticketek New Zealand Limited.
5.3 DPOs approved this proposed scope at their meeting with the Senior Officials’ Group on Disability Issues on 11 February 2016, subject to MCH noting which organisations, including DPOs, have been involved in the work so far (see 5.2).
June 2015 Agreement from Minister Barry and other Ministers for a cross-agency feasibility study
May 2016 Final advice to Ministers
7.1 The short timeframe, limited evidence base and limited resources present some risks to the delivery of a robust study.
8.1 The aim of the study is to reduce the cost barrier for people with disability who require a companion to attend paid-entry events. More specific indicators will be determined once Ministers have decided whether to proceed with a companion card-type scheme in New Zealand.
9.1 There is limited evidence on most aspects of this work, including:
- how many New Zealanders with disability require a companion to attend paid-entry activities
- to what extent New Zealand event promoters and venues already offer free tickets for companions.
9.2 We hope evidence from international schemes may provide some guidance for the New Zealand context.
10.1 At this stage we are unaware of related work.
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