ODI media release - 29 November 2016

All Kiwis urged to support the 1 in 4 New Zealanders with an impairment

All Kiwis have a role to play in making New Zealand a non-disabling society for the one in four New Zealanders with an impairment, says the Office for Disability Issues.

The Government today launched the New Zealand Disability Strategy which will guide the direction of government agencies on disability issues for the next 10 years.

It can also be used by any individual or organisation who wants to learn about, and make the best decisions, on things that are important to disabled people.

“Although there has been a lot of progress in New Zealand over the last decade, disabled people remain worse off than non-disabled people across all social and economic outcomes,” says the Office for Disability Issues Director Megan McCoy.

“This persistent gap has a flow-on effect. When people are not able to participate in society, the entire country misses out on their contribution.

“All New Zealanders can help ensure disabled people get a fair go by removing the barriers that are preventing them from participating in our community on an equal basis as non-disabled people.”

Ms McCoy says the government will be working in partnership with disabled people and the disability sector to ensure the Strategy is carried out and that real changes are made.

“To help measure progress an Outcomes Framework which specifies the targets and indicators will be developed in 2017.

“Developing an Outcomes Framework like this is fairly new internationally and to make sure we get it right we’ll be consulting with the disability sector early next year.

“We’ll also be carrying out a public consultation process every two years during the life of the Strategy to make sure we stay on track. It is really important that disabled people continue to be closely involved in the Strategy, they are after all, experts in their own lives.”

The Strategy is available in a range of accessible formats – large print, EasyRead, New Zealand Sign Language and audio on the Office for Disability Issues website: www.odi.govt.nz. Braille copies are available on request.

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