Addressing poverty for New Zealanders with disabilities is vital

The Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni, today welcomed a Maxim Institute discussion paper highlighting the connection between disability and poverty, and exploring how to help people with disabilities to thrive.

Minister Sepuloni said, “Poverty is a major concern of this government and I am committed to ensuring people have access to every assistance available, and no one misses out.

“This report lays bare the challenges faced by the disabled community and yet seeks to be focussed on the solutions, to help inform how we can make concrete, tangible change.

“We know that people with disabilities have less access to paid employment, lower income overall and higher costs of living. As a result they figure strongly in this country’s poverty figures and are often solely reliant on government assistance.

“Seventy four per cent of people with disabilities who are not in work want to be working. They are denied the opportunity to use work as a pathway out of poverty, to personal fulfilment and more social participation.

“While there are already a number of work focussed supports in place, it is clear we need to closely examine what more we can do.

“I am working closely with MSD officials to look at options to improve the current system.”



Contact: Lee Harris Royal 022 053 1432


The Maxim Institute Discussion Paper can be accessed here: