Building a new disability strategy for New Zealand

  • Nicky Wagner
Disability Issues

Disability Issues Minister Nicky Wagner is encouraging New Zealanders to have their say on issues that affect disabled people as public consultation on building a new disability strategy begins.

The new disability strategy will establish a clear direction for the government over the next ten years, providing a framework to help make informed decisions on issues that impact disabled people.

“The government wants to hear from disabled people, their families and the disability community about what they need to live fulfilled and happy lives,” Ms Wagner says.

“I encourage all New Zealanders to contribute and have their voices heard.

"In recent years, there have been fundamental shifts in the way the world looks at disabilities. In New Zealand and internationally, there have been significant advances in thinking and practice.

“The focus is now on individualised care and greater choice and control for those with disabilities. Disabled people also want the opportunity to work and to make a positive contribution to the workforce.

"Our pilots of the Enabling Good Lives scheme, in Canterbury and Waikato, reflect this modern approach by allowing participants to use personalised budgets to directly purchase the disability supports that best suit them.

“There is a need for a new strategy that reflects the modern approach to disability issues and the current aspirations of the disability community," Ms Wagner says.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities will also be incorporated into the strategy.

Public consultation is open until 22 May.

A New Zealand Sign Language translation of this announcement is available here.

More information, including how to make a submission on the revised Disability Strategy, is available at