Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Report Shows Progress On Disability Issues

The first report on progress in implementing the New Zealand Disability Strategy shows that government departments are becoming more aware of disability issues and more responsive to people with disabilities, Disability Issues Minister Ruth Dyson said today.

The report, which was tabled in Parliament last December, outlines the activities of 10 key departments that developed plans to implement the disability strategy for 2001/2002. It covers the three months from 1 July-30 September 2001.

Ms Dyson said the departments had made considerable progress, even during this short period.

“Many departments have focused on infrastructural issues such as recruitment of people with disabilities, improving physical access to buildings and equipment, staff training, and more accessible information.

“The State Services Commission, for example, has initiated a number of projects, including a survey of graduate students with disabilities about their knowledge and perceptions of the public service as an employer, and a seminar on disability awareness for Equal Employment Opportunity coordinators and human resources advisors.

“This sort of leadership is critical if we are to change negative attitudes, which are the biggest barrier facing people with disabilities.”

Ruth Dyson welcomed reports of joint government department projects to provide services for people with disabilities.

“People with disabilities get very frustrated having to deal with different government departments to meet different needs. It is heartening to see more cross-sectoral projects, such as collaboration by the Ministries of Education and Health to improve support services for children with autistic spectrum disorder and to develop services for people who are deafblind.”

Ruth Dyson said a number of key initiatives had also occurred during the report’s timeframe, which were in keeping with the strategy’s philosophy of human rights and removing barriers to participation.

These included the decision to resettle Kimberley’s 375 residents with intellectual disabilities in the community; the launch of Pathways to Inclusion, the government’s new direction for vocational services for people with disabilities; and the removal of the government’s exemption from human rights legislation.

While the primary focus was on the role of central government, the report also outlined local government and community responses to the strategy, Ms Dyson said.

“The disability strategy has given new impetus and confidence to the disability movement, and the report acknowledges excellent local initiatives in many areas.”

Future annual reports to Parliament on implementation of the disability strategy would be more comprehensive, she said.

“From 2002/2003, all government departments have to prepare annual work plans to implement the disability strategy, and will be formally monitored against them. I expect departments to become increasingly responsive to the needs of people with disabilities who make up 20 per cent of the total population.”

The 10 government departments whose activities are covered in the first report are the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs, Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Ministry of Social
Development, Ministry of Transport, Department of Labour, Te Puni Kokiri and the State Services Commission.

 The report, Progress in Implementing the New Zealand Disability Strategy: Report of the Minister for Disability Issues to the House of Representatives for the period 1 July to 30 September 2001, is available on the NZDS website at, along with the 10 government department implementation work plans for 2001/2002.

 The report is also available electronically, in hard copy, large print, Braille, on audiotape and as an easy-to-read summary from the Ministry of Health.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Werewolf: What Does Winston Peters Want His Legacy To Be?

A lot of people in New Zealand seem to resent Winston Peters and the power that he appears to have. “Appears” being the operative word. In reality, Peters will have power only up to the point that he uses it.

By next week, he’ll have become just another junior player in an MMP governing arrangement, battling to hold onto the gains he was promised. More>>


Rising Toll: Road Safety Needs To Be A Higher Priority

Official advice released to the Green Party under the Official Information Act shows that the previous National Government dismissed an option to make road safety its most important transport priority after being told the road toll was rising. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election