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Labour On Disability Issues

Labour On Disability Issues


Labour’s approach to disability issues is based on a commitment to human rights, partnership and inclusion. Significant progress has been made on implementing our 1999 Manifesto policies in relation to Disability Issues. The portfolio of Minister for Disability Issues was created and the Disability Strategy was released, with a comprehensive action plan. Our 2002 policy is based on the continued implementation of that Strategy.

Human Rights

Labour believes that people with disabilities have equal rights to those of other New Zealanders and that these rights must be protected by the Human Rights Act, and throughout other relevant legislation.

Treaty Partnership

Labour recognises that the Treaty of Waitangi is New Zealand’s founding document and is committed to fulfilling its obligation as a Treaty partner in government.

Attitudinal Change

The key issue of concern raised in the Disability Strategy was that of negative attitudes. Labour will continue to promote a truly inclusive society, including specific actions to bring about attitudinal change.

The State Sector

Labour has established the Office for Disability Issues as part of its strong commitment to the whole-of-government approach of the Disability Strategy.


Labour will:

- Ensure that a disability perspective is included in all relevant government policy proposals and that legislation and public information is available in appropriate formats.

- Continue to reduce the anomalies in services received by people whose impairments have different causes.

- Develop clear and consistent policies in relevant government departments and agencies in relation to paid family care-givers.

- Provide appropriate gender and ethnicity responses in service provision. EDUCATION Labour believes that every child has the right to quality, inclusive education.

Early Childhood Education:

Labour will:

- Ensure that children and their families receive co-ordinated responsive, holistic services, with the health/education interface being a priority.

- Help early childhood centres to become fully inclusive by providing specialist support and reviewing funding structures.

Compulsory Sector

Labour will:

- Ensure that resourcing policies are fair and that they, as well as policy development and operational decisions, support the development of inclusive education.

- Require all pre-service teacher education to include disability awareness.

Post Compulsory Education

Labour will:

- Establish an advisory group to support the development and implementation of a Code of Practice for supporting people with disabilities within the Tertiary Education Strategy.

- Conduct a comprehensive review of the Special Supplementary Grant for tertiary students with disabilities to ensure that it continues to meet their needs.


Labour will:

- Retain vocational services and Job Support funding as a key priority.

- Remove legislative barriers to participation in employment.

- Promote good practices in employment in both the public and private sectors to encourage more employment opportunities for people with disabilities.


Labour will: - Ensure that people with disabilities are included in any advisory structure on income support.

- Review the abatement regime to ensure that it does not operate as a financial barrier to paid employment.

- Reduce the compliance requirements for those with permanent impairments.


Labour will:

- Ensure that District Health Board Disability Advisory Committees are maintained to advise on health issues from a disability perspective.

- Promote disability awareness among all health care professionals, including researchers.

- Ensure that health information is accessible and appropriate.


Labour will:

- Review the needs assessment and service co-ordination process so that it extends across relevant government departments and agencies.

- Ensure that equipment services are a priority in future funding increases. - Maintain carer support/respite care as a priority for future funding increases.


Labour will:

- Work with local government to maximise living options in the community.

- Introduce changes, where necessary, to ensure that the Building Act and the Local Government Act are consistent with the Disability Strategy.


Labour will:

- Ensure the progressive introduction of accessible public transport.

- Progress accessible air, sea and rail transport (including information).

- Review the Total Mobility Scheme to ensure equity.


Labour will:

- Ensure that people with disabilities have opportunities to create, perform and develop in arts, culture, sports, recreation and leisure activities.


Labour will: - Play a leadership role in the development of a United Nations convention on the rights of people with disabilities. - Support work on disability issues in the Pacific.

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