Disability Action Plan and Disability Strategy being updated

Asia-Pacific, December 15 2015

NEW ZEALAND: Disability Issues Minister Nicky Wagner today released the updated Disability Action Plan 2014 – 2018 and announced the first steps in the revision of the New Zealand Disability Strategy.

“The Disability Action Plan brings together multiple government agencies to act on disability issues and is jointly governed with Disabled People’s Organisations. It was updated to make sure it was relevant and focused on the issues that are the most important to disabled people and the disability sector,” Ms Wagner says.

“There was strong interest, with multiple disability organisations providing feedback and more than 50 official submissions received during public consultation.

“As a result of the feedback, there are a number of new actions in the Plan, including working with the private sector to increase employment of persons with disabilities and implementing the Disability Data and Evidence Working Group work programme.

“The updated Plan reflects the Government’s commitment to working in partnership with persons with disabilities, through their representative organisations, to determine priorities.

“Now that the Disability Action Plan has been updated, the next step is to begin revising the Disability Strategy. The Disability Strategy provides the ‘big picture’ vision for what we want New Zealand to look like for persons with disabilities in ten years’ time and beyond.

“The Strategy was initially agreed in 2001 and the time is right to ensure it is fit for purpose. I am looking forward to working with persons with disabilities, their families and the disability sector and others to develop this new vision.

“The first step is establishing a reference group to help guide the process and ensure the new Strategy is developed, owned and championed by all New Zealanders.

“People will have an opportunity to have their say on the new Disability Strategy during 2016, and nominations for the reference group open today.

“I encourage people to provide nominations and I look forward to seeing strong representation from persons with disabilities themselves,” Ms Wagner says.

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