New Zealand: Coalition of Disabled People’s Organisations (DPO) Responds to Minister’s Reforms

Asia-Pacific, News, November 5 2021

The Disabled People’s Organisations (DPO) Coalition has welcomed announcements made today by the Minister for Disability Issues.

Minister for Disability Issues Hon. Carmel Sepuloni and Minister of Health Andrew Little announced a number of key changes affecting disabled people, including system transformation, the creation of a new Ministry for Disabled People, and new accessibility legislation.

DPO Coalition members have long advocated for the creation of a ministry focused on disabled people. The creation of a ministry focused on more than one million disabled New Zealanders has the potential to make a significant difference. Disabled people have poorer outcomes across all parts of life– including health, education and employment. Now there will be a ministry focused on ensuring this can’t continue to happen, and responsible for supporting better outcomes and human rights for disabled people.

The progress of accessibility legislation was also welcomed. Accessibility is about making a fairer society for all. It is about removing barriers to inclusion, participation and wellbeing, and taking action to promote dignity and human rights. This legislation will help us make progress towards implementing the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. We are particularly pleased to see that the new system embeds the voice of disabled people in the system – respecting that there should be nothing about us, without us.

The DPO Coalition wishes to thank Minister Sepuloni for engaging Coalition members closely throughout the development of these reforms.

The DPO Coalition looks forward to understanding the reforms in more detail, particularly the rollout of the Enabling Good Lives approach. It will take a strong interest in the implementation of the reforms, and how they make a difference to the lives of disabled people.


Association of Blind Citizens of New Zealand Incorporated

Dr Jonathan Godfrey

National President

029 538 9814


Balance Aotearoa

Leo McIntyre


021 265 4629


Deaf Aotearoa New Zealand Incorporated

Lachlan Keating

Chief Executive
021 540 172


Disabled Persons Assembly NZ

Prudence Walker

Chief Executive

021 546 006


Kāpō Māori Aotearoa NZ Inc.

Chrissie Cowan

Chief Executive

0275 377 009




Muscular Dystrophy Association of New Zealand Incorporated

Tristram Ingham
National Executive Chairperson
+64 0800 886 626 | mobile +64 21 212 5336


People First New Zealand Incorporated

Erin Kavanagh-Hall
Communications Coordinator

027 439 2080




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