Our Action Plan

Why have an action plan?

The New Zealand government has prioritised improving the wellbeing of New Zealanders and their families. They are committed to achieving equitable health outcomes for all New Zealanders in line with the purpose and principles set out in the Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Act 2022. This includes improving the wellbeing of 24% of Aotearoa’s population (1.1 million people) who identified as disabled in 2013 in the New Zealand Census.

From our engagement with tāngata whaikaha Māori/disabled people and their whānau we have heard that Ara Poutama Aotearoa has not supported them with an equal opportunity to achieve their goals and aspirations. Through this Disability Action Plan we are committed to doing better.

Our Action plan is underpinned by Te Tiriti o Waitangi, Hōkai Rangi and other ongoing changes happening across the health and disability sector

Our Disability Action Plan gives effect to our domestic and international obligations and works to address the significant need for improvements for tāngata whaikaha Māori/disabled people. The plan aligns with our strategy Hōkai Rangi and will guide the immediate and short-term approaches to supporting the wellbeing, goals, and aspirations of tāngata whaikaha Māori/disabled people. Further:

  • Te Tiriti o Waitangi is the founding document of Aotearoa and enables us to work with iwi, hapū and whānau to better meet the needs of tāngata whaikaha Māori/disabled people and their whānau.
  • The Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Act 2022 commits to achieving equitable health outcomes for all New Zealanders, in particular Māori.
  • The Corrections Act 2004 stipulates that the standard of health care that is available in a prison must be reasonably equivalent to the standard of health care available to the public (Corrections Act 2004 s75(2)).
  • The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2008 (UNCRPD) affirms that all persons with all types of disabilities must enjoy all human rights and fundamental freedoms.
  • In accordance with international human rights law and under the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights 1996 (Code of Rights), Ara Poutama Aotearoa has obligations around the treatment of tāngata whaikaha Māori/disabled people in prison and in our management in the community.
  • Ara Poutama Aotearoa has signed (27 April 2018) the current NZ Government Accessibility Charter and is committed to actively champion accessibility within our leadership teams and to providing accessible information to the public.

Key changes that enable the Disability Action Plan

It is important to acknowledge the other key changes that have recently happened in the wider health and disability sector that have provided the platform for our Disability Action Plan to rest upon:

  • Whaikaha, the Ministry of Disabled People has been established to lead the realisation of a true partnership between the disability community and government. They will help to drive ongoing transformation of the disability system consistent with the Enabling Good Lives (EGL) approach.
  • New Zealand Disability Strategy 2016 to 2026 guides government agencies on disabilities issues. The vision of the strategy is that New Zealand becomes a non-disabling society; a place where tāngata whaikaha Māori/disabled people have an equal opportunity to achieve their goals and aspirations, and all of New Zealand works together to make this happen.
  • Whakamaua (Māori Health Action Plan 2020-2025) presents new opportunities for the Ministry of Health, the health and disability system, and the wider government to make considerable progress in achieving Māori health equity. Whakamaua highlights that the health and disability system need to be guided by Māori mana motuhake in design, decision making, delivery, and monitoring processes.
  • Whāia Te Ao Mārama (The Māori Disability Action Plan 2018 to 2022) is a culturally anchored approach to support Māori with disabilities and their whānau.
  • Faiva Ora (National Pasifika Disability Plan 2016 – 2021) sets out priority outcomes and actions to support and improve the lives of Pacific disabled people of all ages and their families.
  • Te Aorerekura (The National Strategy to Eliminate Family Violence and Sexual Violence, 2021-2023) sets out a collective path for government, tāngata whenua, specialist sectors, including tāngata whaikaha Māori/disabled people to eliminate family violence and sexual violence.
  • The Ara Poutama Suicide Prevention and Postvention Action Plan (SAP) 2022-2025 sets out a proactive response to the issue of suicide and encourages collective action in addressing this important issue. There is evidence that suicide may disproportionately impact tāngata whaikaha Māori/disabled people.