Disability in New Zealand

Curated news and resources on inclusion and rights

Library > Countries > Oceania > New Zealand

This page has curated news from New Zealand. There are a total of 75 links.

Highlights

In COVID-19:

The essential numbers showing how disabled people experienced the pandemic:

“By 2022 disabled people’s high rates of vaccination, combined with self-isolation, meant this high-risk group were slightly less likely to get Covid-19 than non-disabled people. However, despite overall lower infection, they were still seven times more likely to die (11 deaths) and 3.5 times more likely to go to hospital.” (2023, The Spinoff)

In Culture, Entertainment and Media:

D*List editorial values launching a new disability magazine. (2023, D*List) The new home of disability culture in Aotearoa. (The Spinoff)

In Humanitarian, Migrants and Refugees:

Time to scrap ableist migration rules down under The Debrief's own Áine Kelly-Costello arguing for fair migration rules. (2022, Overland)

In Independent Living and Deinstitutionalization:

‘There was no respect or effort to recognise me for who I was’:

“Artist and dancer Lusi Faiva was two when, diagnosed with cerebral palsy, she was taken to live in an institution for people with intellectual disabilities. She spent five years at the Kimberley Centre, experiencing neglect, terrible loneliness, alienation from her Sāmoan heritage and a sense of entrapment which has inspired a lifetime of seeking expression and freedom.” (2023, The Spinoff)

In Mobility, Travel, Transport and Tourism:

Not Built For Me: Freedom, frustration in navigating public transport with a disability (2022, Stuff)

Contents

Accessibility and Design

Overview

The endless hunt, and fight for accessible home appliances. (2023, Blind Citizens NZ)

Government won't enforce accessibility, despite promising legislation to 'make NZ more accessible'. (2022, Stuff)

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Housing

The intersecting issues for disabled women experiencing homelessness “Disabled women experiencing homelessness often contend with heightened levels of social isolation, exacerbating the difficulties connecting with support services.” (2023, Coalition to end women's homelessness)

Another month, another report on disabled people's housing “but is the government listening?” (2022, RNZ News)

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Ageing

Riding the silver tsunami as a disabled New Zealander

“We are living longer than previous disabled generations. As activists, we worked for change then and still do now. Yet support systems for elders are unprepared for us.” (2023, The Spinoff)

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Assistive Technology

The everyday technologies essential for accessibility four disabled people on the tech they consider essential. (2023, The Spinoff)

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COVID-19

Impact

The essential numbers showing how disabled people experienced the pandemic:

“By 2022 disabled people’s high rates of vaccination, combined with self-isolation, meant this high-risk group were slightly less likely to get Covid-19 than non-disabled people. However, despite overall lower infection, they were still seven times more likely to die (11 deaths) and 3.5 times more likely to go to hospital.” (2023, The Spinoff)

Disabled were 13 times as likely to die from Covid-19. “People who received disability support services in 2022 were 13 times as likely to die from Covid-19 than the general population, new data shows.” (2023, Stuff)

How will disabled people cope with Omicron in the community? (2022, RNZ)

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Response

The daily, grinding tragedy of Covid-19 “By unilaterally disarming in the fight against the coronavirus, the Government is exposing New Zealanders to the very serious ongoing health burden of Covid-19.” (2022, Newsroom)

Mixed response from disability advocates over Covid welfare support funding. (2022, Stuff)

Reporting on an inquiry into how government response to the Omicron wave impacted disabled people: they "do not appear to have been given prominence in government policy and decision making," (2022, RNZ)

'Oh well, we'll all get it' attitude to Omicron ignores increased risk to people with disabilities (2022, Stuff)

Ministry of Health 'so far removed from the day-to-day lives of disabled people' (2022, RNZ)

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Living with COVID-19

For those of us with disabilities, lockdown won’t end as long as Covid strategies leave us behind (2021, the Guardian)

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Civil Society and Community

Hot takes on the new Blind Low Vision ad campaign “From 'a pretty cool ad' to 'a self-congratulatory approach', here is what some blind and low vision folks think of a campaign using high-contrast and text-to-speech technology.” (2023, D*List)

From the Debrief's own Áine Kelly-Costello: Saying the quiet part out loud: “For a blindness service provider, creating a work environment which is untenable for people who come from the community the organisation supposedly serves is shameful.” (2023, Blind Citizens NZ)

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Climate Crisis and Environment

When the rain doesn’t stop. The Debrief's Áine Kelly-Costello on experiences in the Auckland flooding. (2023, Blind Citizens NZ)

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Conflict and Peace

Israel-Palestine Conflict

Disabled NZ resident battling to get out of Gaza “Despite Ghada Alree being unable to walk and reliant on family for mobility, New Zealand initially told her this week they would not allow her mother to be added to a list with her for evacuation from Gaza to Egypt.” (2023, NZ Herald)

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Culture, Entertainment and Media

Overview

Halloween character costumes that are actually scary “Parking Warden Who Doesn’t Believe It’s Your Mobility Permit” and other frightening figures. (2023, The D*List)

Spreading kōrero of disability and music technology (2023, Arts Access Aotearoa)

Stay home club “Making remote portraits of New Zealanders in isolation—using only their phone cameras.” (2022, New Zealand Geographic)

Blind Scrabble master takes on the country's best (2022, Stuff)

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TV and Film

Applying the Fries Test in Aotearoa “Does a work have more than one disabled character? Do the disabled characters have their own narrative purpose other than the education and profit of a non-disabled character? Is the character’s disability just a part of them, or are they eradicated either by curing or killing them?” (2023, Arts Access Aotearoa)

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Media

First reporter with cerebral palsy breaks down barriers, “Whakaata Māori has made media history by having a journalist affected by cerebral palsy produce a story for television with his voice and subtitles.” (2023, Te Ao)

D*List editorial values launching a new disability magazine. (2023, D*List) The new home of disability culture in Aotearoa. (The Spinoff)

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Digital Accessibility and Technology

Social Media

Fake sign language is spreading on TikTok. “Sign language has become trendy on TikTok, but many videos feature incorrect signs, sparking fears the trend will cause lasting damage to American Sign Language” (2023, Washington Post) see also the same problem in New Zealand.

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Economics and Social Protection

Overview

Unaffordable home heating increases risk of severe mental distress. (2023, PHCC)

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Social Protection

Big gap in support funding between disabled people on Ministry of Health and the national accident compensation scheme. (2022, Stuff)

Removing Disabling Experiences a vision for a person-directed system that will “provide four enforceable rights to social and income support, habilitation, and healthcare.” (2022, Warren Forster)

How the government asked for social welfare advice, got it, ignored it, and the impact on people with disabilities. (2022, Stuff)

Disabled people missing out on 'essential' support over relationship status (2022, Stuff)

We need a welfare system that works better for people with disabilities (2022)

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Health

Woman wheeled herself to hospital when ambulance couldn't take her wheelchair (2022, Stuff)

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History and Memorial

Why doesn’t every New Zealander know about Eve Rimmer? “She had a glittering international sports career and became a brave advocate for paraplegic rights, but Eve Rimmer is still largely unknown to the country she represented.” (2022, The Spinoff)

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Humanitarian, Migrants and Refugees

Migration

Calls to scrap discriminatory immigration health requirements (2023, Stuff)

Why does NZ make it so hard for disabled people to move here? By the Debrief's own Áine Kelly-Costello. “We need Aotearoa's disability communities to rally behind scrapping eugenic migration rules.” (2023, D*List)

'Inhumane': The Government policy that deports disabled children (2022, 1 News)

Time to scrap ableist migration rules down under The Debrief's own Áine Kelly-Costello arguing for fair migration rules. (2022, Overland)

New Zealand denies entry to autistic daughter of immigrant couple. “Rules do not allow people to move to New Zealand if they would impose a high cost to the health system”. (2022, the Guardian)

Girl, 12, denied residency because her autism does not meet 'acceptable standards of health'. (2022, Sky)

Government won't review 'discriminatory' immigration policy towards disabled people. (2022, Stuff)

Immigration policy discriminates against disabled “It’s become commonplace to read news stories about people with disabilities who have been denied New Zealand residency and face deportation.” (2022, Stuff)

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Independent Living and Deinstitutionalization

Overview

The joy of disabled mutual care “the ways that disabled people care for each other, from families to couples to community as a whole.” (2023, D*List)

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Conditions in Institutions

The horrors of Kimberley “For over 50 years, the Kimberley Centre in Levin billed itself as a home away from home for hundreds of vulnerable New Zealanders. Behind the facade was a site of unspeakable abuse.” (2023, The Spinoff)

‘There was no respect or effort to recognise me for who I was’:

“Artist and dancer Lusi Faiva was two when, diagnosed with cerebral palsy, she was taken to live in an institution for people with intellectual disabilities. She spent five years at the Kimberley Centre, experiencing neglect, terrible loneliness, alienation from her Sāmoan heritage and a sense of entrapment which has inspired a lifetime of seeking expression and freedom.” (2023, The Spinoff)

Complaints laid after woman found in own faeces, weighing 35kg at a residential care home. (2022, NZ Herald)

Abuse in Care: “Men raped disabled children, paid staff for access”. Testimonies from a commission of inquiry into institutional care. Further coverage at: 'a prison with no bars' and 'you can't walk away from this'. (2022, Stuff) Also on NZ Herald: 'hellhole, worse than prison'

Chief Ombudsman scathing of environment at Wakari Hospital ward "We're mixing in this facility – not just patients who are mentally ill and need caring for – but we’re mixing them with those who come from a different forensic stream who have been involved in criminal offending and who are there for a very different reason; it’s not safe." (2022, 1 News)

He Purapura Ora, he Māra Tipu. A report on survivors of abuse in care, their efforts to restore their lives and hold governments to account. (2021, Abuse in Care Inquiry)

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Indigenous People and Minority Communities

Exploring te ao Māori and te reo Māori whakaaro from one Pākehā blind person. (2023, Blind Citizens NZ)

Cha'nel Kaa-Luke and her dreams for indigenous Deaf communities: research on indigenous Deaf people should show "how to better engage with our communities on terms that suit us". (2023, D*List)

‘I’m Māori first’: The vision-impaired community finding strength in whakapapa (2022, The Spinoff)

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Lived Experience and Opinion

Prudence Walker on getting over our imposter syndrome. “The new disability rights commissioner's introduction to disability was confusing and medicalised; it wasn’t until she met others with similar experiences that she accepted who she was.” (2023, D*List)

Articulations: Henrietta Bollinger's “debut essay collection speaks to their experiences as a queer, disabled person, and as a twin.” (2023, Tender Press) See an interview with the author on D*List.

Dear mum, from your disabled child:

“Mum, I want you to be proud of me. Deeply, viscerally proud. But pride looks different for me than it does for others. Other people feel proud – inspired, even – when a disabled young person like me gets out of bed in the morning. When we get a certificate at school. But I want you to know that I feel proud most when I drink wine through a straw without feeling embarrassed. I feel proud when I’ve processed my internalised ableism enough to hang out with my crip friends on a Saturday night in public. And I would love it if you could celebrate those moments with me too!” (2023)

#DynamicDisability: How a hashtag changed our lives discovering language to describe fluctuating disabilities helped Melissa Irving find herself and her people. (2023, D*List)

Human not machine: how autistic writers are writing new space for themselves:

“Why are autistic people so attracted to these magical or other-worldly connections? Most of us experience loneliness and isolation – and if we are repeatedly rejected by humans then the idea of friendship with ghosts or aliens may almost seem less far-fetched.

“It’s also the fantasy we might be able to meet someone else on equal terms; both of us having to adapt to and learn each other’s way of communicating, rather than always having to be the ones who make the effort, exhausting ourselves to the point of burnout.” (2022, The Spinoff)

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Mobility, Travel, Transport and Tourism

Overview

Putting a blind-friendly transport system on the political agenda. Editorial by the Debrief's own Áine Kelly-Costello. (2023, Blind Citizens NZ)

Not Built For Me: Freedom, frustration in navigating public transport with a disability (2022, Stuff)

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Air Travel

Deaf community hopeful airline safety videos will feature NZSL Chief Ombudsman ruled the regulatory body's decision not to include it is "unreasonable". (2023, 1 News)

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Policy and Rights

Accessibility legislation a tokenistic toothless failure say disabled people, including the Debrief's own Áine Kelly-Costello: “This proposed bill is systemically ableist to its core”. (2023, 1 News)

UN disability rights experts concerned with NZ progress, call for urgent action. (2022, Stuff)

Lack of cross-government ownership a major barrier warns disability rights report, which particularly emphasizes the need for consultation with disabled people. One of the authors says “there is still a quantum leap required to remove disparities for disabled people in New Zealand”. (2022, Ombudsman)

Disability Rights: How is New Zealand doing? Highlights cross-cutting issues of data collection, lack of agency ownership of the Disability Convention, and lack of genuine partnership with disabled people. (2022, Ombudsman) See coverage on Stuff.

Why is a non-disabled person leading the establishment of a disability ministry? (2022, The Spinoff)

Appointment irks disabled community Ministry for Disabled People sees major appointments of people who do not identify as disabled. (2022, Otago Daily Times)

Disability advocates frustrated over feedback process for accessibility legislation (2022, Stuff)

Accessibility Bill lacks teeth by the Debrief's own Áine Kelly-Costello. (2022, Te Awa) See also coverage on Stuff.

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Politics and Elections

What would the different parties’ policies mean for disabled people? “Looking at the election policies stacked in front of the New Zealand public this year, I feel as though I have time-travelled back to the 1980s.” (2023, The Spinoff)

$1m Election Access Fund gets mixed response from disabled people. (2022, Stuff)

A disabled person's view of the Wellington occupation (2022, RNZ)

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