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Source: New Zealand Parliament – Hansard



Question No. 1—Disability Issues

1. ANGIE WARREN-CLARK (Labour) to the Minister for Disability Issues: Talofa lava, Mr Speaker. How is the Government delivering change for disabled people through Budget 2022?

Hon CARMEL SEPULONI (Minister for Disability Issues): Malo le soifua, Mr Speaker. Budget 2022 demonstrates the Government’s continuing commitment to deliver change for the disability community by investing over $1 billion as we continue along the journey of reforming the health and disability system. Funding for disabled people in Budget 2022 includes $107.8 million to establish the new Ministry for Disabled People, $100 million for the implementation of the Enabling Good Lives approach, $735 million for Disability Support Services, $12 million to strengthen New Zealand Sign Language and education, and, additionally, funding into community based services for disabled people and family careers.

Angie Warren-Clark: How have disabled people helped to inform these significant changes?

Hon CARMEL SEPULONI: Disabled people, tangata whaikaha Māori, tagata sa’ilimalo, their whānau and aiga have been involved in the development of the Enabling Good Lives approach from its beginnings in 2010. Disabled people and tangata whaikaha Māori also make up two-thirds of the governance group establishing the new ministry. These involvements give a particularly powerful and practical demonstration of the internationally recognised motto of the disability rights movement, “Nothing about us without us.”, which seeks to ensure that disabled people can meaningfully impact change on areas important to them.

Angie Warren-Clark: Why are these changes important?

Hon CARMEL SEPULONI: Approximately one in four New Zealanders identify as having a disability. That’s 1.4 million New Zealanders. Disabled people face accessibility barriers across a number of areas of society. They’re disproportionately represented in poverty statistics and experience heightened levels of discrimination. These changes will help to ensure disabled people have more personalised services, greater opportunities to choose how they live a good life, and improved outcomes across employment, education, health, and wellbeing. More broadly, Aotearoa New Zealand, as a whole, benefits from better inclusion of disabled people in society, including from enormous untapped skills that could add further value to New Zealand in a myriad of ways.