Focus on disability to continue in 2024

New disability issues minister appointed by Labour government

Focus on disability to continue in 2024

2023 was a good year for disability advocates - the Labour government affirmed its international commitment to the disability community by progressing 51 of the 60 Concluding Observations of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Soon thereafter, MP Priyanca Radhakrishnan announced continued funding for the “Enabling Good Lives” Framework which guides positive change for disabled people, families, communities, and governance structures.

Now with the National government in power, there’s a new minister and a new set of priorities. Penny Simmonds, disability issues minister, has lived experience with disabled family members and the support of the New Zealand Disability Support Network.

 “Penny has a strong commitment to improving the lives of disabled people, she has been an advocate for the community for many years,” Peter Reynolds, New Zealand Disability Support Network CEO, said in a press release.

But he also expressed disappointment that the minister wasn’t given a seat on the cabinet, telling Radio New Zealand, “It will make it hard for her to get leverage with her cabinet colleagues.”

“We hope that leaving disability issues outside of Cabinet does not signify that it is a low priority issue for the incoming government and that it will commit to delivering the funding that is so desperately needed,” he said, later telling RNZ that funding for the project was in dire straits.

A review of the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights (the Code) and the Health and Disability Commissioner Act 1994 (the Act) is scheduled for early 2024 and there are a number of changes that could affect kiwi workplaces.

One in four people in NZ are living with a physical, sensory, learning, mental health, or other disability.

Recent articles & video

Best practice for handling fixed-term agreements in New Zealand

Former dental clinic worker sentenced to community detention for fraud

Court of Appeal reverses 'homeworker' ruling on Fleming, Humphreys

Recap: Winners of the 2024 HRD Awards New Zealand

Most Read Articles

E Tū takes TVNZ to ERA for alleged non-compliance on consultation process

HR leaders gather for industry event of the year

Blenheim worker wins $16,000 in damages over unjust dismissal claim