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Health & disability

Access to shops, transport and other services

Accessible information about services

Access requirements for government websites

New Zealand Government Web Accessibility Standard

The government has set a “Web Accessibility Standard” for all websites run by government departments. These include the Ministry of Justice, Work and Income (as part of the Ministry of Social Development), Statistics New Zealand, the New Zealand Police and the Ministry of Health.

The Standard requires these websites to be accessible through assistive technologies or through special accessibility features in mainstream website features. For example, a “show captions” option in a media player. The Standard is based on widely accepted international guidelines (the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines).

The website content has to be presented in a way that allows you to successfully access the website information with your assistive technologies. As an example, the standard would be breached if you’re blind or visually impaired, and pictures used for navigating a page didn’t have text alternatives that your assistive technology (like text-to-speech or magnification) can recognise and present to you.

Note: There are a range of state-owned organisations that aren’t public service departments – for example, the Accident Compensation Corporation, Kāinga Ora (Housing New Zealand), and the NZ Qualifications Authority. These other organisations aren’t required to follow the government’s Web Accessibility Standard, but they are strongly encouraged to.

The government recognises that if its websites are not accessible to disabled people, this is a breach of the UN Disability Convention and of our Human Rights Act 1993. The government’s online introduction to its Web Toolkit says that the legal concept of “reasonable accommodation” clearly applies to department websites, and this means that “adequate allowance must be made in designing and planning websites for disabled access”.

UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Article 21

The Disability Convention says that countries like New Zealand who have joined the Convention should take these steps:

  • provide disabled people with information in accessible formats and using appropriate technologies, at no extra cost
  • make sure people can use sign language, Braille and other types of communication when they’re dealing with government services and agencies (see also below, “Your rights to use New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL)”)
  • urge private sector companies to provide accessible information, including accessible websites
  • encourage mass media and internet companies to make their services accessible to disabled people
  • recognise and promote the use of sign language.

To find out more about the Disability Convention and what it means for disabled people in New Zealand, see the section “Rights that are recognised internationally: The UN Disability Convention”.

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Disability rights

Where to go for more support

COVID-19 information


The Disabled Persons Assembly (DPA) has up-to-date COVID-19 information for the disabled community on their website. They also post new information on their Facebook page and their Information Exchange newsletter. You can sign up by going to the website linked above. For more information about DPA, see below.

Community Law


Your local Community Law Centre can provide free initial legal advice and information.

Auckland Disability Law



ADL provides assistance and referrals to disabled people on their legal issues, and work with other Community Law Centres, legal professionals and community organisations to raise disability awareness and achieve the best outcome for disabled people.

Office for Disability Issues


The Office for Disability Issues is the focal point in government on disability issues.

Human Rights Commission


This page on the HRC website focuses on the Commission’s work around both individual and systemic disability discrimination. There are resources available in multiple accessible formats.

Health and Disability Commissioner


Phone: 0800 11 22 33
Email: hdc@hdc.org.nz

The Health and Disability Commissioner has a range of pamphlets and other information on health and disability issues.

Contact a Health and Disability Advocate

Phone: 0800 555 050

Make a complaint to the Commissioner

Phone: 0800 11 22 33
Email: hdc@hdc.org.nz

PO Box 1791, Auckland

You can make a complaint by phoning the Commissioner’s office toll-free, by email, by filling in the online complaint form or by writing to them.

Ministry of Health Services and Support


Publicly funded health and disability services available in New Zealand.

Disabled Persons Assembly


The DPA is a pan-disability organisation. DPA works to improve social indicators for disabled people and for disabled people be recognised as valued members of society. DPA and its members work with the wider disability community, other disabled persons’ organisations, government agencies, service providers, international disability organisations and the public.

People First


People First New Zealand is a self-advocacy organisation that is led and directed by people with learning (intellectual) disability. People First has a free Disability Information and Advice Service and they also produce legal resources in Easy Read form which are free to download from their website.

Deaf Aotearoa


Deaf Aotearoa is a national organisation representing the voice of Deaf people, and the national service provider for Deaf people in New Zealand.

Deaf Aotearoa also works closely with Deaf communities, government agencies and other organisations to increase awareness, promote New Zealand Sign Language and strengthen the rights of Deaf people.

Family Violence – It’s Not OK


Phone: 0800 456 450

“It’s not OK” is a community-driven behaviour change campaign to reduce family violence in New Zealand. Its goal is to change attitudes and behaviour that tolerate any kind of family violence. The website has resources for families who are experiencing abuse. It’s not OK is an initiative housed within the Ministry of Social Development.

Family violence and disabled people


Inclusive Education


This site provides New Zealand educators with practical strategies, suggestions and resources to support the diverse needs of all learners.

Attitude Toolbox: The Whole Truth about Courts and Justice


This accessible video has information about the New Zealand justice system and courts. The video is presented in New Zealand Sign Language and fully subtitled in English.

New Zealand Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal


This Tribunal hears and determines disciplinary proceedings brought against health practitioners.

Public Trust


Public Trust is New Zealand’s largest provider of Wills and estate administration services.

Te Rōpū Taurima


Te Rōpū Taurima is a kaupapa Māori service that supports people of all ethnicities with intellectual impairments around New Zealand.

Le Va


Le Va supports Pasifika families and communities to unleash their full potential and have the best possible health and wellbeing outcomes.

Blind Low Vision NZ

(previously called Blind Foundation)


Blind Low Vision NZ is New Zealand’s main provider of support to New Zealanders who are blind or have low vision.



Phone: 0800 24 33 33

Achieve is a national network established to ensure equal opportunity and access to post-secondary education and training for people with impairments.

Privacy Commissioner


Phone: 0800 803 909
Email: enquiries@privacy.org.nz

You can download the pamphlet “Your Health Information: Know Your Privacy Rights” from the Privacy Commissioner’s website, at: www.privacy.org.nz

You can also download a copy of the Health Information Privacy Code from: www.privacy.org.nz/the-privacy-act-and-codes/codes-of-practice/health-information-privacy-code-1994

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