Enable disabled people, family and whānau to thrive

Open letter

To: The Honourable Louise Upston, Minister for Disability Issues and Social Development and The Honourable Nicola Willis, Minister of Finance.

7th May 2024

Tēnā kōrua Minister Upston rāua ko Minister Willis.

We write as organisations representing disabled people, their families and whānau, disability support services, and the wider disability community.

We know that disabled people and those who love, support and care for us could be thriving right now. We could contribute to our communities in ways that work for us without fear of losing the income we need to support us.

But persistent underinvestment from successive Governments for disabled people and our wellbeing means many of us are spending precious energy just trying to keep our heads above water.

When others decide who is worthy of support and on what conditions, they often fail to recognise the extent to which health conditions, disabilities, cost of living pressures and employment-related barriers impact on our community.

When Government fails to resource our disability ministry enough to flexibly support our disabled community and whānau, we are funnelled towards poverty, stress, and isolation.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

We urge Government to:

There is a pressing need for Government to demonstrate that it values disabled people as key members of our community by ensuring that disabled people and their families and whānau have the resources they need to thrive.

With hope,

If your organisation would like to sign up to this open letter, fill in this form.

Disabled Persons Assembly New Zealand
350 Aotearoa
Access Matters Aotearoa
Adult Guardianship Services
Ara Hina
Auckland Action Against Poverty
Auckland Womens Centre
Autism Support Network New Zealand
Blind Citizens NZ
CCS Disability Action
Carers Alliance
Carers New Zealand
Child Poverty Action Group
Complex Care Group
Conductive Education
Continence NZ
Deaf Aotearoa
Disabilty Connect
Disabled People Against Cuts
Disabled Responsiveness New Zealand
Donald Beasley Institute
Enabling Good Lives Taranaki
End Ash Now
Fairer Future Coalition
Fin Cap
Fragile X New Zealand
Hearing New Zealand
Inclusive Education Action Group
Individualised Funding New Zealand
Kanohi Ki Te Kanohi
Methodist Alliance
My Life My Voice
National Disabled Students Association
New Zealand Association of Gerontology
New Zealand Council of Christian Social Servcices
New Zealand Disability Advisory Trust
New Zealand Disability Support Network
New Zealand Downs Syndome Association
New Zealand Riding for the Disabled
North Able
Parent Help
Parents of Vision Impaired New Zealand
People First
Project Gender
Public Housing Futures
Rare Disorders New Zealand
Save the Children
Social Equity and Wellbeing Network
System Change
Te Ao Marama Aotearoa
The Swan Nest
Together Diverse
Young Carers