Disability Strategy and Action Plan
We have begun implementing a publicly available Accessibility Plan for public buildings to fulfil our main responsibility under the Government's Disability Strategy.
Our Accessibility Plan: Public Buildings outlines a programme of work to achieve the intended goal of ‘Equitable access to and use of publicly accessible buildings by all New Zealanders’. It was developed following a sector-wide review of accessibility issues in 2014 (Malatest review).
The Plan was agreed with the Office for Disability Issues (ODI) in December 2015 and signed off by previous Minister for Building and Construction and Minister for Disability Issues.
You can read the full report (or a summary) on the consultation phase of the review.
Implementing the plan
Our Ministry and ODI will work together to implement the plan. We will draw on technical expertise from existing expert panel arrangements (or seek external technical support when required), with support from ODI.
We meet with ODI on a quarterly basis to review progress and consider plans for the following quarter. We will carry out an annual stocktake to report on progress made, assess any issues identified and confirm interventions for the following year.
Our Ministry and ODI will report annually to the Minister for Building and Construction and the Minister for Disability Issues.
A guide to accessible public buildings
The first intervention identified in the Accessibility Plan is a Guide to Accessible Public Buildings. This is intended to clarify and provide guidance on user requirements for building accessibility.
The guide is the main priority for 2018 as it will enable us to progress a number of other interventions identified in the Accessibility Plan. It is intended to be published later in 2018.
The New Zealand Disability Strategy
In 2008, New Zealand ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The convention is implemented through the cross-government New Zealand Disability Strategy and its underlying New Zealand Disability Action Plan 2014–2018.
Our main responsibility under the Disability Strategy relates to access to public buildings.
Office for Disability Issues
The Office for Disability Issues has an ongoing role in working with government agencies responsible for building and housing policy. It also has a delegated legislative role under the Building Act 2004 in relation to accessibility of buildings accessed by the public.
Office for Disability Issues(external link) website has further information.