People with disabilities

People with disabilities are more likely to earn a lower weekly wage, and to be unemployed and underemployed in the labour force.

Female fitness intructor in wheel chair giving lessons.

Photo: Ryze Fitness Gym

They are also more likely to live in poverty and are between 1.4 and 1.6 times more likely to be below all 3 poverty thresholds than households with no people with disabilities with lower labour market participation and incomes . Tāmaki Makaurau has almost 4% of people with disabilities aged between 18-and 64 years who live in poverty .

The State of Wellbeing and Equality for Disabled People, their Families and Whānau [PDF 2.1MB](external link) — CSS Disability Action

Demographic Report for Clients Allocated Disability Support Services(external link) — Ministry of Health

The state of wellbeing and equality for disabled people, their families and whānau(external link) — CSS Disability Action

Key labour market and workforce insights

  • Almost 30% of people with disabilities aged between 18 and 64 years in Tāmaki Makaurau have no formal qualifications, which would further impact their workforce opportunities.
  • People with disabilities and older workers have highlighted challenges around knowledge of flexible work and supportive work practices that may better suit their needs.
  • Incentives to employ and provide easier access for people with disabilities to the labour market and work opportunities can make a difference. These include working across the education, welfare and immigration systems and industry and business interests to improve work pathways for people with disabilities.
  • Different disability communities need different education and workforce support. Therefore, work needs to be done with disabled people and support groups to create different employment pathway solutions.

“It has been tough as a Pacific businesswoman with a disability. For people with disabilities, I understand how you feel as I have been there, and it can be a very dark place if you do not have the right support. But in saying that TRY! Do try and lift yourself up and for me, I turn to God and ask him for help, but yes just be brave. Be brave, ask for help, have courage, if you find something that you love to do then go for it. Just say yes! If an opportunity presents itself just say yes, you are going to be amazing.”

AJ Pouoa – Pacific Business Owner

See the Our People appendix for more on AJ’s story

People with disabilities actions

  • The RSLG supports the establishment of employment working groups for different disabilities to address specific needs for each group and as a way of facilitating good employer responses for the region.
  • The RSLG promotes support for young people with disabilities to receive the same education opportunities as other Aotearoa New Zealanders.
  • The RSLG advocates that the education sector is aware of the critical levers that will prevent young people with disabilities in Aotearoa New Zealand from accessing education.
  • The RSLG has committed to supporting the Working Matters Disability Employment Action Plan which is an all-of-government Action Plan that aims to ensure an inclusive economic recovery from COVID-19 where people with disabilities and people with health conditions can participate in employment on an equal basis. In addition, the RSLG will develop a robust understanding of the needs of people with disabilities in Tāmaki Makaurau based on the Working Matters Disability Employment Action Plan.

Working Matters: Disability Employment Action Plan(external link) — Ministry of Social Development