We’ve put together some helpful information on the some of the topics we think are important to someone wanting to carve out their own way in our society.

If you feel like you’ve been discriminated against, treated poorly, or feel like your rights have been breached, there are avenues open for you to make a complaint.

In the first instance, your complaint should be raised with the health provider. You can advocate for yourself, or seek assistance from an Advocate in making this complaint.  The advocacy service is is free, confidential and independent.  Refer to the information below for tools and contacts to help.

If this doesn’t resolve the complaint, you can then make a complaint to the Health and Disability Commissioner.

Health and Disability Commissioner (HDC)

  • The HDC has a team of advocates to assist you to resolve your complaint about a health or disability service. An advocate assists by listening to your complaint, giving you information about your rights and options for resolution, then supporting your option
  • Self-Advocacy tools
  • Nationwide list of free advocates
  • Phone: 0800 555 050
  • Email: advocacy@hdc.org.nz

Disabled Persons’ Assembly (DPA)

  • The DPA is an umbrella organisation representing people with disabilities which offers information and advice
  • Phone: 04 801 9100
  • Email: gen@dpa.org.nz

IHC IDEA Services

  • IDEA Services provides information, support and advice to individuals, families and organisations
  • To help people in local communities advocate for people with an intellectual disability, the IHC Advocacy Toolkit is available online

People First

  • People First promotes self advocacy for people with an intellectual disability
  • Phone: 0800 206 070

Personal Advocacy Trust

  • For a fee, the Personal Advocacy Trust provides a trained, supervised advocate for an intellectually disabled child for the rest of their life after the parents have become unable to look after their welfare
  • Phone: 04 385 9175
  • Email: patrust@paradise.net.nz

Ripple Trust

Vaka Tautua

  • Vaka Tautua provides disability, mental health, older peoples and other support services for Pacific peoples
  • Phone: 0800 825 282

Whether you’re traveling down the road or across the globe, there are many travel and transport options for people with disabilities.

The Total Mobility Scheme

The Total Mobility scheme provides subsidised door-to-door transport services by taxi and specialist transport operators for people who, because of a permanent disability, cannot use regular public transport services.

For example, you may not be able to get onto a bus or train without assistance or have difficulty handling money or train tickets.

For more information, contact totalmobility@hbrc.govt.nz, visit www.transport.govt.nz, or call (06) 835 3015.

General Tips for Travelling

Weka – New Zealand’s disability information website for disabled people, their families, whanau and caregivers, health professionals and disability information providers – provides a comprehensive guide to local, national and international travel.

  • Find out what you can expect when you get to the airport, bus or train terminal – what services do they offer mobility-impaired passengers?
  • Once you’re at the airport, do some ‘schmoozing’ – developing good relationships with airport staff can really pay off
  • Ensure that you request seats on the airplane/train/bus that are in close proximity to the toilets; also ask for seats that are easy to access
  • Bear in mind that many airlines/travel operators require passengers requiring assistance to check-in a little bit early
  • Assertiveness is always helpful in when travelling, so don’t forget to pack lots of it
  • Research the transport options at your destination before you arrive, as accessible vehicles can sometimes be hard to come by!
  • Don’t rely on your travel agent to understand the nuances of ‘accessible travel’ unless they advertise themselves as specialists

Itinerary Planning

Holiday planning is made easier with www.disabledholidays.com, where you can use their travel wizard to select all the regular accommodation options AND your specific disability needs.  A great way to plan a holiday for people with a disability, wheelchair users and their family and friends.