Fair treatment for disabled people

Manāki tōkeke i te hunga hauā

The Ombudsman monitors the rights of disabled people and investigates related complaints about government agencies.

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Why the Ombudsman protects the rights of disabled people

New Zealand has signed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and is committed to ensuring disabled peoples’ full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms.

To do that, the Ombudsman is part of New Zealand's Independent Monitoring Mechanism (IMM), along with the Human Rights Commission and the Disabled People's Organisations' Coalition.

Human Rights Commission

Disabled People's Organisations' Coalition reports – Office for Disability Issues

Together, the IMM: 

  • promotes, protects and monitors the implementation of the Convention
  • reports to Parliament, the public and the United Nations on the implementation of the Convention and specific issues
  • provides advice on legislation, policy and practice affecting disabled people.

Read more about monitoring the rights of disabled people:

What the Ombudsman can do

When the Ombudsman receives a complaint about a government agency that relates to disabled people, they can investigate to see if the agency has acted reasonably and fairly. They also check whether the agency has followed the principles of the Convention.

The Ombudsman may try to resolve a complaint by talking to you and the agency. If they can resolve your complaint, an investigation may not be necessary.

The Ombudsman also helps make sure agencies get it right in the first place by providing information and training and investigating systemic issues, and making submissions to Parliament when it’s considering related legislation.

Taking your complaint to the UN

If you believe there’s no other way left to resolve your complaint in New Zealand, you may be able to to take it to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

This guide helps you through that process.

Making complaints to the UN Disability Committee: A guide for New Zealanders

Help for public sector agencies

Use the guide on reasonable accommodation for disabled people, which is available in multiple languages and accessible formats.

Reasonable accommodation guide focussing on people with disabilities

Agencies can contact the Ombudsman for training to improve how they work with disabled people.

Make a request (for public sector agencies)

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