Fair treatment for disabled people
We monitor the rights of disabled people and investigate related complaints about government agencies.
On this page
Why we protect the rights of disabled people
New Zealand has signed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. We are 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.
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:
- Minutes of the Independent Monitoring Mechanism – Human Rights Commission
- Making disability rights real 2012/2013 report
- The plan for the next Making disability rights real report
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.
We also help 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 can try and take it to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
We’ve created a guide that helps you go through that process.
Help for public sector agencies
Use our guide on reasonable accommodation for disabled people, which is available in multiple languages and accessible formats.
Agencies can contact us for training to improve how they work with disabled people.