The Deputy Health and Disability Commissioner says health and disability services must be responsive to the needs and aspirations of disabled people and tāngata whaikaha.
Rose Wall’s call comes as the United Nation’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities is marked on December 3.
One in four New Zealanders report having some type of disability, and about 60 percent of people with disabilities have more than one.
“International Day of Persons with Disabilities is a time for us to recognise and celebrate the commitment we, as a country, have given to ensuring disabled people have equal opportunity to achieve their goals and aspirations.
“We must work alongside disabled people, tāngata whaikaha and their families and whānau, who are best placed to determine their futures. We have a responsibility to make this happen,” said Ms Wall.
“I am committed to ensuring disabled people and tāngata whaikaha are aware of their rights under the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights, and to making sure the Health and Disability Commissioner is accessible and responsive to all people. This is an important part of my role as Deputy Commissioner, Disability.
“I will continue to monitor their concerns and work with providers to ensure health and disability services are meeting the diverse needs of disabled people.
“Supporting inclusion and empowering disabled people to have choice and control is vital ”, said Ms Wall.