The Disability Action Plan (DAP) 2019–2023 aims to improve the wellbeing of disabled people through 29 work programmes aligned with the New Zealand Disability Strategy 2016-2026. 12 government agencies are responsible for work programmes in the plan. Of this:
- 28 work programmes are overseen by individual agencies
- one work programme is an across-government commitment to improving disability data and evidence.
To monitor the DAP’s progress, the Office for Disability Issues (ODI) has historically managed six-monthly reporting. On 1 July 2022, ODI was integrated into Whaikaha – Ministry of Disabled People. This is the first DAP progress report managed by Whaikaha, and the fifth progress report to be produced.
This report covers the period January to June 2022. Whaikaha would like to apologise for the late publication of this report. This was due to several factors, including a very hectic 2022 for Whaikaha and the Disabled People’s Organisations (DPO) Coalition, and new reporting processes.
2022 saw the first Independent Monitoring Mechanism (IMM) domestic forum on the rights of disabled people in New Zealand, the formation of Whaikaha, and New Zealand’s second examination in front of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN Committee).
Progress on the 29 work programmes isrecorded as follows:
Table One – Progress Rating for the 5th Round of the Disability Action Plan
|Report Status||Number of reports|
|On track or ahead||7|
|On track with minimal risks||14|
|Off track with low Risks||5|
|Off track with significant Risks||3|
Agency reports are tracking well, and agencies are maintaining their good work since the July to December 2021 progress report.
- 21 (72%) work programmes were recorded as being on track, or on track with minimal risks/issues.
- 8 (28%) work programmes were off track (not meeting targets set for the six-month reporting period).
- 5 (17%) work programmes were off track with low risk,
- 3 (10%) work programmes were significantly off track.
This progress is an improvement on the last report, where five work programmes were significantly off track.
The ongoing impact of COVID-19 on people and services was the most common reason cited for work programmes not running to schedule. The DPO Coalition has expressed the opinion that agencies have had two years to deal with COVID-19, and that systems should be in place to ensure the continuation of work even if an agency is experiencing issues.
While the quality of the reports has improved greatly over the last two years, some agencies could improve their reporting by:
- focusing their reporting on the actions set out in their DAP work programme
- closely following the reporting template.
If agencies wish to update or change the actions they are taking as part their DAP work programme, the DPO Coalition has asked this is done in consultation with them. If agencies believe their work programme is complete, they need to discuss this with the DPO Coalition as there may be further appropriate actions for the agency to undertake before the current DAP concludes at the end of 2023.
The DAP Review Group, made up of DPO Coalition representatives and government officials, made several general comments about the status of the work programmes received as described in the agency reports. These observations included:
- Being ‘on track’ differs from the ‘right track’ e.g. agencies are on track with the work they have set themselves, but not the work originally agreed to in the DAP.
- It is difficult to clarify if agencies are reporting on the right mahi because the reporting is very ‘big picture’ and the DPO Coalition only has six-monthly reports to rely on for information.
- There is a lack of clarity over who the reports are written for. Tone and style differ across the reports.
- Agencies could improve how they highlight emerging issues and trends.
- Entire work programmes can be delayed by a single piece of work.
- There is a lack of concrete timeframes and reasons why work has not been completed.
- Some of the reports focus on the direct impact the work will have on disabled people, whereas other reports make passing reference to the relevance for disabled people.
- The best work programme progress is made where there is ongoing communication and consultation with disabled people and their representative organisations.
- Some activities (e.g. providing information in alternate formats) are expected as business-as-usual, and should be not be highlighted as part of progress reports.
- Reports should reflect the recommendations from the Independent Monitoring Mechanism (IMM) domestic forum.
- The next report should focus on the response to the concluding observations from New Zealand’s second review by the UN Committee.
There is significant mahi underway in relation to the New Zealand Disability Strategy’s eight outcome areas, and the DAP.
Most work is on track, but some agencies are struggling to keep to their work programmes. The DAP Review Group has identified ‘on track’ does not necessarily mean work is progressing well, relates to disabled people or is focused on improving outcomes for disabled people.
Agencies have reported the COVID-19 pandemic is contributing to work being off-track when it was expected DAP work programmes would return to business as usual for this reporting period.
Agencies have been encouraged to write their reports for disabled people as the primary audience and impose tighter deadlines upon their work.
The DAP Review Group recommended future reports focus on measurable outcomes within work programmes and address the recommendations made by the IMM Domestic Forum and the UN Committee.