Office for Disability Issues

The Office for Disability Issues (ODI) was integrated into Whaikaha - Ministry of Disabled People on 1 August 2023.

Welcoming the ODI team into Whaikaha

The integration of the Office for Disability Issues (ODI) team into Whaikaha as the Partnership and Stewardship team, is something we thought about carefully given ODI has a strong identity within our community. The creation of Whaikaha allows us to further strengthen and resource the strategy and stewardship functions of this team.

We are pleased the ODI team will be able to continue their mahi within Whaikaha, including partnering on the NZ Disability Strategy and Action Plan, interagency advice based on the UNCRPD, and advice for the Minister for Disability Issues. 

You will notice a change in communications from ODI, as we shift to further embed it as part of the Whaikaha brand. The ODI website external URL content will be moved to a Whaikaha platform in the coming months.

The New Zealand Sign Language Board and the team supporting them will remain the same. You can contact the NZSL Board by emailing

Background to ODI

Established in 2002, ODI was originally a small team administered by the Ministry of Social Development, created to support implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and the New Zealand Disability Strategy external URL . Over time, they grew from a small team of six to over 15 staff, including the NZSL Board office.

Since ODI was created, they played a critical role in:

  • providing advice on disability issues to government agencies
  • supporting the Minister for Disability Issues
  • supporting the New Zealand Sign Language Board and administering the New Zealand Sign Language Act 2006
  • growing relationships between the disability sector and government agencies
  • reporting Aotearoa’s progress in implementing the UNCRPD and the Disability Action Plan 2019-2023 external URL
  • supporting the Disabled People's Organisations Coalition.