Outdoor ramps

A ramp can support you with moving up to or out of an entrance. Depending on your situation, Whaikaha - Ministry of Disabled People may be able to help with funding for a ramp.

What is a ramp?

A ramp is a sloped walkway that makes it easier to move up to an entrance. There are two types of ramps: permanent and removable. Both can be used by people who use walkers or manual or power wheelchairs.

  • Permanent ramps: Usually made of wood or concrete. They are built on-site by a building contractor.
  • Removable ramps: Usually made of aluminium. They can be installed in sections. They are specifically designed to be set up and used in one location for a long period of time then taken apart and set up to fit another location when they are no longer needed in the first location.

A ramp needs to be at least 1 metre wide. It must have a level landing area (a minimum of 1.2 metres x 1.2 metres) at the top and bottom so you can stop and turn safely.

A ramp needs to slope gently (meaning it has a slope of no more than 1 metre rise to every 12 metres of length) to make it safe and easy to use. A longer ramp with a gentler slope is best for someone who needs to be pushed in a wheelchair.

Most ramps will need a small barrier along the edges to stop users slipping off. The ramp may also need a handrail, especially if it is more than 1 metre above the ground.

Is a ramp the best option for you?

To get an entrance to your home that works well for you, think about how you get around, what your disability needs are and what your home is like.

Here are some questions to consider:

  • Do you push yourself around in a wheelchair or use a power wheelchair?
  • Do you use a walking frame?
  • Is it possible that your needs could change in the future? Will you be living in your present home for at least two years?
  • Will it be easy to install a ramp in your home? The number of steps or slope of the land may mean it is not possible or is very expensive to install a ramp, and a platform lift may be a better option.
  • Which side of the house would the ramp be built on? It could become slippery on the shady side of your home if that area is damp.
  • Does the ramp or landing need to be over 1.5 metres above ground level? If so, it will need a building consent.
  • Which entrance is the best for you to use? Are you able to get to that entrance easily from the most reasonable place to park your car?

Sometimes adding a ramp may not be the best or only option for you. For example, you may have the option of using another entrance. Or, if modifying your home is not possible, you may be able to find another home that suits your needs better.

Getting a ramp

Contact a Whaikaha - Ministry of Disabled People Equipment and Modification Service (EMS) qualified housing assessor to help you work out what type of ramp best suits your needs. They will help you work out the most cost-effective option for your needs and if you can get funding help from the Ministry.

Your doctor can refer you to an EMS qualified housing assessor or you can refer yourself through local hospital community health services.

You may also choose to organise and pay for the ramp yourself.

Find out about what home modifications we can fund.

Repairs and maintenance

Ramps need regular maintenance and cleaning to keep them slip-resistant and safe.

Removable ramps are available on long-term loan from Whaikaha - Ministry of Disabled People. You must return the ramp when it is no longer needed.

The Ministry covers the costs of all repairs, maintenance and installation or removal of any borrowed modular ramp. Such work is completed by the Ministry's equipment providers, either:

  • Accessable (for people living in Auckland or Northland)
  • Enable New Zealand (for people living in the rest of New Zealand).

The home-owner is responsible for all costs associated with maintaining a permanent ramp, including any repairs, replacement or removal when the ramp is no longer needed. This type of ramp is part of the home-owner's property.


Find out more about outdoor ramps if you live: