Support from other government agencies

Responsibility to meet the needs of the disabled community is shared among several Government agencies.

In addition to the Ministry of Disabled People – Whaikaha, other agencies that have a role in funding or providing specialist disability services include Health New Zealand - Te Whatu Ora, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Transport, Regional Councils & local authorities, Ministry of Social Development (MSD), Peke Waihanga - Artificial Limb Service, Oranga Tamariki, Accident Compensation Corporation, and Department of Internal Affairs and Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (MBEI).

The following list provides a wide range of disability supports but may not be exhaustive.

Ministry of Social Development

Residential care subsidy and residential support subsidy for long-term care. [1]

Disability specific income support

Community Participation and Employment services for disabled people

MSD also has a range of employment, participation, and inclusion services for disabled people to address barriers to employment and participation in community, in addition to MSD’s Universal services. These supports include:

  • Employment Service, to support disabled people and people with a health condition to gain sustainable employment and move closer to financial independence. 
    Employment service for people with a disability or health condition - Work and Income external URL
  • Very High Needs Funding (VHN) provides funding to disabled school leavers who have a Very High Needs ORS verification, to support their participation and inclusion in the community. 
    Employment Service in Schools - Information for schools and providers - Work and Income external URL
  • Community Participation (CP) provides contributory funding to service providers to support disabled people to participate in their communities, including doing activities in the community, building relationships, finding work, and learning new skills (previously known as ‘Day Services’). 
    Community Participation Services - Ministry of Social Development ( external URL
  • Transition Services help disabled people with ORS verification who are between the ages of 16-21 years old transition out of school, including planning for work, further study, or community opportunities that they may want to pursue. 
    Employment service for secondary school students with a disability or health condition - Work and Income external URL
  • Business Enterprises employ disabled people who might struggle to find work in the open labour market. Support could include providing flexible working hours and conditions as well as pastoral support, such as assisting with travel to appointments or supporting community participation.
  • Support Funds provide funding to contribute to the additional costs incurred because of having a disability or health condition in order to undertake work or work-related training. There are specific categories of assistance that Support Funds can be used for, which includes workplace modifications, specialised equipment or software, job coaching, NZSL interpreters, and access to accessible transport to work.
  • Universal programmes help disabled people get into paid work and support them toward getting a long-term job. Clients are placed in created or adapted jobs, for up to one year, to assist them to gain knowledge, skills, and experience necessary to gain employment on merit in the future or retain an adapted permanent position.
  • Talking books: MSD contributes towards the costs of distributing audio books, magazines, and newspapers to blind people.
  • Outward Bound provides courses for people with an intellectual, physical and/or sensory disability or health condition. The aim of these courses is to improve motivation, self-confidence, and self-esteem.

Peke Waihanga – Artificial Limb Service (overseen by MSD)

Peke Waihanga – Artificial Limb Service external URL is a Crown Entity and specialist healthcare provider that manufactures medical devices, mainly artificial limbs, for individual patients with an integrated rehabilitation and coordination of care service, and peer support service.

Health New Zealand (overseen by the Ministry of Health)

In addition to universal health and mental health services that should be accessible to disabled people in the same way they are available to other New Zealanders, there are some services funded in the health system that are more specific to disabled people (including those with long-term health and age-related disabling conditions). This includes:

Ministry of Education

All children have the right of enrolment at their local mainstream school. Therefore, one of the Ministry of Education’s (MoE) roles is to provide specific support for disabled children or children with additional learning support needs. This may include:

Social and Community Housing

Disabled people are expected to have equitable access to Social and Community Housing, including:

  • The social housing register, means assessment, and income-related rent is administered by MSD. Social Housing is provided by Kāinga Ora and community housing providers. Community housing registrations and funding assessments are managed by the Community Housing Regulatory Authority (part of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)). A disabled person who lives in a residential facility cannot register for public housing.
    Apply for public housing - Work and Income external URL
  • Tenancy Services (MBIE) external URL  external URL provides assistance with bonds and private residential tenancy issues, and hardship assistance for Bond.
  • Rent in advance and rent in arrears can be applied for through Work and Income, a part of MSD.
    Rent in Advance Grant - Work and Income external URL
  • Tenancy disputes with community or social housing providers, and private residential tenancies can be taken to the Tenancy Tribunal. Tenancy Tribunal » Tenancy Services external URL
  • Mainstream tenancy rights do not apply to funded residential services where the service provider is the owner.

Accident Compensation Corporation

No-fault personal injury cover for all New Zealanders. ACC administers support for people with injury-related needs and disabilities, dependant on individual needs and circumstances.

Oranga Tamariki

Oranga Tamariki is responsible for the care and protection of children and young people, including many with disabilities. This includes:

  • High and Complex Needs Unit supports whānau (including kin and non-kin caregivers) with children and young people who have high and complex needs.
    High and Complex Needs ( external URL
  • Support for the care and protection of children and young people with disabilities in their care. Oranga Tamariki holds a Memorandum of Understanding with Whaikaha, which outlines circumstances where Whaikaha will contribute to the costs of DSS eligible children in the care of OT (in particular, the disability support costs of children in OT long-term out of home care). 

Department of Internal Affairs

In addition to universal services, specific assistance is available with: 

Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (MBIE)


[1] MSD is responsible for administering residential subsidies, however policy and funding responsibility sit with the Ministry of Health/Health New Zealand (Residential Care Subsidy, for people with age-related disabilities, and Residential Support Subsidy for people with psychiatric disabilities) and Ministry of Disabled People – Whaikaha (Residential Support Subsidy, which is also for people with physical, sensory and intellectual disabilities).

[2] The High Use Health Card is included in this list, as it is probably more likely to be accessed by people with disabling long-term health conditions, however it's important to note that anyone accessing a doctor over 12 times a year in relation to a particular condition may be eligible.