How the three DHBs work with people with disabilities

We work at strategic and daily operations level across Capital & Coast, Hutt Valley and Wairarapa DHBs to acknowledge the voices and meet the needs of the people with disabilities who use our services.

Disability Responsiveness Programme to empower disabled communities

Around a third of people who visit Wellington Hospital identify themselves as disabled, and a quarter of people in New Zealand live with a disability. The Capital & Coast, Hutt Valley, and Wairarapa District Health Boards (DHBs) run a Disability Responsiveness Programme to empower disabled communities. This programme promotes a human rights-based health care service that’s inclusive and accessible, so all people feel safe and comfortable.

The disability responsiveness team educates staff and provides resources to the DHBs, creating an enabling environment for people living with a disability or chronic condition.

Capital and Coast, Hutt Valley and Wairarapa District Health Board’s Sub-regional Disability Strategy 2017-2022

Our Sub-regional Disability Strategy lays out a clear direction for health sector leaders working with disability communities. It aims to ensure disabled people get fair results from healthcare. It explains how we can achieve change over the next 5 years, and beyond.

Patients who have multiple requirements tend to have a more complicated experience with the health system. This means that if we make health services easier to navigate, they’ll work better for patients. We’re moving to a more positive approach, focusing on:

  1. providing leadership
  2. including and supporting patients
  3. improving access
  4. improving health outcomes

Download a copy of the Sub-regional Disability Strategy.

Capital and Coast District Health Board’s Sub-regional Disability Advisory Group (SRDAG)

Our combined disability advisory group ensures the voices of people with disabilities are heard across the Capital & Coast, Hutt Valley and Wairarapa District Health Boards (DHBs).

Most of the group’s members have disabilities themselves. At least 50% are Tāngata Whaikaha (Maori people with disabilities), reflecting a Treaty Partnership. One of our two co-chairs is Māori. The Pacific Steering Group and People First NZ also have a seat on the group.  

The group’s purpose is to:

  • provide advice and leadership from a disability point of view on health service policies and designing, planning, and delivering health services across the three DHBs
  • provide advice from a disability point of view on the priorities and work programme of the Sub-Regional Disability Strategy, and monitor how people act on it
  • seek the feedback of disabled people
  • find new and better ways of getting the best results for people with disabilities
  • represent disabled people on the statutory committees for the three DHBs, such as the Disability Support Advisory Committee and the Health Systems Committee
  • increase opportunities for people with disabilities to take part in decision-making across the three DHBs
  • support the DHBs to collect information and understand the needs of people with disabilities.

Disability Responsiveness action plan

The Disability Responsiveness action plan is still in development. We will be updating this page shortly. 

Read the Sub-Regional Disability Strategy 2017 – 2022. (PDF)

Sub Regional Disability Advisory Group and Strategy 

Sub Regional Disability Strategy 2017-2022

We launched our new strategy in June 2017. You can read the news story about it here and download a copy of the strategy here.

Sub-Regional Disability Advisory Group

A combined disability advisory group was established to ensure people with disabilities have a forum to enable their voices to be heard across the region (Capital & Coast, Hutt Valley and Wairarapa DHBs).

The Sub-Regional Disability Advisory Group will advise the three boards and their board advisory committees on public health matters and disability support, as the three DHBs work in partnership to integrate their services.

As well as membership from across the DHBs, the advisory group has been set up to ensure representation from the Māori and Pacific communities, disability self-advocacy group People First, and other independent organisations.

Members of the Sub-Regional Disability Advisory Group will provide links and liaise with the multiple disability networks in their communities.

They will also oversee the 5-year Implementation Plan, which aims to ensure the sub-region leads the way to improved health outcomes for people who live with a disability.


Last updated 27 May 2022.