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dc.contributor.advisorFreeman, Claire
dc.contributor.authorRoss, Christopher Hayden
dc.identifier.citationRoss, C. H. (2012). Disability Strategies - Do they work?: An analysis of Dunedin City Council and New Plymouth District Council’s Disability Strategies (Thesis, Master of Planning). University of Otago. Retrieved from
dc.description.abstractSeventeen percent of the New Zealand population has a disability, many of whom are reliant upon local authorities to support their lives, remove physical or social barriers, and create inclusiveness. Several policies and goals to address these issues can be found in disability strategies (Statistics New Zealand, 2006a). This research broadly asks the question “Do local authority disability strategies work, from the perspective of the end user?” – The person with the disability and community. It examines the ways in which two local authorities – Dunedin City Council and New Plymouth District Council – developed, implemented and monitored their disability strategies, and the effect these strategies are having on the disability community. To achieve this, a comparative method was used, which involved using primary data (key informant interviews) and secondary (documents and reports) data for Dunedin and New Plymouth as well as National and International examples. People with disabilities are often excluded from society, are marginalized and often discriminated against. Society has for years intentionally or unintentionally put in place barriers, socially or physically, which have created many limitations for people with disabilities. However governments and communities increasingly understand the importance of creating equality and inclusiveness. Local authorities have begun to develop disability strategies to help create a more inclusive society for those living with disabilities in their community. Local authorities, under the Local Government Act are required to promote the social, environmental, economic and cultural wellbeing of their community, as well as maintaining, developing and managing community needs, infrastructure, public spaces, accessibility networks, and events amongst other services all of which have influence on those with disabilities. The results of this research indicate that the disability strategy in New Plymouth has been successful, with supportive community facilitation, and a strategic implementation process, reflective of adopting a whole of Council approach. This process enables the New Plymouth District Council Disability Strategy to have a positive effect on the community, although not as significant as many would have hoped. However, there are nevertheless improvements in attitudes towards recognising disability as a significant issue for the community, especially within the Council. On the other hand the Dunedin City Council’s Disability Strategy was developed by a disability consultant, and then adopted by Council, which has had many consequences later on. It is seen by the disability community as not very successful. In contrast there is the view within Council that the disability strategy is having some effectiveness, even if the changes are just in background attitudinal changes within Council. However there is a lack of monitoring or review, despite guidelines set out in the strategy, which makes evaluation of effectiveness difficult. Dunedin’s disability community was also found to be fragmented and not as inclusive as New Plymouth’s. This research identifies the need to create different ways of monitoring effectiveness, as where current monitoring is undertaken the focus is on quantifying changes, such as footpath widening and ramp installation rather than on meaningful quality of life improvements for people with disabilities. The New Zealand Disability Strategy has had little impact on the identification of disability issues for either Council. An analysis of who the strategies are targeting highlighted that the Dunedin City Council and New Plymouth District Council Disability Strategies were focused on people with physical disabilities rather than those with an intellectual impairment. A number of recommendations are made for local authorities throughout New Zealand and within the case study local authorities, as well as suggesting potential future research. These recommendations include; Recommendation Five: More emphasis needs to be placed on creating changes to meet the needs of people with disabilities other than physical and Recommendation Seven: The DCC needs to show the progress of the disability strategy to the community, even if progress is only happening internally. Further, both the DCC and the NPDC need to focus greater importance on timely monitoring and review of their disability strategy This research provides practical advice for local authorities who currently have a disability strategy, and is also beneficial for local authorities who are looking at implementing a disability strategy within their region. It is hoped that this advice will further strengthen disability strategies throughout New Zealand and enhance the experience for people with disabilities – the end users of the disability strategies.
dc.publisherUniversity of Otago
dc.rightsAll items in OUR Archive are provided for private study and research purposes and are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subjectNew Plymouth
dc.subjectNew Zealand Disability Strategy
dc.subjectLocal Authorities
dc.titleDisability Strategies - Do they work?: An analysis of Dunedin City Council and New Plymouth District Council’s Disability Strategies
dc.language.rfc3066en - Geography Otago of Planning of Otago
otago.openaccessAbstract Only
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