Prompted by the United Nations’ indication that New Zealand needs to collect better data about disabled people, the decision has been made to include questions on disability in the 2018 Census.
Disability Issues Minister Nicky Wagner is welcoming the decision.
“The Census collects important data about who we are as New Zealanders. Including a question set to identify people who are disabled will provide us with valuable information about their lives,” says Wagner.
The questions are based on the Washington Group Short Set of Questions on Disability — considered best practice internationally for identifying disabled people in population censuses. The Washington set of questions was recently included in the New Zealand General Social Survey and the Household Labour Force Survey. Other sources of national disability data include the 2013 Disability Survey, The New Zealand Health Survey and The New Zealand Mental Health Survey.
“The United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has indicated New Zealand needs to collect better data about disabled people, so I’m pleased to see we’re rising to the challenge and doing the right thing by this diverse group of Kiwis,” Wagner says.
“Having up to date and meaningful data is critical for understanding the experiences of disabled people as well as informing policy development and service planning. Along with information gathered from talking to disabled people about their experiences, census data will be used to develop outcome measures for the New Zealand Disability Strategy 2016–2026.”