Outcome 4 - Rights protection and justice

Our rights are protected; we feel safe, understood and are treated fairly and equitably by the justice system.

Our future and what needs to happen

We will continue to be treated with fairness and respect at all stages of our journey through the justice system, regardless of whether we are victims, perpetrators, witnesses, or fulfilling a civic duty such as jury service.

Those of us who need services or supports specific to our impairment will receive them, wherever possible, the first time we interact with the justice system. We will continue to receive these supports in a way that does not require us to keep telling our story or risk missing out on something we need, unless our needs change. The people we interact with have a good understanding of any impact our impairment may have on our journey, and take this into account as appropriate.

Those of us who need support to communicate or make decisions receive it in an appropriate way at the right time, and those decisions are recognised and respected. We will continue to be recognised as a person before the law. We feel secure exercising our rights as there are appropriate safeguards in place, even if we need support to make decisions and understand what’s happening. 

For those of us who end up in the youth or adult justice system, the transition out of it is accompanied by rehabilitation services that recognise and understand our impairment, and help us to find a positive place in society.

If we feel unsafe, vulnerable to or affected by violence and abuse, we will continue to have access to support that recognises our needs and responds effectively and with sensitivity. We also feel confident in speaking up or complaining if we have been discriminated against or hurt, because we are listened to and our concerns are addressed.

Our needs and rights continue to be taken into account in any prevention and response initiatives. This includes making sure there continues to be safeguards in place for those of us who may be at risk of violence and abuse (for example, caring relationships, community awareness).

What this means:

  • Disabled people are consulted on and actively involved in the development and implementation of legislation and policies concerning justice, violence and abuse prevention and human rights.
  • The justice sector is barrier-free and inclusive of disabled people with supports and services specific to a person’s impairment provided readily when required.
  • All justice sector professionals treat disabled people with dignity and respect.
  • Supported decision-making will increasingly be recognised and disabled people can use it in practice.
  • Decision-making on issues regarding justice, violence and abuse prevention and human rights is informed by robust data and evidence.



The existing Disability Action Plan will be the primary tool for implementing the New Zealand Disability Strategy 2016-2026.

In the past the Plan only included actions that needed more than one government agency to carry out. Therefore there are no specific actions in the existing Plan relating to this outcome.

However, in future the Plan will also include actions for which individual agencies are responsible.

The Plan will be updated next year and public consultation will be held to ensure that the priorities for action are informed by what disabled people and the community says is most important for them. See Making it Work for more information.

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