The DPO Coalition meets with a wide range of agencies. The objective of our meetings with officials is always to get improved outcomes for disabled people. We regularly discuss the need to ensure accessibility and to uphold the rights of disabled people under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (“the Disability Convention”). Here are some key messages from our recent meeting.

Whaikaha Ministry of Disabled People

The DPO Coalition met with Ben O’Meara Deputy Chief Executive Policy, Strategy and Partnerships | Sheryl Pinckney, Group Manager Partnerships and Stewardship. Topics discussed include:

  • Accessibility Legislation – we were informed that the Minister for Disability Issues has asked Whaikaha for advice over the coming 12 months around whether the accessibility bill as it stands is the best way forward. The DPO Coalition looks forward to working with the Minister for Disability Issues as she progresses this mahi.
  • New Disability Action Plan | Concluding Observations update: Discussions about the current Disability Action Plan 2018-2023 and the new Plan are ongoing. Whaikaha shared their views about taking a different approach to those discussed previously with the DPO Coalition and the Independent Monitoring Mechanism.
  • United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities | Independent Expert and Sir Robert Martin: The DPO Coalition asked questions about whether the Government is putting forward a nomination for the UN Committee. Sir Robert Martin’s term on the Committee ends late in 2024.

Te Manatū Waka Ministry of Transport | Total Mobility Scheme

The DPO Coalition met with Dmitry Mitenkoff Policy Advisor Urban Development and Public Transport, Whitney Adam Senior Adviser, and Bridget Doran from MRCagney. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the review of the Scheme. How Total Mobility operates and how it can be improved to remove barriers and achieve better outcomes for disabled people, such as improving access to their communities, social networks, cultural needs, health services, education and employment opportunities.

There will be opportunities for people to engage with the review process. Each of the DPOs will publicise information as this comes available. You can contact your DPO for more information otherwise contact or
Review of the Total Mobility Scheme | Ministry of Transport.

The TM Scheme project team will consult further with the Coalition on the TM Scheme’s purpose and then make recommendations to the Ministry of Transport.  There was agreement for the TM Scheme project team to meet with the DPO Coalition again in May 2024.

Office of the Ombudsman | Tari o te Kaitiaki ManaTangata | Olivia Soesbergen, Manager Disability Rights

Olivia gave a general overview of disability related work of the Office of the Ombudsman. This includes monitoring progress in these areas:

  • Accessible communication.
  • Employment application accessibility.
  • Engagement with the Disabled Community.

New Secretariat

We welcome Vanessa Brougham who brings her valuable strengths in executive administration and governance experience to the team.

DPO Coalition – Self-assessment against Attributes

Each DPO completed the self-assessment against the Attributes. The Coalition then assessed themselves against the criteria attributes. All DPOs meet all requirements. The Attributes cover a range of criteria such as:

  • DPOs meet AGM requirements and demonstrate how their members influence outcomes.
  • Has a legal status.
  • The main purpose of DPOs is to implement rights as per the Disability Convention.
  • DPOs must be governed by a majority of disabled people.

The DPO Attributes are available upon request to the Secretariat.

Reviewing our work plan for 2024

The Coalition reviewed its work programme for 2024 and this incorporates our Te Tiriti O Waitangi mahi, meetings with the Minister for Disability Issues, government officials and others such as the Disability Rights Commissioner, Deputy Health and Disability Commissioner.


 If you are interested in being considered as a DPO Coalition representative on advisory groups about a particular topic, please contact your DPO.

Voice of disabled people.

The DPO Coalition is the first place that the Government goes to when wanting to engage with the voice of disabled people. We are continually looking for new member organisations to join the DPO Coalition to increase our coverage across the disability community. New members must represent disabled people who are not already represented by an existing member.