Rights and Entitlements


Living with a disability or supporting someone means that there are certain rights and benefits that you may be entitled to. Your local Regional Community Support Staff are able to provide information and support around access to these services and help provide advocacy on your behalf.


Disability Rights


Human Rights




Needs Assessment and Service Coordination


Scholarships, Grants and Awards


Total Mobility


Mobility Parking








Disability Rights

Your Rights When Receiving a Health or Disability Service

The following is an outline of the rights guaranteed by the law known as the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights. They apply to all health and disability services, whether you pay for them or not.

Respect – You should always be treated with respect. This includes respect for your culture, values and beliefs, as well as your right to personal privacy.

Fair Treatment – No-one should discriminate against you, pressure you into something you do not want or take advantage of you in any way.

Dignity and Independence – Services should support you to live a dignified life, independent life.

Proper Standards – You have the right to be treated with care and skill, and to receive services that reflect your needs. All those involved in your care should work together for you.

Communication – You have the right to be listened to, understood and receive information in whatever way you need. When it is necessary and practicable an interpreter should be available.

Information – You have the right to have your condition explained and be told what your choices are. This includes how long you may have to wait, an estimate of any costs and likely benefits and side effects. You can ask any questions to help you be fully informed.

It’s Your Decision – It’s up to you to decide. You can say no or change your mind at any time.

Support – You have the right to have someone with you to give you support in most circumstances.

Teaching and Research – All these rights also apply when taking part in teaching and research.

Complaints – It is OK to complain – your complaints help improve services. It must be easy for you to make a complaint, and it should not have an adverse effect on the way you are treated.


Further info:

Code of Rights – Health and Disability Commissioner Freephone 0800 11 22 33

Respecting Your Rights – Videos – Health and Disability Commissioner

Disability Information Advisory Services

CCS Disability Action


Human Rights

Human Rights Commission – The Commission’s purpose is to promote and protect the human rights of all people in Aotearoa New Zealand. Working for a free, fair, safe and just New Zealand, where diversity is valued and human dignity and rights are respected.



Lottery Individuals with Disabilities provides funding to people living with disabilities to buy equipment that helps them connect with, take part in and contribute to their communities. For this fund, a disability refers to a long-term (i.e. six months or longer) limiting condition that affects a person’s ability to participate in the community.

Lottery Individuals with Disabilities will fund vehicles, vehicle modifications, scooters and other mobility equipment that will provide outdoor mobility. It also provides grants to people who have disabilities that affect their communication, to buy equipment to help them communicate.

Your Regional MS Community Support Staff can help put together your application and provide any support or advice when applying.


Further info:

Lottery Individuals with Disabilities Grant Website


Needs Assessment and Service Coordination

If you or someone you care for needs support because of a disability, you’ll need to talk to a Needs Assessment and Service Coordination service (NASC).

NASCs are organisations contracted by the Ministry of Health to work with disabled people and their family, whānau, aiga, or carers, to:

  • identify their strengths and support needs
  • outline what disability support services are available
  • determine their eligibility for Ministry-funded support services.

NASCs allocate Ministry-funded disability support services and help with accessing other supports. These services are then delivered by their respective service providers.


What’s involved in a needs assessment?

A needs assessment looks at your abilities, resources, goals and needs and the NASC will work with you to identify which of these is the most important.

The goal of the assessment is to figure out how to maximise your independence so that you can participate as fully as possible in society.


Who’s eligible for a needs assessment?

The needs assessment is available for those who meet the Ministry’s definition of disability. The Ministry funds services for people with a physical, intellectual and/or sensory impairment or disability that is

  • likely to continue for a minimum of 6 months
  • reduces your ability to function independently, to the extent that ongoing support is required.


Acknowledgement: Ministry of Health

Click here for further information and to review eligibility.



MSNZ provides a number of scholarships and grants for people with MS. See here for more information.


Total Mobility

The Total Mobility Scheme provides subsidised licensed taxi services to people who have an impairment that prevents them from undertaking any one or more of the following five components of a journey unaccompanied, on a bus, train or ferry in a safe and dignified manner:

  • getting to the place from where the transport departs
  • getting onto the transport
  • riding securely
  • getting off the transport
  • getting to the destination


The scheme provides:

  • vouchers or electronic cards to eligible scheme members that discount the normal taxi (or specialist transport provider) fare by 50 percent up to a maximum fare (set by the relevant regional council, or Auckland Transport)
  • funding to scheme providers to help purchase and install wheelchair
  • payment to the owners of hoist vehicles for each Total Mobility Scheme member who requires the use of a wheelchair hoist on a trip

Acknowledgement: Ministry of Transport


Further info:

Ministry of Transport
NZ Transport Agency’s user guide Total Mobility around New Zealand

What drivers with disabilities need to know – A guide from Autotrader UK


Mobility Parking

Mobility parking permit holders can use mobility parking spaces, which are wider than standard parks and closer to venues. These spaces are marked with the disability symbol and in many areas are now painted blue.

The permit also allows the permit holder to park in some regular parking spaces for longer than the designated time. This varies depending on where in New Zealand the permit holder lives.

To ensure that mobility parking spaces are available for people who really need them, there are clear criteria on who is eligible for a permit and permit holder’s responsibilities.

Click here to review the eligibility criteria and application form.


Acknowledgement: CCS Disability Action


Further info:

Mobility Parking Permit Scheme

CCS Disability Action




Caring can be hard work. If you are the full-time, unpaid carer for a disabled person, then respite services and carer support are available for you from the government. These are services funded by the Ministry of Health to give you a break, and ensure that the person you care for gets the care and support they need in the meantime.

  • Respite Services – Respite Services are community-based services designed to provide short-term breaks for the carers of a disabled person, while also providing a positive, stimulating and worthwhile experience for the disabled person.
  • Carer Support – Carer Support provides reimbursement of some of the costs of using a support person to care and support a disabled person. This means their carer can take some time out for themselves.

Further info:

Ministry of Health



Work and Income provides employment services and financial assistance throughout New Zealand.



MS & Pregnancy
Life with MS

Starting a family when you have MS

Life with MS

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Your Diagnosis
Life with MS

Advice and support when newly diagnosed