The IHC Advocacy Team works for long-term social change to make sure people with intellectual disabilities have a fair shot at a good life in New Zealand.

What we do

Our aim is to improve outcomes for people with intellectual disabilities in:

  • education
  • employment
  • economic security
  • health and wellbeing
  • rights protection and justice
  • accessibility
  • attitudes
  • choice and control
  • leadership

We work hard to persuade government, decision-makers and other organisations to change their laws, policies, practices and beliefs so that the rights of people with intellectual disabilities are upheld.

We work to solve issues that affect a large group of people. This is Systemic Advocacy. The sorts of issues this advocacy addresses are often a problem with a system, meaning a lot of people are experiencing the same problem.

Our vision is that New Zealand is a place where people with intellectual disabilities are valued citizens and part of their community.

We work alongside people with lived experience and their families and whānau, disability service providers and communities across the country.

Our work is grounded in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights, and the Disability Action Plan.

Our campaigns

IHC undertakes different campaigns that focus on key issues facing people with intellectual disability.

Some of our previous campaigns have been focussed on elections, education, safeguarding citizenship and rights, supported decision-making and quality of life monitoring.

Contact us

Call IHC Advocacy toll free on 0800 442 442, email: or find us on Twitter @tania_ihc.

IHC Advocacy team

Report: From Data to Dignity

New Zealanders have long life expectancies, but new research from IHC shows that intellectually disabled New Zealanders die up to 20 years earlier than the rest of the population.

This groundbreaking report, From Data to Dignity: Health and Wellbeing Indicators for New Zealanders with Intellectual Disability, reveals people with intellectual disabilities are experiencing poor outcomes in most areas of life. This research is a world first, providing comprehensive quantitative data about people with intellectual disability across many different areas.

Ākona: IHC’s Education Campaign

We believe all students with a disability have a human right to attend their local school, feel welcome and included, have access to the curriculum, and have fair outcomes from a quality education. Unfortunately, students with disabilities have been treated unfairly within the New Zealand education system for far too long. They have been discriminated against by not having access to what they need to thrive at school. In 2008, after decades of work with the Ministry of Education to solve the problems, IHC lodged a complaint under the Human Rights Act 1993. We are still waiting for our day in court, but we continue to push forward.

Find out more about IHC's Education Complaint

Text that reads Ākona: 'To teach everyone'. Image of boy reading book at school.

Our submissions

Submission to Law Commission about Review of Adult Decision-making Capacity Law
July 8, 2024

IHC has concerns about the existing framework for GPs and their role in conducting decision making capacity assessments.

Submission to the Education and Workforce Select Committee about Education and Training Amendment Bill (No 3)
May 8, 2023

IHC believes that the Bill when enacted has the potential to reduce many of the barriers currently experienced by disabled students.

Joint Submission of IHC and IDEA Services about the Law Commission’s Review of Adult Decision-Making Capacity Law Preliminary Issues Paper
March 14, 2023

IHC and IDEA Services say New Zealand must hasten its path to embedding effective and appropriate supported decision-making and ending historic substitute decision-making frameworks.

More submissions
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Physical restraint in Residential Specialist Schools

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IHC Inclusive Education Survey 2022

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Improving life for people with intellectual disability

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What We Believe

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Are We There Yet NZ? Analysis of IHC's Tomorrow's Schools Review Campaign

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Just say hi

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Supporting Decision-Making

More Advocacy documents

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