New Zealanders with disabilities

June 18th, 2014 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

Some interesting data from Stats NZ 2013 disability survey.

  • 24% (1.06 million) of the population have a disability, up from 20% (760 million) in 2001
  • By age 11% of under 15s have a disability rising to 59% of over 65%
  • By ethnicity 23% of Maori aged 15 to 44 have a disability, 16% of Europeans, 17% of Pacific and just 10% of Asians
  • 11% of population have a sensory disability, 14% physical, 2% intellectual, and 5% psychiatric/psychological
  • 9% have a hearing disability, 4% a sight disability, 13% a mobility disability, 7% agility disability, 3% speaking disability, 5% learning disability and 4% remembering disability
  • 41% of those with a disability say it is due to disease or illness, 31% accident or injury, 14% had since birth and 28% due to aging
  • Auckland has the lowest disability rate at 19% and Taranaki highest at 30%
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23 Responses to “New Zealanders with disabilities”

  1. eszett (2,401 comments) says:

    24% (1.06 million) of the population have a disability????

    That’s rather high number or a very loose definition of disability.

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  2. Unity (530 comments) says:

    I get absolutely fed up with ‘Maori’ percentages. It’s time we went back to the blood quantum so we could have more accurate figures and reporting. How can someone who is more than half non-Maori be classified in the Maori statistics? I would say if we went back to blood quantum, the percentage of Maori in this country would be in well into single figures – possibly as low as 5%.

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  3. nasska (11,277 comments) says:

    Would interesting to get a breakdown of disabilities suffered by the supporters of the CCCP. Probably something like:

    10% hearing

    40% psychiatric/psychological

    10% learning

    10% remembering (unless it involved the good old days)

    Balance – atrophy of frontal lobes due to religious belief. :)

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  4. redqueen (555 comments) says:

    The remember disability rate and NZ First’s vote are unsurprisingly similar…

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  5. kowtow (8,323 comments) says:

    nasska’s in those stats.

    He has C O D .

    Conservative Obsessive Disorder.

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  6. mjwilknz (605 comments) says:

    Thanks for the empathetic comments, guys.

    For anyone who’s interested, there’s a good Ted Talk on disabilities here. It’s of Stella Young talking about inspiration porn and the objectification of disability.

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  7. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,888 comments) says:

    I’m surprised they don’t include all those who have died during the last ten years. They might as well dress up the figures properly. After all, death is the ultimate disability.

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  8. tamati (75 comments) says:

    I’m colour blind, meaning I really struggle to match shirts and ties, I guess that would meet the broad definition of a disability.

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  9. dubya (229 comments) says:

    Tamati, it never held Tony Ryall back!

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  10. Rachel5 (3 comments) says:

    Before you go mocking the figure (probably more people around you have a disability than you realise, they won’t say due to the attitudes you project about disabled people)

    Consider this. No increase in disabilty employment figures for over 10 years. What a waste of untapped potential.

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  11. Steve (North Shore) (4,547 comments) says:

    25% or more will vote Labour, there’s a brain dead disorder

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  12. kowtow (8,323 comments) says:

    rachel

    No increase in disability employment……..that was caused by “equality” obsession disorder. I think Labour suffer from it disproportionately.

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  13. Rachel5 (3 comments) says:

    Kowtow. New stats on disability employment due in July. Not expecting anything different

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  14. chiz (1,133 comments) says:

    eszett:That’s rather high number or a very loose definition of disability.

    I’ll stick my hand up here. I’m short-sighted and wear glasses. I sometimes tick the disability box in surveys.

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  15. spanish_tudor (66 comments) says:

    If we take out all the people who are fat and lazy, how much does the percentage of the population who think they have a disability decrease?

    An inability to stop stuffing cream buns in your gob is not a disability.

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  16. Changeiscoming (184 comments) says:

    You are an FWIT Nasska and a coward. You make fun of people with dissabilities is as about as low as low can get. if you said that in my presence I would punch you.

    DPF what Nasska said is highly offensive.

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  17. Monique Angel (288 comments) says:

    It’s pretty normal but weird to have a disability.
    I suffered a massive stroke at the age of 31 whilst pregnant. As a result I was left completely paralyzed on the left side of my body. I had to learn to walk again with a toddler and a baby in tow. I retain a severe limp which impedes mobility.
    Disability tends to manifest itself acutely in not-so-obvious but profound conditions.For me it’s a condition known as prosopagnosia. Otherwise known as ‘Face Blindness’. A cognitive disorder of face perception where the ability to recognize faces is impaired. Sufferers rely on other visual cues to identify even those closest to them.
    Waking up next to a man in the same bed I’ve slept in for the past 20 years tells me the fellow occupant is most likely my husband. But I can’t always pick my child out in the school photo.

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  18. Johnboy (16,064 comments) says:

    I’ve got a disability. Caught it off my sheep. Every time I open my mouth I get my foot stuck in it. I’m not even a Murri! :)

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  19. WineOh (630 comments) says:

    Astonishing to think that a quarter of the population are “disabled.”

    But we need then need to think about what that term actually means. My natural instinct is to equate ‘disabled’ with ‘total and permanently disabled’ but this is not fair or accurate. The majority of people over the age of 60 will likely have some form of disability- both of my parents fall into this category but although over 65 both continue to work in challenging enterprises. A

    IMBO, as a sign of our first world medical creep though, significant numbers of kids are diagnosed with mental disabilities that are probably better described as behavioural problems. Others would likely improve with the odd smack on the bum to sort them out rather than being treated as a special citizen.

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  20. Crusader (305 comments) says:

    Memory loss is a disability too, i.e. the present Leader of the Opposition is obviously disabled in this regard.
    See, disabled people are reaching high office in 21st Century New Zealand.

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  21. PaulL (5,970 comments) says:

    A question here is what proportion are disabled to the point that:
    1. They get additional taxpayer support
    2. They are partially or fully unable to work

    It makes sense that we, as a population, are getting more sensitive to disabilities – things that people used to be expected to “just suck up” are now things that we see as a disorder and cut them some slack for. But the list of things that stop you from working shouldn’t be increasing – in this day and age working is less physically demanding and there are a greater range of occupations such that there should be something for everyone. Also, there are a greater range of treatments, so things that were debilitating in the past should no longer be.

    In short, it makes sense that there are more people we recognise as having a condition, but it doesn’t make sense to me that the numbers on the disability benefit continue to grow. The one should not necessarily lead to the other, and I think it’s the numbers on the disability benefit that cause the greatest unhappiness amongst those who rail against the increases in the disability “industry”.

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  22. Psycho Milt (2,411 comments) says:

    That’s rather high number or a very loose definition of disability.

    It’s the definition. Apparently I’m ‘disabled’ via having type 1 diabetes, which I guess is technically correct – there’s a body part that has stopped working. But in terms of physical incapacity this ‘disability’ amounts to the inability to survive extended periods without access to insulin, which is not a circumstance that tends to arise for people in this country. They really should come up with a definition that involves genuine incapacity.

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  23. Akaroa (552 comments) says:

    When I see info and figures such as those in the header to this debate I’m reminded of what a crock statistics generally are.

    Who was it who said, “There are lies, damned lies and statistics’? He/she got that right!!

    Don’t ask me to go into boring, involved details, but a lifetime’s experience of observing claims that the ‘Stats on this…’ or the ‘Stats on that go to undeniably prove claims A,B,C and Z” has taught me that – as some wiseacre once pointed out – stats can be used to prove or disprove anything atall. (And if you don’t believe me go ask the marketeeers)

    There are stats based on miniscule samples, stats responding to the wrong questions and stats for stats sake.

    So when i see something claiming that ‘Statistics have once and for all proven that…….” I remember what Hermann Goering, (or was it Josef Goebells?), said in an, admittedly slightly different, context.

    He said – ‘When someone quotes statistics to me I reach for my revolver!”

    Well,maybe not quite as extreme as that – but I’m sure you get the point!.

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