Skip to Full Menu

Providing information, education, and training to build knowledge, develop skills, and change attitudes that will lead to increased independence, productivity, self determination, integration and inclusion (IPSII) for people with developmental disabilities and their families.

Advocates Celebrate 'Institution-Free' New Zealand
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
November 20, 2006

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND--Disability advocates gathered with members of the New Zealand government on November 14 to mark the end of an era: The closure of the last institution in the nation housing people with intellectual disabilities.

Several hundred people -- many of them former residents of the 13 state-run institutions that have closed over the past 40 years -- gathered in Parliament to celebrate with song, cake and speeches.

Government officials called the successful de-institutionalization of New Zealand an indication of the country's 'maturity' and an example of it being a world leader in providing community-based services to people with disabilities.

Disability Issues Minister Ruth Dyson said: "The deinstitutionalization process was about ensuring people with intellectual and physical disabilities can live in the community and do day-to-day things most of us take for granted."

People First New Zealand's Graeme Parish, who was institutionalized at age 6, said people with disabilities just want to live ordinary lives.

"When you see a person with a learning disability serving you petrol, making you coffee in a cafe, walking down the street with their partner, walking their dog -- this is ordinary, this is what we want."

Celebration marks end of institutionalised care (New Zealand Press Association)
People First New Zealand
Culture Of Abuse Revealed At Former New Zealand Institutions (Inclusion Daily Express Archives)


©2018 The Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities
 370 Centennial Office Building  658 Cedar Street   St. Paul, Minnesota 55155 
Phone: 651.296.4018   Toll-free number: 877.348.0505   MN Relay Service: 800.627.3529 OR 711   Fax: 651.297.7200 
Email:   View Privacy Policy   An Equal Opportunity Employer 

The GCDD is funded under the provisions of P.L. 106-402. The federal law also provides funding to the Minnesota Disability Law Center,the state Protection and Advocacy System, and to the Institute on Community Integration, the state University Center for Excellence. The Minnesota network of programs works to increase the IPSII of people with developmental disabilities and families into community life.