Information for disabled people

This section contains information specifically for disabled people.

Face coverings and exemptions

You legally must wear a face coverings on public transport, including planes at all Alert Levels. However, we know that some people who have a disability or health condition may not be able to wear a face covering safely or comfortably. If you cannot wear one, you can get an exemption card. You can show your exemption card when needed, for example to a bus driver.

You do not need to have an exemption card, but you may feel more comfortable showing something official to confirm you cannot wear a face covering.

Get an exemption card

You can get a printable version, or a card that you can show on your phone. If these are not suitable, call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 and they will talk through other options with you.

Download exemption card for face coverings (external link)

wheelchair user with face covering

Book your COVID-19 vaccination now

If you're aged 60 or over, or you're in rollout groups 1, 2, or 3, you can book your vaccination now.

Bookings for the rest of Aotearoa will open soon in age bands, from oldest to youngest.

Once it’s your time to book, there’s no cut off — you can book any time.

How to book your vaccination

Videos

Videos

Under the Health Code, you have the right to be told everything about your health and the care that you are receiving.

You must give informed consent before any procedure takes place, including getting a vaccine.

Before asking for your consent, your doctor or healthcare provider should clearly explain to you:

  • what happens during the procedure
  • what other options there might be
  • what you can expect after the procedure
  • any risks that may be associated with the procedure.

You can also ask any questions that you may have about the procedure.

For more information on informed consent, please refer to ’Right 7’ of the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights.

Read the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights (external link)

Supported decision-making

Supported decision-making is considered best practice by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with a Disability (UNCRPD), of which New Zealand is a signatory, and is recognised as a right for everyone in New Zealand.

Supported decision-making is a way for people to make their own decisions based on their will and preferences, so they have control of their life. It ensures the person who needs support is at the centre of all decisions that concern them.

Supported decision-making is different from ‘substitute decision-making’. Substitute decision-making is when someone else makes decisions for a person, including making decisions in the person’s best interests. While substitute decision-making has often been used informally, by family or friends, or formally, such as an Enduring Power of Attorney or by service providers, there is now a move to supported decision-making.

Supported decision-making on the Ministry of Social Development’s website (external link)

Ministry of Health's COVID-19 vaccination program: Guidance and practical tools for supporting disabled people with decision-making and consent [PDF, 1.5 MB] (external link)

Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers' Rights

In New Zealand, when you use a health or disability service you have rights. The rights are called the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers' Rights or "the Code".

You have the right to:

  • be treated with respect
  • be treated fairly
  • dignity and independence
  • have good care and support that fits your needs
  • be told things in a way that you understand
  • be told everything you need to know about your care and support
  • make choices about your care and support
  • have support
  • decide if you want to be part of training, teaching, or research
  • make a complaint.

More information on your rights | hdc.govt.nz (external link)

Information in alternate formats

Find information about COVID-19 in alternate formats:

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