New Zealand actually has some of the best equipment funding available in the world for people with disabilities – but unless you’ve had a need for it, it’s unlikely that you are aware of this.
If you need equipment due to an injury caused by an accident, you may be covered by ACC. Everyone in New Zealand has 24-hour, seven-day-a-week, no-fault comprehensive injury cover through ACC. To find out what is and isn’t covered, and what happens if you injure yourself while travelling overseas or visiting New Zealand, visit the ACC website here.
Along with the Ministry of Health and ACC funding, there are other funding sources such as the grant from Lotteries Individuals with Disabilities that can help fund mobility scooters, power chairs and manual wheelchairs. More information and application forms for this can be found on the Community Matters government website here.
If you are not eligible for any of the previous funding types, there are a number of other funders who might be suitable:
Cerebral Palsy Society Grants are open to members with Cerebral Palsy, to help them fund activities or to give assistance for a special cause. The purpose of this grant is to assist people with Cerebral Palsy to obtain items of services that mitigate the effects of living with Cerebral Palsy. Grants should assist a person’s independence and / or quality of life, or in the case of a child, also that of the parents/ family.
They also work with the Lions Clubs of New Zealand and can assist in funding for mobility equipment through the Lion’s Child Mobility Fund. View the Cerebral Palsy Association's website here.
The Halberg Trust offer Activity Fund grants that are provided to enable physically disabled young people to participate in sport and recreation by reducing financial barriers. Find out more on their website here.
The Muscular Dystrophy Association provides discretionary grants for individuals with a neuromuscular condition to access opportunities and specialised resources that enable them to achieve freedom. Find out more on their website here.
The Wilson Home Trust offer a range of grants that support a need, activity or piece of equipment that will enhance the life of a child or young person with a physical disability. Find out more on their website here.
Variety provide grants to sick, disabled and disadvantaged children to help them to reach their full potential. They fund everything from trikes to mobility equipment to technology. Find out more on their website here.
The Trust provides financial support for people with physical disabilities living in Northland, Auckland and the Eastern Bay of Plenty, helping with some of the extra costs disabled people often experience. It also encourages people with a disability to continue their education, take on new opportunities and enhance their wellbeing. Find out more on their website here.