How do we get autism support right in Aotearoa New Zealand?

Published March 2024

Aotearoa New Zealand is in a unique position to shape the future of autism support, with the overhaul of its health system and establishment of Whaikaha – the new Ministry of Disabled People.

The Aotearoa New Zealand Autism Guideline: He Waka Huia Takiwātanga Rau (‘the Guideline’), provides evidence-based information and recommendations for autistic people, their families/whānau, practitioners, educators, and organisations. However, implementation of the Guideline has been mixed.

Based on international approaches and current community engagement, this project aimed to gain perspectives from autistic people, parents, professionals and family/whānau members to:

  1. understand the nature of existing supports for autistic people, and
  2. provide suggestions for future approaches to autism support.

Findings from the project include recommendations for implementation of the current Guideline as well as other approaches to ensure inclusion and the provision of supports for autistic people in Aotearoa.