link to page 1 Accessibility Advisory Group
Terms of Reference – June 2014
“Disability is not something individuals have. What individuals have are impairments…
Disability is the process that happens when one group of people
create barriers by designing a world only for their way of living,
taking no account of the impairments other people have.”
NEW ZEALAND DISABILITY STRATEGY 2001
A Glossary of Terms is in Appendix D
1. Purpose of the Accessibility Advisory Group (AAG)
• Advise Council on how to help grow a great and accessible City, where barriers to
people with impairments are minimised.
• Bring lived experience and knowledge to Council around accessibility issues in the
context of Council’s roles and priorities.
The AAG wil not be seen as representing al views on accessibility in the City.
Members wil be accountable for their efforts to provide1:
• Constructive advice – on Council projects and policies, where possible identifying
evidence and solutions, whilst taking into account the wider needs, issues and views of
people with impairments.
• Communication – engage with the Council and relevant communities to increase
information flow and build knowledge of Council processes to increase involvement in
• Involvement of communities - work with council staff to help the Council involve more
people with impairments and from wider communities in the setting and meeting of
city-wide objectives. The Council is ultimately responsible for ful community
The specific work areas where members wil contribute wil be set out in the annual work
programme. The work programme will be finalised reasonably quickly and in a collaborative
way. That annual work programme wil be determined jointly between the AAG, Council
officers, Chair of the appropriate Committee and Council or representative. This wil take
1 Within their capabilities and any legitimate time / resource constraints.
link to page 2
into account the Council’s priorities as wel as the skil s, experience, interests and
commitments of AAG members. This wil enable members to have early input into the
Council officers wil report back to the AAG on how advice was considered, and whether or
not officers and council ors chose to act on that advice, with reasons given at the
appropriate time through e-mail and at AAG meetings.
The Council liaison officer, working with the Chair, will track meeting attendance and
contribution to workflows. Issues considered wil include:
• Punctuality and attendance of meetings
• Behaviour in relation to the role and Code of Conduct
• Degree of active involvement in the work of the group.
*See number 7 Terms of Appointment.
The AAG wil publicly report to the appropriate Council Committee within the last four
months of each financial year. The report wil outline the agreed work plan and progress
against this over the previous year, and any issues it wishes to raise with Council.
The names of members, their attendance and minutes of the group’s meetings wil be
available on the Council website and annual report.
There wil be up to 12 paid meetings per year of the ful AAG. A provisional meeting
schedule wil be agreed once the work programme is finalised. This schedule can be varied
throughout the year.
5. Training for members
The Council wil provide members with:
• An induction explaining the Council’s function and processes and the role of the AAG
• Training or resources as necessary to fulfil their roles as an AAG member. For example,
Chairing, contributing at meetings, understanding the role of local government and
presentation skil s as needed or on request.
6. Key membership criteria
The AAG wil include up to 9 members.
Members need to:
• have the experience or knowledge around people living with impairments
2 Work of Council includes Council’s strategy and policy development, planning and service delivery.
• have a broad knowledge of ‘accessibility’ as well as being able to advise on the wider
needs and issues affecting people with impairments
• have good relationships and networks with a range of communities
• reside within Wel ington City Council’s boundaries.
Subject to the above, the Council wil during recruitment, have regard to maintaining an
appropriate balance of impairment types, age and gender mix, Māori and other ethnic
communities needs and issues.
Further details of the roles and accountabilities of members (including Chairs) and non-
members that support the AAG are in Appendix A.
7. Terms of Appointment
The standard term of appointment wil be three years. An AAG member’s membership wil
cease if that member resigns and may cease if that member:
• misses more than three consecutive meetings without apology or 4 meetings within one
• does not work proactively during any one-year review period, or
• behaves in a way that violates the Code of Conduct (Appendix B) or is otherwise seen as
detrimental to the effective operation of the AAG.
A member can be nominated for two consecutive elections.
No member can sit on the group for more than two consecutive three year terms.
A member may be nominated for a future term not immediately after them completing two
AAG wil have rol ing membership to ensure that the group has some experienced members
at all times.
Members wil be paid $110 per meeting for up to 12 meetings per year they attend of the
The Chair wil be paid $150 for every meeting per year of the ful AAG attended. If the group
decides to have more than one member in the role of Chair, the additional $40 available to
the Chair wil be split between the Co-Chairs.
The Council wil also support the group by providing refreshments at up to 12 meetings per
Council at its discretion wil consider providing extra resources to AAG on a case-by-case
basis and where those extra resources enable the group to meaningful y contribute to the
The AAG is an advisory group set up to inform the work and activities of the Council. The
group wil not be given an independent budget to commission work or undertake activities
outside of this advisory role.
10. Support funds to enable members to fully participate at meetings
Members wil be reimbursed for reasonable travel expenses required to al ow members to
travel to meetings and participate in AAG based activities.
If a support person is required for a member to ful y participate in the group’s discussions,
the Council can pay this person up to $40 per hour.
The above payments wil be at the discretion of the relevant Council directorate.
Payments wil not be made to members to provide care for children or other family
members to al ow attendance at AAG meetings.
The Council wil ensure Council-based meeting venues are fully accessible with accessible
toilets and that other required assistance (such as New Zealand Sign Language interpreters)
11. Conflict Resolution
Should conflict occur, the Chair/Co-Chairs and group wil work with Council Officers to
resolve the conflict.
If there are any concerns, members should raise them:
• with the Chair of the group if concerns are about other members
• with the responsible Council or and/or senior Council officer if concerns are about the
Chair of the group
• with the Chair of the group (who wil decide whether to raise them with an appropriate
senior Council officer) if concerns are about employees.
12. Conflict of interest
Members wil be asked to complete a conflict of interest form when they join the AAG and
at the beginning of each year they sit on the group. This wil be provided by the Council
Members are also expected to notify the liaison officer of any new or emerging conflicts of
interest at the start of each meeting where the liaison officer is present.
For the purpose of the AAG, conflicts of interest are deemed to occur where a member
advises on work-streams that impact on:
• money or other resources the member has invested outside Council
• the member’s family, or
• official positions the member holds on groups or bodies outside of Council.
13. Review of Terms of Reference
The Terms of Reference wil be reviewed as required. AAG wil be involved in any review. Al
changes to the Terms of Reference wil need approval by the appropriate Council
Committee and the Council.
Appendix A: Role descriptions for the AAG Chair, members, Liaison
Officers, Responsible Council Manager and Appointed Councillor
Member Roles and accountabilities
• encourage open communication where al members can effectively
• work with Council officers to compile meeting agendas
• work with Council officers and AAG members to develop, complete and
implement the group’s annual work programme referred to in section 2
• be the AAG spokesperson representing the views and recommendations of
• work with the Council liaison officer to review the contribution of AAG
members at the yearly review and raise any concerns with the appropriate
• sign off minutes from the previous meeting
• Members of the AAG wil elect a Chair and Co-Chair (if applicable) annual y
• be prepared for meetings and consider issues with an open mind
• actively participate in AAG meetings and contribute to the actions in the
agreed annual work programme
keep a broad knowledge of accessibility issues and issues affecting people
turn up to meetings on time
• be available and attend any other training/meetings that may be planned
• establish, maintain and make the most of existing relationships with other
groups around the City
• be committed to appropriately providing information to the range of
organisations and communities supporting or including people with
impairments –and seeking their feedback
• not take individual issues to AAG that can be dealt with via general
enquiries to Council’s information Centre
• comply with the new Code of Conduct in Appendix B
• have their contributions reviewed annual y against the current “Terms of
Non-Members who wil work with AAG
• administration, support and promotion of the group. This wil include the
induction of new members, development of agendas, recording meeting
minutes and fol owing up on action points to report back to the group
• work with the Chair/Co- Chair to set the meeting agenda
• work with the Chair to track attendance and review the contribution of
AAG members at the yearly review
• work across Council business units to help them effectively engage with
the AAG in the right ways and at the right stages of a work-stream
(development and implementation of policy, strategy, planning and
• ensure officers presenting to the AAG are informed of, and present
information to the group that is targeted to the group’s needs
• Progress projects agreed between AAG and officers.
• approve the AAG’s annual work programme
• help the Council liaison officer ensure officers work with AAG in the right
ways and stages.
• offer support on an ‘as required’ basis for communication of certain
issues between the wider Council and the AAG
• work closely with AAG, including attending meetings and reporting back
on AAG’s work-streams
• ensure that issues raised are discussed with the AAG and any
outcomes/developments are reported back on.
• act as a communication link between Council (council ors and officers)
and the AAG by attending meetings on a regular basis.
• provide with officers, information, advice and explanation of the
Council’s political process and agreed Council policy when required and
facilitate feedback from the AAG to Council.
Appendix B: Code of Conduct
The objective of the code is to enhance:
• mutual trust, respect and tolerance between members as a group and with Council ors
and Council staff
• the credibility and accountability of the Council within its communities.
The following is the standard of behaviour that is expected from members of Wel ington
City Council reference and advisory groups.
2. Relationships with others
Members wil conduct their dealings with each other, and elected members, in ways that:
• are open, honest and maintain integrity
• focus on issues rather than personalities
• avoid aggressive, offensive and abusive conduct
• maintain confidence in their group.
3. Relationships with Council staff
The effective performance of the group also requires a high level of cooperation and mutual
respect between members and Council staff. To ensure this is maintained, members wil :
• treat al employees with courtesy and respect (including the avoidance of aggressive,
offensive or abusive conduct towards employees)
• observe any guidelines that the Chief Executive puts in place regarding contact with
• not do anything which compromises, or could be seen as compromising, the impartiality
of an employee
• avoid publicly criticising any employee in any way, but especial y in ways that reflect on
the competence and integrity of the employee
• raise concerns about employees only with the Chair of the group, who wil then decide
whether to raise the issue with an appropriate senior Council officer
• not seek to improperly influence staff in the normal undertaking of their duties. 4. Contact with the media
Groups may have the opportunity to input into a number of different initiatives and for
consistency, it is important that a single point of contact is established to respond to any
• All media enquiries shall be redirected to Council staff.
• If it is agreed with Council staff that it is appropriate for a view to be expressed by the
group, only the Chair, or the Chair’s proxy, can represent the group to the media. The
Chair will work with the Council’s External Relations team in relation to any public
• Views expressed to the media on behalf of the group must have been previously agreed
on by the group as a whole.
• If a member is contacted by a journalist for a view from their group, they must refer the
journalist to the Chair or Co-Chair.
• Members are free to express a personal view in the media or the view of other
organisations of which they are a member, at any time. However, they must make clear
that these represent their private views as an individual, or the view of their
5. Confidential Information
In the course of their duties, members wil receive information that they need to treat as
confidential. This wil often be information that is either commercially sensitive or is
personal to a particular individual or organisation.
Members should be aware that failure to observe confidential y wil impede the
performance of Council and could expose the Council to prosecution under the Privacy Act
1993 and/or civil litigation.
6. Individual queries
Members wil not bring individual issues to their advisory groups that can best be dealt with
by going through the Council’s Service Centre.
7. Honesty and Integrity
Members have a duty to act honestly. They must declare any private interests relating to
their duties and take steps to resolve any conflicts of interest in such a way that protects the
public interest. They must not act in order to gain financial or other benefits for themselves,
their families, friends or business interests.
Any complaints about other group members, officers or Council ors should be addressed
confidential y to the Chair who can then raise the issue with relevant Council officers.
Appendix C: Recruitment and Selection Process
Recruitment of new members wil be managed by the Council liaison officer (Appendix A).
The Council wil cal for nominations using contacts with disability consumer groups, the
Council’s website and local print media.
Applications will be reviewed and shortlisted by a selection panel consisting of:
• the Council liaison officer
• two members of the AAG
• Council’s Accessibility advisor.
The role description for members included in Appendix A will be used for the selection
process. The selection panel will make the final decision about all appointments to the AAG.
Replacement of Vacancies
If a member resigns or is removed from the group, the Council wil work to fil any vacancies
Appendix D: Glossary of Terms
A general term used to describe the degree to which a product, device, service or
environment is accessible by as many people as possible. It can consider physical
accessibility, social accessibility, people’s attitudes and actions etc. In the context of
these terms of reference, the Accessibility Advisory Group wil provide advice on
Council policy, planning and activities considering physical and social accessibility
from the perspective of people living with disabilities.
The New Zealand Disability Strategy (NZDS) describes disability as a process that
occurs when ‘one group of people create barriers by designing a world only for their
way of living, taking no account of the impairments other people have’.
‘Impairments’ include physical, sensory, neurological, psychiatric, intel ectual and
any other impairment, and encompass people with permanent, intermittent,
temporary and perceived impairments.
A worldwide advocacy movement that focuses on individuals, not a disability. It uses
A view of disability that recognises people are disabled by barriers in society
(systems, attitudes, architecture, services) that exclude or prevent them from
participating ful y.
Key Guiding Documents
NZ Disability Strategy 2001 -
http://www.odi.govt.nz/nzds UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
- (New Zealand signed this in
2007. It was ratified in 2008) - http://www.un.org/disabilities Human Rights Act 1993 -