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Auckland Council

Disability Advisory Panel

Te Rōpū Kaitohutohu Take Hunga Hauā

The role of the Disability Advisory Panel

The Disability Advisory Panel offers advice based on their experiences living with a disability, to help us improve outcomes for this community.

They will:

  • identify the issues that are important to people with disabilities
  • provide advice on our regional strategies, policies and plans
  • help us effectively engage with people with disabilities. 

How disability is defined

The New Zealand Human Rights Act defines disability as:

  • physical disability or impairment (such as respiratory condition)
  • physical illness
  • psychiatric illness (such as depression or schizophrenia)
  • intellectual or psychological disability or impairment (such as learning disorders)
  • any other loss or abnormality of psychological, physiological or anatomical structure or function (such as arthritis or amputation)
  • reliance on a guide dog, wheelchair or other remedial means
  • the presence in the body of organisms capable of causing illness (such as HIV/AIDS or hepatitis).

Members of the panel

  • Mary Schnackenberg (chair)
  • Dan Buckingham (deputy chair)
  • Gemma Stewart
  • Jade Farrar
  • Rachel Peterson
  • Ursula Thynne
  • Councillor Josephine Bartley (liaison councillor)
  • Councillor Cathy Casey (chief liaison councillor)

Lead officer: Andre Lubbe

Deputy lead officer: Elise Copeland

Meetings of the panel

The Disability Advisory Panel holds three scheduled meetings and up to seven meetings with staff each year.

Scheduled meetings are open to the public.

For dates, agendas and minutes, see agendas and minutes.

Get in touch with the panel

To attend or present at a meeting of the Disability Advisory Panel, or find more information, email