Our History

CCS Disability Action has a long and proud history supporting disabled people and their family and whānau in New Zealand. Here are some of the key events that helped shape the course of our organisation of the past 80 plus years.

Filter By Date:


  • 1916/24/25
  • 1930
  • 1935
  • 1935/36
  • 1936
  • 1937
  • 1940
  • 1941
  • 1948
  • 1954
  • 1958
  • 1962
  • 1968
  • 1973
  • 1974
  • 1976
  • 1977
  • 1980
  • 1981
  • 1982
  • 1984
  • 1985
  • 1986
  • 1987
  • 1988
  • 1989
  • 1990
  • 1991
  • 1992
  • 1993
  • 1994
  • 1995
  • 1996
  • 1997
  • 1998
  • 1999
  • 2000
  • 2001
  • 2002
  • 2003
  • 2004
  • 2005
  • 2006
  • 2007
  • 2008
  • 2009
  • 2010
  • 2011
  • 2012
  • 2013
  • 2014
  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2017

Polio epidemic in New Zealand, seriously affecting the health of children.

Dr. Alexander Gillies first spoke to the Wellington Rotary Club about the needs of the 5000 'crippled' children in New Zealand.

  • Sir Alexander Gillies NZCCS President

After some lobbying, Rotary launched the New Zealand Crippled Children Society. 1069 'crippled' children were identified.

Mr Dadley left an estate worth £100,000 to provide a home for children with disabilities in Auckland.

Lord Nuffield gifted £10,000 to the new Society.

Mr and Mrs Wilson gifted their Takapuna home plus a £10,200 endowment for the use of ‘crippled children’.

First Annual General Meeting of NZCCS held in Wellington on 10 July – delegates from 17 branches attended.

  • Wilson Home
  • CCS Board Inaugrual Meeting 1935

Donation of $60,000 from Lord Nuffield and the gift of their home in Takapuna. £10,000 donation from Mr and Mrs Wilson.

The organisation advised that it was offering vocational training to people under the age of 21. Training for girls was given in the areas of dressmaking, millinery, shorthand and typing, domestic work and clerical work. Boys were given lathe-work, electrical work, accountancy, and wickerwork.

Acknowledgement that 'native' crippled children and their families needed some assistance.

Establishment of regular mobile orthopaedic clinics, particularly in rural areas.

Dr. Gray of the Mental Hospitals Department outlined his views in relation to the 'problem' of children with cerebral palsy. He felt "...the problem could more or less be overcome by the provision of additional accommodation at the Templeton Farm Colony...” In other words, hiding them away!

Dr. Earl Carlson visited New Zealand and wrote a very important report for the New Zealand government about services to people with cerebral palsy. The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Rotorua was altered to make it suitable for 30 people with cerebral palsy to be 'admitted.' 

A visiting therapist service was established allowing staff to visit the homes of children with disabilities. 

Opening of the Pukeora Sanatorium "as a home for those young crippled men and women, who may, in the main, be considered incurable." At this time, throughout the country, there were over 7000 people of all ages receiving our services.

A survey conducted by the Auckland Branch confirmed the "incidence of certain crippling conditions, particularly talipes, among the Maori race."

Russell Kerse was appointed as the first Services Advisor for the Society. At that time, the only people working in the community were female social workers!

First issue of Access Magazine was produced and went nationwide.

  • Access Magazine first issue cover

The first 'Crippled Children Day' was held.

First accessible motel in Huarahi, Rotorua was opened and owned by CCS Disability Action.

Mobility parking scheme was launched.

‘Kids up the road’ puppet campaign launched.

  • ‘Kids up the road’ puppet campaign
  • ‘Kids up the road’
  • ‘Kids up the road’ puppets and kids

It was the International Year of Disabled Persons and celebrations included New Zealand's first Telethon.

Founding supporter Sir Alexander Gillies dies.

  • Sir Alexander Gillies

10,384 Operation Mobility cards are issued providing equitable access to shops and services for everyone.

  • Operation Mobility brochure

The 50th Jubilee was celebrated – Golden Opportunity.

  • Paul East celebrating Golden Jubilee

Pioneer in disability service provision, Nancy Barnett QSO, was the first woman elected to the National Executive Board.

  • Nancy Barnett

First Philosophy and Policy document and Mission Statement adopted by CCS.

First Working with People with Disabilities Course held.

The Community Living Pilot Programme was set up in Palmerston North.

  • Community Living article
  • Community Living programme

The CCS Information Service and library and National Fundraising Task Force were established.

Partnership with the tangata whenua and recognition of the Tiriti O Waitangi

CCS adopted a new name and logo - New Zealand CCS.

The Working Party for the Accommodation Needs of Young Adults was formed.

  • Pam Drysdale's delight with new CCS logo

In recognition of the Treaty of Waitangi the Tangata Whenua Working Party was approved.

CCS consumers demonstrate against the threat of means testing and changes to benefits at Parliament.

  • John Sexton
  • Phoebe Foley
  • Sarah Jones

‘Access for All’ rosettes presented to fully accessible businesses.

Maaka Tibble was appointed CCS Kaumatua.

Powhiri introduces biculturalism to conference

Consumer advisory group formed, Chairperson Philip Blundell.

  • Bronwyn Hayward - Consumer Advisory Group representative
  • Phillip Blundell - Consumer Advisory Group chairperson

CCS put in a submission to Government in support of the passing of Human Rights Act.

‘Let’s go to the Races’ TV3 Mobil Sport fundraiser.

  • NZCCS Conference
  • NZCCS Conference Powhri
  • ‘Let’s go to the Races’ TV3 Mobil Sport fundraiser

The National Research Group was established and the Child Abuse Protection Policy was adopted.

New Human Rights legislation comes into force making it unlawful to discriminate against persons with disabilities.

  • Sharon, Doug and John celebrate human rights legislation

National Strategic Plan 1995-2000 adopted.

‘On the Move: 60 year history of CCS’ was published.

A rose was bred to mark 60 years - ‘Diamond Delight’.

CCS Bay of Plenty branch was formed.

  • ‘On the Move' cover
  • ‘On the Move' spread
  • Jubilee rose

First ‘Independence Day’ held.

  • Independence Day Napier

The CCS Millennium Charter, which included unification of the delivery services to consumers, the adoption of minimum standards of service throughout New Zealand and the cohesion of management was released.

Equal Employment Opportunities guidelines for the Voluntary Sector were launched.

National Kaitohutohu Simon Tawha was appointed.

  • Equal Employment Opportunities Programme
  • Equal Employment Opportunities Programme guidelines
  • Simon Tawha

Pukenga Rangatira, a parallel Māori governance arm was established with the intention of engaging Māori kaumatua and kuia nationwide.

As a result of the Millennium Charter, restructuring into seven regions with 16 branches took place. Local branches remained legal entities but local boards were replaced by Local Advisory Committees (LAC) and Local Executive Committees (LEC).

Dr Michael Kendrick conducted workshops with Local Advisory Committee Chairs to develop social services and community involvement for staff.

New Zealand Disability Strategy released to key government departments for implementation.

Ground-breaking Folate Campaign to help prevent Spina-bifida was launched nationwide.

Supported Lifestyles service, a new way of working with children and families was developed.

  • Folate Campaign to help prevent Spina-bifida

‘What Did You Say?’ a campaign to stop discriminatory language was launched nationwide.

  • ‘What Did You Say?’ brochure

Community Participation research was completed. The report, published in conjunction with Donald Beasley Institute, defined ways to support people with disabilities to take part in community life

  • CCS Community Participation Analysis report published

The ‘Moving Around Communities’ initiative provided key focus for Service Coordinators and the disabled communities.

Regional Manager Nigel Mead brought back the ‘Lifetime Design’ housing concept from an international conference.

  • Lifetime Design logo
  • Nigel Mead

The ‘Caught’ awareness campaign focussing on misuse of mobility parks was launched.

The Inquiry into the Quality and Care of Services Provision for Disabled People was presented to the parliamentary Social Services Committee.

Tumu Whakarae - National Manager Māori Policy and Strategy was appointed.

CCS becomes CCS Disability Action with supporting proposition line ‘Including All People’ and foundation statement ‘Te Hunga Hauā Mauri Mō Ngā Tāngata Katoa’ gifted by Kaumatua Kihi Ngatai.

The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was ratified by New Zealand, having been signed the year before. 

After successful lobbying by CCS Disability Action, the fine for mobility parking misuse rose from $40 to $150. 

The first Lifetime Design Chief Executive Officer, Viv Maidaborn was appointed.

‘Journey to Work’ a joint project with Workbridge to transition disabled young people into employment was launched.

Phase One of the Family Choices research project, which examines why families make the choices they do around their child’s schooling, was completed in conjunction with University of Canterbury.

Strategic Priorities 2009-2014 set and published.

  • Strategic Priorities brochure set and published

The delivery of an efficient and effective Mobility Parking Scheme that met the needs of cardholders was approved by the board.

  • Kihi Ngatai introduces an efficient and effective Mobility Parking Scheme

David Matthews appointed CCS Disability Action’s Chief Executive.

The Court of Appeal ruled disability workers should be paid the minimum wage while sleeping over at a client’s home.

  • David Matthews appointed CCS Disability Action’s Chief Executive

‘How’s it going?’ a tool for determining goals and aspirations was developed, launched and promoted.

The new vision statement, Te Puāwaitanga, was approved by the board. 

‘I am here’ the Article 19 Project, saw CCS Disability Action commission researchers from the Donald Beasley Institute work alongside 12 people with high and complex support needs to tell their stories and be heard.

  • How's It Going?
  • Our Vision statement

The government introduced the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Amendment Bill 2013 and removed the right to legally challenge the government on any further paid family carers’ policy.

The former Minister for Disability Issues Hon Tariana Turia was made Life Member of CCS Disability Action in recognition of her exceptional work for the disability community.

  • Dairne and Allyson with Dame Tariana Turia
  • Kim Willetts (President) with Dame Tariana Turia
  • Wendy and Kim with Dame Tariana Turia

CCS Disability Action’s 80th birthday in February celebrated throughout the year beginning with the Timaru branch.

  • CCS celebrates 80th birthday
  • CCS celebrates 80th birthday
  • CCS celebrates 80th birthday-Timaru branch

Free CCS Disability Action membership was offered to people who access services.

Seclusion became illegal in schools and early childhood education centres across New Zealand.

The Access Aware App launched in Christchurch and Wellington.

A two billion dollar pay equity settlement was announced for workers in home and community care, aged care and community residential support.

  • Access Aware app
  • Donate to CCS - Dollar sign icon
  • Mobility Parking icon - person in wheelchair
  • Library icon - Open book
  • Contact CCS Branches - phone icon
  • CCS Disability Action My Business icon - four jigsaw pieces arranged in a square
  • How's it going icon - question mark
    How's it
  • Access aware icon
  • Lifemark icon - two people in house
  • Tēnei au icon - maori pattern in a circle
    Tēnei au