News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Are we back in the 18th Century, Ministers?

9 March 2011

Are we back in the 18th Century, Ministers?

Autism New Zealand and Arie Smith- Voorkamp, the 25 year old man with Asperger’s Syndrome who through lack of understanding and awareness became the “face of looting” in Christchurch are outraged by the comments of Police Minister Judith Collins about looting in Christchurch and asks if New Zealand society and Government have 18th Century attitudes to disabled people.

The Minister was quoted in the New Zealand Herald yesterday as hoping that looters “go to jail for a long time - with a cellmate” and that looters were “people who robbed the dead.”

Alison Molloy, Chief Executive of Autism New Zealand, said that the Minister’s comments showed a complete lack of understanding of the complexities of autism, a condition which affects 40,000 New Zealanders.

She reminds the Minister that the New Zealand Autism Spectrum Disorder Guideline – which her Government has stated they support – outlines best practice around engagement between people with ASD and the justice system. It points out that “police, courts and criminal justice personnel need to know the implications of ASD on the behaviour of the person…and their response to criminal justice staff.”

“We are most disappointed about what this says about the Government’s overall attitude to disabled people and particularly people with Autism. If the Minister had read our press release of last week on this issue she would have been aware that her comments – especially as Minister of Police – would have been offensive in a highly complex situation. Autism New Zealand has began a very positive engagement with various Ministers of the Government of which Ms. Collins is a member. We wish to continue an engagement with Government and are happy to meet with the Minister to increase her awareness of ASD.”

“New Zealand has a Minister specifically responsible for being an advocate for disabled people – Minister Tariana Turia. Given Minister Turia’s consistent commitment to the human rights of disabled people in New Zealand, we wonder what she thinks of her colleague’s comments. And we have a question for both Ministers – do we want to go back to an 18th Century attitude to disabled people where when we look for a scapegoat or someone to blame we immediately blame the person who behaves or thinks differently?, Ms. Molloy concluded.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

NZ on Air: More Funding For TV Captions To Increase Access

More funding for TV captions to increase access NZ On Air has increased funding to provide more captions and audio description on television programmes for the hearing and sight impaired. More>>

Music: So Laid Back Country China Album Release

On Friday night, So Laid Back Country China held a gig at Meow for the release of their new album With Knees of Honey in Goodbye Canyon. I briefly spoke with Harriet lead vocals, keyboard) and Michael (lead vocals, guitar) before the gig More>>

Art: Wellington Region Celebrates Matariki

Eight Wellington museums and galleries have joined forces to present a major programme of exhibitions and events to celebrate Matariki 2015, the Māori New Year. The Wellington Matariki Festival will host more than 60 free events and activities between Saturday ... More>>

Wellington: TEDxWellingtonWomen Speakers Unveiled

The lineup is announced today for the highly anticipated upcoming event TEDxWellingtonWomen. Speakers include local women and men who have lived extraordinary lives and have ideas worth spreading. More>>

Culture: RNZB Showcases NZ Artists With Two World Premieres

The Royal New Zealand Ballet’s mixed bill Salute - Remembering WW1 which opens on 22 May will showcase the talents of New Zealand artists working at the top of their field. More>>


Books: Witi Ihimaera To Address ‘State Of NZ Literature’at Festival

6 May 2015 MEDIA RELEASE Witi Ihimaera to Address ‘State of NZ Literature’ at Dunedin Writers and Readers Festival The New Zealand Book Council has chosen the 2015 Dunedin Writers and Readers Festival as the stage for its annual address, which ... More>>

Culture: Historic Māori Portraits Travel To The Czech Republic

Image credit: Gottfried Lindauer, Wahanui Reihana Te Huatare, oil on canvas, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, gift of Mr H E Partridge, 1915 More>>

Art: Something Felt, Something Shared - Enjoy

Gabrielle Amodeo, Ruby Joy Eade, Clare McLean, Kalya Ward Curated by Emma Ng May 7 – 30, 2015 Opening: Wednesday May 6, 5.30pm Strange frequencies are channelled through personal narratives and poetic placeholders in Something felt, something ... More>>

Culture: Pukeahu Park ANZAC Day Commemoration 2015

Pukeahu Park ANZAC Day Commemoration 2015 Images from New Zealand Defence Force Click for big version A bugler plays The Last Post Click for big version A View from the top of the Carillion Click for big version Faces old and young Click for big ... More>>

Television: MediaWorks Announces Dancing With The Stars Hosts

MediaWorks and BBC Worldwide ANZ are delighted to announce host Dominic Bowden alongside co-host Sharyn Casey for the hit series Dancing with the Stars. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news