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

 
Review: Howard Davis On Olivier Assayas' 'Personal Shopper'

Olivier Assayas’ Personal Shopper is stylish, mysterious, and very strange indeed. It manages to be both ghost story and suspense thriller, yet also a portrait of numbed loneliness and ennui , held together by an peculiarly inexpressive performance from ... More>>

Howard Davis: Never Too Old To Rock & Roll - Jethro Tull

As Greil Marcus recently observed in an NYRB review of Robbie Robertson's autobiographical Testimony, in rock and roll there is always an origin story. In the case of Jethro Tull founder Ian Anderson, he claims to have been influenced by his father's big band and jazz record collections and the emergence of rock music in the 1950s, but became disenchanted with the "show biz" style of early US stars like Elvis Presley... More>>

October: Alice Cooper Returns To NZ

It was March 1977 when Alice Cooper undertook his first ever concert tour of New Zealand – and broke attendance records. 40 years on and this revered entertainer continues to surprise and exude danger at every turn, thrilling audiences globally! More>>

ALSO:

Howard Davis Review: The Contemporary Relevance Of Denial

Denial has all the hallmarks of a riveting courtroom drama. Based on a 1996 British libel case that author David Irving brought against Lipstadt, the movie has been criticized as flat and stagey, but it nonetheless conveys a visceral clarity of vision and sense of overwhelming urgency. More>>

Obituary: John Clarke Dies Aged 68

Andrew Little: “I grew up with Fred Dagg and I am devastated by John Clarke’s death. He taught us to laugh at ourselves and more importantly laugh at our politicians.” More>>

ALSO:

Howard Davis: Colin McCahon's 'on Going Out With The Tide'

Curated by Wystan Curnow and Robert Leonard, On Going Out with the Tide features major works that have been assembled from public and private collections across New Zealand and Australia. It focusses on McCahon’s evolving engagement with Māori subjects and themes, ranging from early treatments of koru imagery to later history paintings which refer to Māori prophets and investigate land-rights issues. More>>

Howard Davis: Rodger Fox Gets Out The Funk

By now a living New Zealand legend, band leader and trombonist Rodger Fox has performed with some of the biggest names in the jazz business, including Louie Bellson, Bill Reichenbach, Chuck Findley, Randy Crawford, Bobby Shew, Lanny Morgan, Bruce Paulson, Diane Schuur, Arturo Sandoval, David Clayton-Thomas, and Joe Williams, to name only a few. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news