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

 

August 4: Centenary Of New Zealand Entering The First World War

PM John Key: I move, that this House recognise that on the 4th of August 2014, we will mark the centenary of New Zealand entering the First World War... More>>

ALSO:

Cyclists Net First NZ Gold

New Zealand won a gold meal and two bronzes on the first day of the Commonwealth Games. There was joy and heartbreak in an incredibly full day of sport. Here's how the New Zealanders fared. More>>

Cap Bocage: Anti-Mining Campaign Doco Debuts At NZ Film Festival

Playing at this year’s New Zealand International Film Festival, Cap Bocage is a close-up exploration of the forces that came into play when environmental issues and indigenous rights became intertwined in New Caledonia ... More>>

Film Fest:

More Film:

Sharon Ellis Review: A View From The Bridge

Arthur Miller’s A View From the Bridge is Circa’s latest big production, it opened on Saturday 19 July and it is a stunning triumph. More>>

Māori Language Week: He Karanga Kia Kaha Ake Te Tīhau Ki Te Reo Māori

The Māori Language Commission wishes to see social media swamped with Māori language tweets and messages for Te Wiki o te Reo Māori using the hashtag #tekupu. More>>

ALSO:

Book Vote: Kiwis Prefer Young Adult & Classics

To compile their Top 100 List for 2014, Whitcoulls again asked New Zealanders to vote for their favourite books and authors. And while classic novels continue to appeal to Kiwi readers, 2014 marks a significant new trend – the increasing popularity of novels for young adults. More>>

ALSO:

Five NZ Cities: Bill Bailey Back To The Southern Hemisphere

The gap between how we imagine our lives to be and how they really are is the subject of Bill’s new show Limboland. With his trademark intelligence and sharp wit, he tells tales of finding himself in this halfway place. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Book Television Is Coming

Carole Beu of The Women’s Bookshop in Auckland, Graham Beattie of The Book Blog and producer Deb Faith of FaceTV have raised enough money via crowd funding at Boosted – just under $7,000 so far – for 12 episodes, which begin production in September, and will be on screen later that month. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news