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

 

Caracals: Small Cats With Big Ears Arrive At Wellington Zoo

Visitors to Wellington Zoo will be able to see New Zealand’s first Caracals in the Zoo’s new Grassland Cats habitat, with a special visitor opening day on Saturday 27 September. More>>

Gordon Campbell: Classics - Tales From Moominvalley
Can’t speak for the reading end of it but the Moomins ( or maybe the story about Margaret Wise Brown) were the most enjoyable subject to think about and write about during these whole first 50 issues of Werewolf. For that reason – and because the Moomins always reward re-reading – I’ve decided to reprint it. The only added element is a link to an interesting hour long documentary about Tove Jansson. More>>

ALSO:

Repping In The Pacific: All Blacks And Manu Samoa To Play Historic Apia Test

The All Blacks will play Manu Samoa in Apia on Wednesday 8 July next year as part of both teams’ preparations for Rugby World Cup 2015. More>>

ALSO:

Monarchy: Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Are Expecting Second Child

Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are very pleased to announce that The Duchess of Cambridge is expecting their second child. More>>

ALSO:

2015: Elton John Plans Wellington Show

After nine years, Elton John and his band will return to Westpac Stadium, Wellington for one spectacular concert! The November 21, 2015 concert will feature iconic hits and classic album tracks from throughout his incredible five-decade career... More>>

Book Awards: Jill Trevelyan's Story Of Peter McLeavey Is Book Of The Year

The story of Wellington art dealer Peter McLeavey and his gallery has won the prestigious New Zealand Post Book of the Year 2014 in a glittering ceremony in Wellington. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: King Richard

Simon Nathan reviews 'Richard Seddon, King of God’s Own': My father grew up in Wellington during Seddon’s premiership... I can recall him standing under the Seddon statue in the grounds of parliament and telling me that Seddon had more backbone than Sid Holland and all his cabinet colleagues put together.. More>>

8 October: Miley Cyrus Bangerz Tour Coming To Auckland!

Dainty Group announced today that global superstar Miley Cyrus will bring her BANGERZ TOUR to New Zealand in October this year. This will be Miley’s first ever visit to New Zealand and there will only be one Auckland show before she takes her tour to Australia. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news