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Minister receives disability award for New Zealand

Hon Ruth Dyson
Minister for Disability Issues

15 May 2008 Media Statement

Minister receives disability award for New Zealand

Disability Issues Minister Ruth Dyson received the prestigious Roosevelt International Disability Award from the Governor-General on behalf of the Government today.

The Governor-General accepted the award at the United Nations last week in recognition of New Zealand’s progress towards advancing the participation of disabled people.

“The winning of this award owes much to the initiatives that have been introduced under the New Zealand Disability Strategy, which has been developed as a partnership between the Government and disabled people,” Ruth Dyson said.

“The strategy has set a new standard for participation by disabled people not only in New Zealand but internationally. It has achieved a great deal in a relatively short time, thanks largely to the dedication and commitment of disabled people across the country.

“This Government is committed to the principle that everyone is entitled to live a life to the fullest extent of his or her abilities. That is what the strategy is all about.

“This is a proud day for disabled people in New Zealand and for everyone who has contributed to the successes of the Disability Strategy,” Ruth Dyson said.

The award – a bronze sculpture of President FD Roosevelt – is to be placed in the Galleria in Parliament.


Roosevelt Award

The Award is sponsored by the World Committee on disability and the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute.

The award comes with a cash prize of US$50,000 for a New Zealand non-government disability organisation that has supported disabled people into leadership roles; or promoted and advocated for the rights of disabled people; or worked to make society more responsive to their needs.

The prize was awarded to the Disabled Persons’ Assembly, which will use the funding to promote the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as a major ongoing event in the lives of New Zealanders, and to create a diversity action programme, using disabled people as teachers.


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