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Minister drops Disability Issues

Lynne Pillay MP
Disability Issues Spokesperson

30 June 2009
Media Statement

Minister drops Disability Issues

Paula Bennett’s announcement today that she has dropped her Disability Issues delegation is a belated recognition that she was never up to speed with the portfolio, Lynne Pillay, Labour Spokesperson on Disability Issues says.

“Paula Bennett’s decision underlines both her inability to understand the issues and her lack of commitment to the people and the sector,” Ms Pillay said.

“For the first six months of this Government there was not a peep out of Ms Bennett.

“Then finally this month she announced a ministers’ group to oversee policy – an announcement that was greeted with great scepticism by the Disabled Person’s Assembly (DPA) – which said the committee was nothing more than window dressing.

“The DPA said it was concerned that Ms Bennett would not engage with them to discuss issues facing disabled people.”

Ms Pillay said today’s announcement represented a worrying development for the sector. The new Minister Tariana Turia is outside Cabinet, and this is the first time the portfolio has not had a front seat at Government’s table.

“Disabled people have been seriously disadvantaged by the National government’s slash and burn approach,” Ms Pillay said.

“We now have a Minister outside of Cabinet chairing the Ministerial Committee on Disability Issues. That sums up exactly how the National government values disabled people.”

ENDS

Attached: Disabled Person’s Assembly article

Pillay_disability_DPA_complaint.pdf

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