Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

T4T High Tea for World Down Syndrome Day

Hon Tariana Turia

Minister for Disability Issues


Tuesday 18 March 2014


T4T High Tea for World Down Syndrome Day


Grand Hall - Parliament Buildings - Wellington

Disability Commissioner, Paul Gibson - Your President, Shelley Waters, National Executive Officer, Zandra Vaccarino, members and supporters of the New Zealand Down Syndrome Association.

My parliamentary colleagues, distinguished guests, friends, family and people with Down Syndrome.

When I think about the ritual of high tea images of tiered cake stands - fine-bone china, dainty sandwiches, lace doilies and fancy pastries come to mind.

But the other day I read a quote about a simple cup of tea – and I just have to share it:

“Tea is wealth itself because there is nothing that cannot be lost, no problem that will not disappear, no burden that will not float away, between the first sip and the last.”

And I thought that after all, this high tea celebration is a perfect metaphor for our mission to inspire positive attitudes around the rights and inclusion of people with Down Syndrome.

The Third World Down Syndrome Day Conference that will take place in New York later this week will promote the theme ‘Health and Wellbeing – Access and Equality for all.’

I want to pay tribute to the Down Syndrome Association here in New Zealand for the dedicated commitment you have made towards this exact theme for the past 33 years.

As Minister of Disability Issues I have been so inspired by the attitude and actions you have taken in addressing the societal barriers that we know still exist for far too many disabled people.

I believe the only way we can make progress is with the combined efforts of everyone - disabled people, their whanau, government, communities.

The Think Differently campaign is about encouraging a shift in attitudes and behaviours towards disabled people. It is about focusing on what people can do, rather than what they can’t.

Today our High Tea is also a great occasion to especially celebrate three people who live by the Can Do philosophy.

During the course of this afternoon we will be recognising three exceptional young leaders with national achievement awards:
· Christopher Tavite from Dunedin,
· Chris Whitmore from Taranaki and
· Katrina Sneath from Wellington.

Their stories are compelling – each of our three leaders have taken up a huge range of activities with breath-taking enthusiasm. What I love about these three young people is that not only are we celebrating their achievements, but we also know they will have an impact as role-models for others whose lives they touch.

The Association recognises the importance of learning from life – and their kit, Let’s Plan for the Future is an excellent resource for assisting parents, families, professionals and future employers with the knowledge, the information and importantly the inspiration to support the journey from school to full participation in life.

The kit reminds us that we can all play a role in promoting opportunities for people with Down Syndrome in our community.

Someone who knew a great deal about making a more inclusive community, is also being honoured tonight.

At this ‘T4T’ we are presenting the inaugural Val Sturgess Memorial Award to recognise the work of a remarkable volunteer.

Volunteering is the ultimate demonstration of a democracy in action.

As we begin the countdown to the General Election, I think we should all remember that while we vote in elections every three years, when we volunteer, we vote every day about the type of community we want to live in.

The Val Sturgess Memorial Award is a fitting tribute to the life of a very special volunteer, a woman who to her last days was meticulous in her attention to detail, a passionate and dedicated advocate and a true champion for the community.

Finally I want to make mention of the clever symbolism of this T4T event.

Tea 4 Trisomy 21 refers to the third copy of chromosome 21 and the date of World Down Syndrome day. It is a unique way to recognise the triplication of the 21st chromosome through a high profile tea party.

On the 21st March - just a couple of days away – all across the world people will link into the website: www.worlddownsyndromeday.org and share the unique ways in which they are contributing to the global voice, of advocating for the rights, inclusion and wellbeing of people with Down Syndrome.

I therefore encourage all of you over tea this afternoon, to share what it is that you can do, to strengthen the global voice, to raise awareness and to celebrate the people we know and love.

Tena tatou katoa.


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Budget

It may seem like Oliver to be so bold as to ask the Finance Minister for more gruel – but what the Dickens, Steven Joyce… is this Budget really as good as it gets?

Supposedly, the public was going to receive significant rewards – an election year lolly scramble no less – for the eight years of belt tightening that they’ve endured, and for the rundown of essential public services.

Well, what Budget 2017 delivered instead in Education and in Health were allocations barely sufficient to maintain the current levels of service delivery More>>

Scoop Full Coverage: of Budget Announcements & Reaction
Latest: Scoop Search

 
 

Climate Policy: New Zealand Set To Blow Its Carbon Budget By 27%

The Government’s Greenhouse Gas Inventory shows New Zealand is set to release 647.5 million tonnes of carbon emissions between 2013 and 2020 – 137 million tonnes more than we are allowed under the Kyoto Protocol. More>>

ALSO:

Earlier:

Auditor-General Stands Down For Investigation: Gordon Campbell On (Not) Taking Responsibility

So Martin Matthews, our current Auditor-General wishes he could have detected “earlier” the fraud that occurred on his watch at the Ministry of Transport. Hmmm. But he could have detected it earlier, surely? That’s the point. More>>

ALSO:

NGOs Pleased: Govt To Halt Collection Of Client Data

Brenda Pilott, the chair of ComVoices and national manager of Social Service Providers Aotearoa, congratulates the government on its decision to call a halt to the collection of individual client data until the concerns of not-for-profit service providers have been worked through. More>>

ALSO:

Gosh: Blasphemy Law Repeal Struck Down

Chris Hipkins, the MP who tabled a Supplementary Order Paper to add our Blasphemy Law to the Statutes Repeal Bill, said this was a "sad day for freedom of speech, tolerance, and leadership". More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Navy’s Dealings With Fat Leonard, And Twin Peaks

At an official level, our “she’ll be right” attitude routinely spills over into a keen resentment of anyone who suggests the outcomes may be less than satisfactory… The Navy has now gone one step beyond. It won’t even ask itself whether it did a good job. More>>

ALSO:

NZDF: Fifth Rotation Of Troops Heads To Iraq

The fifth rotation of New Zealand Defence Force troops left today for a six-month mission training Iraqi soldiers. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Demonising Of Iran

Will New Zealand still be willing to pursue its recent trade overtures to Iran, now that US President Donald Trump has used his speech in Riyadh to single out Iran as the main source of terrorism and instability in the Middle East? More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 

Opening The Election Supporters

 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election