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Report on Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Hon Tariana Turia

Minister for Disability Issues

7 August 2014

PR: Minister welcomes the release of the Independent Monitoring Mechanism Report on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Minister for Disability Issues Tariana Turia welcomed the release of the second report of the Independent Monitoring Mechanism on Implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, ‘Making disability rights real - Whakatūturu ngā Tika Hauātanga,’ today.

“The independent monitoring mechanism plays a critical independent role in ensuring New Zealand’s compliance with the obligations of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It consists of the Office of the Ombudsman, the Human Rights Commission, and the Convention Coalition Monitoring Group, which has representatives of disabled people through key organisations. This is a fine example of the call of the disability rights movement ‘Nothing About Us Without Us,’” says Minister Turia.

“I have been thrilled with the expert advice that the independent monitors have provided to me and to the Ministerial Committee on Disability Issues. Their analysis is well grounded in both professional knowledge and their own experience and I have valued their expertise greatly.”

“I am also pleased that the Independent Monitors have recommended that the Government continue to jointly develop the Disability Action Plan with Disabled Persons’ Organisations. This is an approach I have strongly championed. The Disability Action Plan seeks to address many of the areas which the Independent Monitors have identified as areas of concern including data collection, accessibility, violence and abuse, education and building a people driven support system for disabled people.”

“The report also raised key issues relating to Māori and their whānau who live with disability. There was clear acknowledgement of the importance of mana tangata (the dignity and rights of people), mana whenua (the customary rights and connections between people, generations and land) and how they are intertwined and central to tikanga (culture and practice).”

“I am also pleased that the report acknowledges the role of Whānau Ora, the holistic approach to whānau health and well-being that empowers all whānau including those with disability to take control of their own lives and make decisions for themselves. As well the report acknowledges the importance of Te Whare Tapa Whā – an holistic approach encompassing the physical, mental, spiritual and whānau aspects of health for all whānau, including those with disability.”

“This report highlights that there is still much work to be done to ensure that all ethnic groups who live with disability are able to make decisions about the services they need and how they should be provided. For example the report showed that current resourcing structures and systems do not provide Māori and Pasefika people the level of rangatiratanga or choice to which they aspire.”

“It is important that we find ways to enable those who live with disability and I am pleased that one of the key recommendations of the report included reviewing all disability support systems to ensure they reflect the whole of life strengths-based approach recommended by the Social Services Committee Inquiry and incorporated into Enabling Good Lives.”

“I sincerely thank the Independent Monitors for this comprehensive report and assure them that the eight key recommendations and 38 specific recommendations will be carefully considered by the Government,” says Mrs Turia.

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