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Disability progress an ongoing priority for Maori Party

MEDIA STATEMENT
12 November 2014


Disability progress an ongoing priority for Maori Party

The Māori Party has endorsed the accolades issued to former Minister for Disability Issues, Hon Tariana Turia, who was recently awarded lifetime membership from CCS Disability Action.

“In all the post-election frenzy, little attention has been accorded to the United Nations concluding observations on New Zealand’s success in advancing the rights of persons with disabilities” said Marama Fox, Co-leader of the Maori Party.

“The Committee commended New Zealand on our Disability Action Plan; on the establishment and funding of the New Zealand Sign Language Board; the increase in captioning; telephone voting and the Independent Monitoring Mechanism to fulfil the requirements of Article 33 of the Convention.

“The UN Committee also specifically recommended that the Independent Living Model and the Enabling Good Lives programme should be extended to enable more persons with disabilities to live independently”.

“These initiatives are hallmarks of Tariana’s legacy – they represent her passionate belief in the importance of all people being able to exercise choice and control in determining the lives they want to live.

“The Māori Party is inspired by Tariana’s dedication to uphold self-determination in every realm of our lives.

We will be watching closely the developments in Enabling Good Lives to ensure the UN recommendations are followed; as well as their specific focus on ensuring greater efforts be made to enable Māori and Pasifika people with disabilities to access information in their own languages.



“I have written to Hon Nicky Wagner today, stating our interest in being involved in the work program the State response to the Concluding Observations; and continue the momentum that Tariana has so established amongst the communities of disabled persons and their families.

Background
The UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), which monitors state party compliance with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, examined the NZ government's performance under the Convention for the first time during its 12th session (15 September to 3 October 2014), and the Committee's Concluding Observations were released yesterday - the document (CRPD/C/NZL/CO/1) is available online at http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/CRPD-C-NZL-CO-1.doc

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