People With Disabilities Marching On Parliament
People First will still be marching to Parliament on Friday, in spite of a recent announcement that Kimberley Institution is to close. People First is an international self advocacy organisation for people with intellectual disabilities with over 1600 members in New Zealand. "We organised the march because we were sick of waiting for the Government to make up their mind about Kimberley," People First spokesperson Robert Martin said today. "We're really pleased the announcement has been made and thank Ruth Dyson for listening to us. Mr Martin this was the first time people with intellectual disabilities had come out and stood up for what they believe in. "The march will be a celebration of the decision to close Kimberley. At last our friends in there will be able to have a decent life in the community with us. However, there is a still lot of work to do."
People First is concerned that cluster housing is being considered for the Kimberley site. "We think this is another form of an institution and we don't want it to happen. We'll be telling the minister that on Friday. We'll also be telling her we think everyone should be out in two years." People First would also like to be represented on the Kimberley steering group alongside the Parents and Friend Association. People First members are travelling from all over New Zealand to join in on the march. The group has collected over 2000 signatures and has asked Prime Minister Helen Clark to meet them and accept the petition.