Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Politics create barriers for Deaf

Politics create barriers for Deaf

A Human Rights complaint has been laid with the New Zealand Human Rights Commission over the lack of access within politics. Mr Kim Robinson a member of the Kirk Branch under the Labour Party is profoundly Deaf and relies on a NZ Sign Language Interpreter to "listen" to live debates.

The high costs of using an Interpreter is way out of range for a Deaf person to afford personally if they were to be actively involved with Party politics at grassroots level. Full active involvement could cost around $50,000 per year per location. If 5 Deaf persons living in 5 different locations were to be fully active, this could amount to $1/4 million per year.

The current political arena is verbally dominated in terms that only people with the ability to speak and hear well are the pro-active members of the party. Paying membership dues to a Party does not mean one has to be excluded from the decision-making, submitting or verbal debating progress.

Neither it is reasonable for the political parties to fund this cost due to the fact that they are made up of volunteers under a voluntarily democratic political group which is not entitled to receive funding from the Government. This creates a communication vacuum for a member who has the right to be enrolled, the right to vote, the right to the freedom of speech. Where does the ideology actually apply when that member requires a 'service' to enable them to 'listen' and 'participate' within the party?

This conflict also seriously erodes the rights of a person who may have been 'normal' whom has a disability associated by birth or age to participate in a democratic progress. Do the current barriers mean that only normal able-bodied persons can be involved with the political spectrum of this day and age? If the Government and Political Parties can not fund this - then who can? Where do the rights of a person with a disability begin to be limited when the vision of the Human Rights Act is to remove discrimination barriers?

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Decision Day: Peters Chooses Labour

Winston Peters says he will form a Government in coalition with Labour and the Greens giving confidence and supply.

Peters said he had been offered the position of Deputy Prime Minister and a number of other ministerial posts would go to his colleagues

He said economic and monetary policy changes were needed to face a coming economic downturn.>>>More


Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome


Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election