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Deaf Aotearoa Congratulates NZ’s First Deaf MP

Deaf Aotearoa Congratulates NZ’s First Deaf MP

Deaf Aotearoa hopes the appointment of the country’s first deaf Member of Parliament will raise the profile of deaf people and deaf issues to a wider audience.

Mojo Mathers, who was 14 on the Green Party list, has entered parliament after the counting of special votes from the 2011 General Election.

Deaf Aotearoa Chief Executive Rachel Noble says the organisation applauds the fact that Ms Mathers is entering parliament and it commends the Green Party leadership, which ensured there were no barriers for Ms Mathers in her quest to become an MP.

“Mojo is a fantastic role model to the Deaf community, particularly its youth. Through her previous policy work for various organisations, Mojo has been a great ambassador in demonstrating that Deaf people can do anything,” says Ms Noble.

“In this new challenging role, she will be able to promote the issues, like easy access to sign language interpreters, that stand in the way of so many deaf people fully achieving their potential.”

Ms Noble says that simply by working alongside Ms Mathers, other MPs will learn about deaf issues and the realities of life for deaf people in NZ.

World Federation of the Deaf President Colin Allen says Ms Mathers’ election is a victory for the Deaf Community in New Zealand.

“As the recently elected World Federation of the Deaf President, I am excited to see a deaf person in a position to influence government policy on a wide range of issues, but especially on issues that affect deaf people and other members of the disability movement,” says Mr Allen.

“WFD has been advocating for the rights of people with disabilities under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. I’m sure Mojo will lead excellent advocacy work based on the UN Convention. On behalf of the 133 country members of the World Federation of the Deaf, I congratulate her on her successful election.”

Deaf Aotearoa is the national association of the Deaf in New Zealand. The organisation promotes the awareness of, access to and advancement of the rights of Deaf people and helps ensure they are an active part of society.

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