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


World Down Syndrome Day opportunity to celebrate diversity

World Down Syndrome Day an opportunity to celebrate diversity

Human Rights Disability Commissioner, Paul Gibson, challenged all New Zealanders to celebrate and embrace diversity on World Down Syndrome Day.

Speaking at the 2014 Down Syndrome Day T4T and the New Zealand Down Syndrome Association (NZDSA) National Achievements Awards Ceremony at Parliament last night, Paul Gibson says this year’s theme about health, wellbeing and achievement highlights issues and acknowledges barriers people with Down Syndrome face daily just trying to access healthcare on an equal basis as everyone else.

“It is time for an effective healthcare programme to be implemented immediately,” he says.

“People with Down Syndrome often face challenges with respect to healthcare including being denied access to healthcare, incorrect diagnosis and refusing to allow patients to participate in decisions about their treatment plans.”

Despite the many barriers, people with Down Syndrome can and do live successful and happy lives.

This World Down Syndrome Day, three achievers have been acknowledged for their outstanding accomplishments. Last night they were recognised at the awards ceremony. Chris Whitmore, from New Plymouth was recognised for his work as a volunteer rest-home worker and successful entrepreneur. He’s developed and markets the dog food brand Chris’ Crunchy Crackers. Katrina Sneath, of Onslow College in Wellington, an accomplished public speaker, is near completion of NCEA Level 2 and her study includes challenging subjects such as calculus. Special Olympian Christopher Tavita, of Dunedin, has won medals at the Special Olympics including a much coveted gold. He has also achieved a blue belt in mainstream karate and importantly, was a strong support for his recently deceased father.

“Another example of success featured recently in the media, was the one where a young Down Syndrome couple, Jill Jefferies and James Dobinson, amidst the challenges facing people in rebuilding their lives in Christchurch, were the first to marry in Christchurch’s cardboard cathedral. This is something to celebrate not just for people with Down Syndrome but for everyone who welcomes diversity.”

“Diversity must be celebrated. All of us are different but we all belong. Every day, not just on Race Relations Day or Down Syndrome Day we should explore and embrace the message, I am Aotearoa New Zealand.”

World Down Syndrome Day – 21 March 2014
Race Relations Day - 21 March 2014


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Werewolf 58: No Climate For Change

The last time the global community tried to take collective action on climate change the world’s leaders finally came to agree that every not-too-onerous effort should be made to hold global warming to 2°C above the pre-industrial average. At Paris, all 150 participant countries nations will have put forward their pledges... On the information available, New Zealand's is the second weakest contribution of any nation in the developed world. More>>


What Was The Package? Police Not Explaining Lambton Quay Emergency

Police cordoned off part of Lambton Quay Wednesday afternoon, saying that a suspicious package had been found. Buildings were evacuated and buses were detoured. The army’s explosive ordnance disposal unit was brought to the Quay. More>>

Public Sector Still Shrinking: Record Low Number Of 'Backroom Bureaucrats'

Ongoing restraint in the public sector and a focus on better frontline services has seen a further reduction in the number of core Government employees, State Services Minister Paula Bennett says. More>>


Disobeying The Law: Police Censorship Of Crime Research “An Outrage”

The Green Party is calling on Police Minister Michael Woodhouse to ensure Police scrap controversial contracts that place onerous restrictions on academic researchers’ access to Police data, the Green Party says. More>>


Q+A Transcript: Groser ‘Not Expecting’ Failure At UN Climate Talks

‘I will be very surprised if we don’t get an agreement. I think it’s a completely different situation to Copenhagen for a number of reasons. We’ve got a much more realistic negotiating proposal on the table. Secondly, I think the science has strengthened...’ More>>


Greenpeace Protest:

Climate Talks, Immigration And Housing: PM's Post Cabinet Press Conference

Prime Minister John Key began by talking about his recent attendance at the APEC and ASEAN summits. He segued neatly from the opportunities available in Vietnam to outlining his upcoming itinerary which includes Malta, Paris and Berlin. More>>


After Urgent Law Change: Beneficiaries Urged To Act Immediately

I am hoping that thousands more people will be enabled to lodge their review... people without internet, who don't even realise that this has been happening. If just a fraction of the people on facebook can help others to put in reviews tomorrow it could improve so many more peoples Christmas. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news