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Budget wins for disabled community limited

Budget wins for disabled community limited

The disabled community question Government commitment to implement the United Nations Convention for the Rights of disabled Persons in New Zealand because advances for the disabled community in this year’s budget are so small.

Rachel Noble, Chief Executive of the Disabled Persons Assembly says, “We need a much more co-ordinated approach. We estimate there could be as many as 748,000 disabled people facing barriers to full participation in the life and economy of New Zealand. It’s an untapped resource.”

She says, “The New Zealand Government signed and ratified the Disability Convention in 2008, but looking at this budget where is the commitment to
implement the Convention?

“Disabled people want to become productive citizens but we can only do this when the barriers to our participation are removed. That’s what the Disability
convention is all about.”

She acknowledges there are some wins in the budget but adds these have been hard won and cites the new operating funding of $6 million over four years to promote and maintain New Zealand Sign Language .

She says to secure this funding it has taken eight years of work by the Deaf community and finally the intervention of the Human Rights Commission.

Rachel also welcomes funding of six million over four years for vocational services for school leavers with disabilities and the continuation of initiatives around Enabling Good Lives, the long term transformation of how disabled people are supported.

And she says other Budget initiatives, such as more funds for the election campaign, free visits to the GP for children under 13years, extra funds for the Christchurch Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA), and children at risk, will work well for the disabled community as long as they are factored in, for example if CERA uses extra funding to make sure Christchurch becomes a fully accessible city.

ENDS

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