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


Disability Advocates to present stories at Parliament

Disability Advocates to present stories at Parliament in Support of an Accessibility Act

Accessibility campaigners will assemble at Parliament today in a public presentation of their personal stories to Minister for Disability Issues, Hon. Carmel Sepuloni.

Supporters of the Access Matters campaign will gather at parliament to present a booklet of stories of kiwis living with disabilities to Minister for Disability Issues Hon. Carmel Sepuloni. These stories are representative of a range of systemic barriers, which the one in four New Zealanders living with a disability face on a daily basis and highlight the imperative for accessibility legislation.

Access Matters campaigner and wheelchair user Juliana Carvalho, who will present the giant booklet of stories to the Minister, said “We are sharing our stories because we need accessibility legislation to implement minimum standards for access to everyday things others take for granted like transport, public services, websites, buildings, workplaces, and events.

“We know that changing the law to introduce an Accessibility Act can help remove so many of these barriers. We believe that together, our stories have the power to influence and create a truly accessible society that benefits everyone” said Ms Carvalho.

The campaign is coordinated by the Access Alliance, a group of 12 organisations in the disability sector who have come together to co-design with the government an Accessibility Act that would enable people with disabilities to more actively participate in society.

Chair of the Access Alliance and CEO of Alliance member Kāpo Māori Aotearoa, Chrissie Cowan, said “This presentation to the Minister for Disability Issues represents an important milestone and significant moment for the campaign.
“We have received a positive response from across parliament and we look forward to Hon. Minister Sepuloni updating us on the positive steps she has taken toward the introduction of an Accessibility Act.

“An Accessibility law can open the door so that everyone, disabled and non-disabled, benefits from the contributions of us all” Ms Cowan said.

Blind Foundation Policy and Advocacy Advisor and Access Matters Community Organiser Aine Kelly-Costello said, “Advocates have received overwhelming support during meetings with their local MPs up and down the country”.

“Canada has introduced A Bill to Ensure a Barrier-Free Canada recently, and many other countries have disability legislation too. We believe the time is right for the New Zealand government to introduce an Accessibility Act for New Zealanders” said Ms Kelly-Costello.

Research commissioned by the Blind Foundation for the Access alliance last year showed that the unemployment rate for people with a disability is 50 percent higher than the unemployment rate of the total workforce. There are 14,000 New Zealanders with disabilities who are ready and able to work yet struggle to gain employment.

Ms Cowan said, “Increased accessibility presents one of the largest opportunities for social and economic development for all New Zealanders”.

Event Details - Note change of location.

When: Tuesday September 4, from 11am to 12pm
Where: Bowen House, 70-84 Lambton Quay. This area is wheelchair-accessible. The event will be NZSL-interpreted.
Who: Access Alliance organisations and supporters from across the disability sector


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Ellen Rykers on The Dig: Community Conservation – The Solution To The Biodiversity Crisis?

There are backyard trapping networks doing their bit for Predator Free 2050, farmers planting native trees along their waterways, and iwi protecting whenua rāhui. There are 62 biodiversity sanctuaries across 56,000 hectares, with around two-thirds of them community-led. There are citizen scientists counting birds in their backyards and landowners conserving habitat in 3,500 Queen Elizabeth II National Trust covenants.

It’s increasingly clear that a government agency alone cannot combat the biodiversity crisis successfully. These grass-roots initiatives are a growing resource in the conservation toolbox. More>>

Closing This Weekend! Have Your Say On The Issues For NZ's New Biodiversity Strategy

Scoop and PEP invite you to help decide how we should protect and restore our biodiversity over the next 50 years using Scoop’s online engagement platform, HiveMind. HAVE YOUR SAY HERE>>

Biodiversity HiveMind Preliminary Progress Report
Open data report summarising preliminary findings of the Biodiversity HiveMind. Read Progress Report Here>>


PM In Japan: Jacinda Ardern’s Remarks Following Abe Summit

Today we discussed a wide range of topics. Broadly the themes were: a deeper, high-value trade and investment relationship, greater cooperation in the Pacific; and strengthening our security partnership. More>>


Replacing All But Chair: Twyford Appoints Five NZTA Board Members

Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced the appointment of five new members to the NZ Transport Agency Board... There remain two vacancies on the NZTA Board which will be filled in due course. More>>


Climate Change: Adaptation And Risk Assessment Framework Released

“We are already experiencing the effects of a changing climate such as coastal inundation and increasingly frequent and severe droughts, floods, fires and storms. This framework is an acknowledgement that we must start adapting”, James Shaw said today. More>>


Ihumātao: Mana Whenua Reach Decision On Land

Māori King Tūheitia says mana whenua have finally reached consensus over what to do with Ihumātao - they want it back. More>>


PM To Japan, New York: Ardern To Meet Trump During UN Trip

“I’m looking forward to discussing a wide range of international and regional issues with President Trump, including our cooperation in the Pacific and the trade relationship between our countries." More>>

PM's Post-Cab: "A Way Forward"

At Monday's post-cabinet press conference, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a number of actions in response to the Labour Party's mishandling of sexual assault complaints. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Allegations Of Left Wing Media Bias

“Left wing bias” accusations date back at least to the mid 1990s... The charge of left wing bias was ridiculous then, and is ridiculous now. More>>

Next Wave Of Reforms: Gun Registration And Licensing Changes Announced

“The Bill includes a register to track firearms and new offences and penalties that can be applied extraterritorially for illegal manufacture, trafficking, and for falsifying, removing, or altering markings – which are a new requirement under the Firearms Protocol.” More>>





InfoPages News Channels