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Greens welcome appointment of first Disability Commissioner

2 September 2011

Greens welcome appointment of first Disability Commissioner

The Green Party has today welcomed the appointment of Paul Gibson as the first Disability Commissioner at the Human Rights Commission.

“Paul Gibson will be a fantastic commissioner for the rights of people with disabilities and is an ideal person to fill this role for the first time,” Green Party Disability Spokesperson Catherine Delahunty said.

“Paul has a strong track record as a member of the disability community, a proven skill at bringing people together, a wealth of knowledge and expertise on disability issues, and a strong commitment to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

“He will also bring a welcome Tangata Whenua perspective to the role.”

Mr Gibson is the past President of the Disabled Persons Assembly. He is currently doing project work for IHC, and he has previously worked as a senior disability adviser at Capital and Coast Health, and for CCS Disability Action.

Mr Gibson is partially blind and uses Braille and adaptive technology to access information

Catherine Delahunty’s Member’s Bill to create the position of Disability Commissioner was pulled from the Parliamentary ballot in 2010, prompting the Government to adopt the policy.

“The establishment and now the filling of the position of Disability Commissioner is a great example of how the Green Party has set the political agenda and achieved positive change,” Ms Delahunty said.

“I’m delighted that people with disabilities now have a full-time representative at the Human Rights Commission to represent them and their interests and experience.

“There's strong support from the disability community for the appointment of a Commissioner, and a real feeling that structural change is needed to meet our obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

“Paul Gibson will be a great person to advance these goals. I welcome his appointment and look forward to working constructively with him to secure the rights of disabled people in New Zealand,” Ms Delahunty said.

ENDS

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