23 JULY 2019
The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming Tracey Martin for wasting money on a meaningless “translation” of a written press statement into a sign language video, when the vast majority of any deaf or hard-of-hearing persons are perfectly capable of reading it.
In a Friday afternoon media release, the Minister boasted that her statement had been translated into NZ Sign Language. After questioning from the Taxpayers’ Union, the Ministry of Education confirmed the translation cost “less than $800”.
Taxpayers’ Union spokesman Jordan Williams says, “Wasting nearly $800 for a three-minute video no one needs suggests the Minister either doesn’t get that deaf people can read, or has no care for wasting taxpayers’ money.”
“Most taxpayers would support more services to enable deaf people to fully participate in society. But wasting money on virtue signalling such as translating missives from the Minister’s Beehive office, when that money would be better spent on services people actually need, is plain wrong.”
“We also know that sign language interpreters are in short supply. Not only is this a waste, it means an interpreter is pulled away from services such as enabling deaf people to communicate with a doctor or a teacher.”
Note: in October Parliament ceased using sign interpreters during question time, as it was stretching resources and pulling interpreters away from essential services. Refer to https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/ending-sign-language-service-during-question-time-huge-mistake-advocates-say