Speaker on the Issue of Deaf MP Mojo Mathers
Scoop Audio: Tuesday 13th Feb 2012
By The Scoop Team
In a press conference this afternoon Speaker Lockwood Smith defended his handling of requests for support for profoundly deaf MP Mojo Mathers' participation in Parliament, and said he was "deeply concerned" by the way the issue had been portrayed.
Earlier today the Greens said they had been told they would have to fund equipment Mathers requires out of their own budget.
The Speaker said he had done his "level best" to provide support to Mathers and that Parliamentary Service had provided support.
But the Speaker said funding allocations had to comply with the law and follow procedures. He said various matters such as captioning Parliamentary video were in train. He added that he had personally suggested that the House investigate the use of voice recognition software as a possible solution.
He also said he had understood the meeting were confidential. On twitter Green MP Gareth Hughes has disputed this, saying Mathers was clear she would talk about the issue in the media and her maiden speech tomorrow.