Mojo Mathers re Speaker’s decision on support funding

Speech – Green Party

The Speaker’s decision to fund the electronic note taking and other support I need to fully participate in parliament is a very positive result both for me and for the disability community. 9 March 2012

Mojo Mathers’ statement re Speaker’s decision on support funding as delivered at press conference

The Speaker’s decision to fund the electronic note taking and other support I need to fully participate in parliament is a very positive result both for me and for the disability community.

I want to thank the Speaker for reaching this decision.

It is the right decision and represents a significant step forward for the disability community in New Zealand.

This decision means that aspiring MPs with a disability or hearing impairment will be able to run for parliament confident that they will get the support they need.

I have already received messages from young New Zealanders with disabilities saying how pleased they are by the decision. It has provided them with hope that they too can fully participate in our democracy and stand for parliament.

This decision means that parties don’t have to put people with disabilities low on their list or on unelectable positions for fear that they will have to cover the full cost of their participation.

This decision provides genuine equity of treatment for people with disabilities who get elected to parliament.

The Speaker’s commitment to bringing in captioning of parliament TV is particularly welcome.

Captioning will greatly improve access to parliament and the political debate for the 700,000 New Zealanders with a hearing impairment.

Finally I want to thank all the people who have supported me over the last few months.

The kind offers of support, including offers of pro bono note taking, have been greatly appreciated.

To the thousands of people who have written letters to the editor, signed petitions or sent an email to the Speaker – your actions have mattered and made a real difference.

We could not have achieved this result without you. Thank you.
ENDS

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