New Zealand: Coalition of Disabled People’s Organisations (DPO) Responds to Minister’s Reforms
Asia-Pacific, News, November 5 2021
The Disabled People’s Organisations (DPO) Coalition has welcomed announcements made today by the Minister for Disability Issues.
Minister for Disability Issues Hon. Carmel Sepuloni and Minister of Health Andrew Little announced a number of key changes affecting disabled people, including system transformation, the creation of a new Ministry for Disabled People, and new accessibility legislation.
DPO Coalition members have long advocated for the creation of a ministry focused on disabled people. The creation of a ministry focused on more than one million disabled New Zealanders has the potential to make a significant difference. Disabled people have poorer outcomes across all parts of life– including health, education and employment. Now there will be a ministry focused on ensuring this can’t continue to happen, and responsible for supporting better outcomes and human rights for disabled people.
The progress of accessibility legislation was also welcomed. Accessibility is about making a fairer society for all. It is about removing barriers to inclusion, participation and wellbeing, and taking action to promote dignity and human rights. This legislation will help us make progress towards implementing the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. We are particularly pleased to see that the new system embeds the voice of disabled people in the system – respecting that there should be nothing about us, without us.
The DPO Coalition wishes to thank Minister Sepuloni for engaging Coalition members closely throughout the development of these reforms.
The DPO Coalition looks forward to understanding the reforms in more detail, particularly the rollout of the Enabling Good Lives approach. It will take a strong interest in the implementation of the reforms, and how they make a difference to the lives of disabled people.
Association of Blind Citizens of New Zealand Incorporated
Dr Jonathan Godfrey
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Disabled Persons Assembly NZ
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