NZ to Establish ‘Ministry for Disabled People’
New Zealand will establish a 'Ministry for Disabled People' in July 2022 and introduce a bill to make the country more accessible, a Minister said here on Friday.
Wellington: New Zealand will establish a ‘Ministry for Disabled People’ in July 2022 and introduce a bill to make the country more accessible, a Minister said here on Friday.
In a statement, Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni said the new Ministry will join up all of the supports and services available to the differently abled people and replace a fragmented system where there is no single agency responsible for driving improved overall outcomes, Xinhua news agency.
The government is also accelerating efforts to make New Zealand more accessible by introducing a new accessibility framework, backed by legislation and a new Accessibility Governance Board. The Governance Board will be led by and represent disabled people and communities, Sepuloni said.
“The disabled community’s voices will be embedded at all levels of decision-making, from the formation and running of the ministry, to the development of accessibility legislation,” she said.
The Ministry of Social Development will host the new Ministry for Disabled People. and will ensure the new addition will have access to existing shared services and knowledge to help it hit the ground running, Sepuloni said.
“This is the beginning of a true partnership between the disability community and government,” she added.
According to local media statistics, one in four New Zealanders is differently abled.
They are disproportionately represented in poverty statistics, and experience high rates of discrimination.