Disability Issues Minister, Poto Williams, has welcomed observations shared by the UN following New Zealand’s examination by the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in August.
The report acknowledges the significant changes New Zealand has made to improve the lives of disabled people, since it was last examined by the Committee in 2014. These recommendations will be considered by the Government, and co-ordinated by Whaikaha – Ministry of Disabled People.
“It was a privilege to lead the delegation that appeared before the UN last month, where the recommendations were largely canvassed,” said Minister Williams.
“They provide a timely directive for the Government and newly-established Whaikaha – Ministry of Disabled People, as work commences to further progress the strategic implementation and practice of the Convention.
“While we have made good progress since the last examination, the feedback will go far in shaping both future initiatives, and the government’s current approaches, such as the New Zealand Disability Strategy and Action Plan, the commitment to partnership in Whaikaha, transforming disability support services using an Enabling Good Lives approach, and the Accessibility for New Zealanders Bill.”
She said New Zealand had provided strong leadership in developing the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
“We need to continue to be champions of the Convention and ensure disabled people have the same rights and opportunities as all New Zealanders,” the Minister said.
Whaikaha will work with and support other government departments to help them deliver on the UN observations, and to ensure the Convention is incorporated across Government, which was signed in 2008, is adopted in full, she said.