Ministry matters

People with Disabilities Protest Rally Expresses No Confidence in Process of Establishing Ability Ministry

Disabled people who attended the Disabled Leaders Protest Rally voted against a process that is not led by a disabled person.

The rally, organized by internationally renowned Australian human rights activist: Graeme Innes, saw a wide range of people with disabilities in attendance, with others including parents, advocates, members of parliament and allies who were watching on Facebook.

“The disability community coming together like this in such a short time should send a clear message to the government that there is serious harm here that needs to be righted if trust in this new ministry is not to be damaged. beyond repair,” says Pam MacNeill. , a longtime former senior civil servant, who was one of the organizers of the event. Although they possess a range of academic qualifications and demonstrable skills, at least two persons with disabilities with leadership experience in the organization and the disability sector made the final shortlist of candidates, but were not appointed to the post of headteacher.

“Even though people were angry and disappointed that the government seriously thinks there is no disabled person capable of leading the creation of our own ministry, I was impressed with the way the meeting focused on solutions,” said Jonathan Mosen, one of the DLN leaders. Team.

“It was never a negative campaign against an individual, it was always a positive effort to debunk the myth that no disabled person is capable of doing this job,” Mosen said. “But the rally attendees were clear that being a person with a disability is a non-negotiable attribute for serving as a facility manager.”

The sentiments of the gathering were that the government really needs to listen to grassroots people with disabilities, understand the depth of feelings about this, and put a person with disabilities in the role, even if it means a delay in the start of ministry. People felt left out of the process and that there was a communication gap from the settlement unit.

“There has been talk of people with disabilities being brought to the table as advisers. It’s not good enough,” Ms. MacNeill said. “We have been consultants and advisors in our own business for years, sometimes paid, usually not. If this ministry is to be transformational, then we must turn the tide. Disabled people should meaningfully lead and manage this mahi, while naturally taking necessary advice from non-disabled supporters.”

Leaders with disabilities will now request a meeting with officials in the coming week to communicate the results of the rally and to seek renewed consultation on the settlement process.

The meeting also agreed that the group will take the matter to the United Nations if all avenues based in New Zealand have been exhausted.

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