Progress Report - 2006/2007
Objective 1: Encourage and educate for a non-disabled society.
Objective 2: Ensure rights for disabled people.
Objective 5: Foster leadership by disabled people.
An essential part of full participation is being able to take part in the ordinary activities of being a citizen. This includes things like voting and exercising leadership.
Key gains in this area include the signing of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the launch of the Nominations Service at the Office for Disability Issues, and continuation of the Like Minds, Like Mine campaign to reduce stigma and discrimination against people with experience of mental illness.
Disabled people’s lived experience and knowledge of disability is increasingly recognised by agencies that use disability advisory or reference groups to get input into policy. Agencies are either setting up their own disability advisory groups, ensuring disabled people are on current advisory groups, or referring specific issues to established advisory groups.
Other activities that have happened across government include:
- Developing nominations services – e.g. the Ministry of Women’s Affairs’ nominations service adds suitable people to their database from the Office for Disability Issues database, records information when women choose to identify as disabled on the nominations registration form, and provides support, advice and assistance to the convener of the Office for Disability Issues nominations service
- Responding to the Human Rights Action Plan – e.g. the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet with the Ministry of Justice and other relevant agencies are working on developing options for the government’s response to the New Zealand Action Plan on Human Rights. The principal aim is to increase the understanding of human rights issues (including disability issues) among policy makers. By doing this, issues will be considered fully and at an early stage.
- Reducing discrimination – e.g. the Ministry of Health, Mental Health Commission, Office for Disability Issues, and Human Rights Commission – Reducing discrimination against people with mental illness multi agency plan 2005 – 2007 – a plan to address stigma and discrimination faced by people with experience of mental illness. Key objectives of the plan for 2006-07 included to;
- influence and improve public attitudes through the mainstream media
- develop and enhance the ability of mentally ill people to advocate for their rights and participate in activities to reduce discrimination
- develop and promote education and community activities to reduce discriminatory practices.
- Protecting people’s rights – e.g. Ministry of Social Development’s Office for Senior Citizens is working on the Protection of Personal and Property Rights Amendment Bill. The purpose of this Bill is to strengthen the legislation so that the welfare and rights of vulnerable people are better protected, and to replace the forms and notes with prescribed forms in regulations. This will allow for better guidance in the creation of enduing powers of attorney, clarify the process for activation, tighten provisions relating to gifting, and provide easier access to the courts for anyone with concerns about an attorney’s actions.