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2017 Election Party Response- The Māori Party

We asked the main political parties questions about disability issues. Here is the Māori Party’s response. We will post the responses as we get them.

Employment – our questions

  1. What would your party do to tackle barriers to employment for disabled people?
  2. How will your party ensure disabled people can access the same range of employment opportunities as non-disabled people?

The Māori Party’s answers:

The Māori Party retains a longstanding and strong commitment to investing in enabling disabled people and their whānau so they have more choices, control and flexibility over support and funding in their everyday lives. This approach applies to employment related issues, including barriers to access too. We also support a wider review of employment laws to ensure that disabled people are fairly catered for.

We would review the Disability Action Plan to better target solutions focused at specific barriers to a range of employment opportunities that disabled people seek, in order to get more disabled people into paid work and reduce their dependency on welfare or other supports. We also maintain that a collaborative approach between employers and businesses to promote more employment opportunities for disabled people is necessary.

Greater access to, and participation in skills acquisition in the education and tertiary education system is also required in order to support disabled people greater opportunities in employment.

Poverty and higher costs- our questions

  1. What would your party do to ensure disabled people have adequate resources and that this support is easy to access?
  2. How will your party ensure disabled people can access a similar range of opportunities in the community as non-disabled people?

The Māori Party’s answers:

The Māori Party believe in extending Enabling Good Lives – an approach aimed at supporting disabled people and their whānau to take greater control of their lives and resources to support them.

We support extending the Enabling Good Lives approach nationwide, with associated investment in Thinking Differently, Individualised Funding and Supported Living.

Whānau Ora is a transformational approach in the way services are designed and delivered by whānau for whānau. It is a bold and innovative approach which places the aspirations and outcomes for whānau at the centre. We support changing the disability support system from providing a standard menu of services to a more individualised one that is driven by the specific needs and aspirations of whānau.

Access (part 1) – our question

  1. Would your party commit to enacting a new dedicated access law?

The Māori Party’s answer:

Yes, we support Be Accessible as another innovative opportunity and believe that legislating for rights to greater access for disabled people to enable them to enjoy all the opportunities available be it tourism, accommodation, travel, moving around our towns and cities is necessary.

Access (part 2) – our question

  1. What would your party do to improve the public’s understanding of disability and their attitudes towards disabled people?

The Māori Party’s answer:

The best thing we can do is push for better education and making New Zealand a more tolerant and compassionate place to live. We support more funding to promote positive attitudes and behaviours towards disabled people. It’s about what they can do – not what they can’t do.

Diversity – our question

  1. What would your party do to make sure disability supports are culturally relevant for disabled people?

The Māori Party’s answer:

The Māori Party has strongly advocated to ensure that a voice for Māori disabled whānau is heard. We believe the funded sector of services for disabled people and their whānau could take a more holistic approach to providing health and social services, which are community led and whānau-centred.

Education – our questions

  1. What would your party do to ensure disabled children can attend and be included in their local school as of right?
  2. How will your party ensure disabled people can access the same educational opportunities as non-disabled people?

The Māori Party’s answer:

We would allow the whānau to determine which school their child should attend and provide more support for schools so they are better equipped to cater to people with varying needs.

Housing – our question

  1. What would your party do to ensure accessible and affordable housing is available?

The Māori Party’s answer:

We launched the Māori Housing Network which now has a budget of $17.5 million per annum that provides funds for the development of new whare, housing repairs, infrastructure and papakāinga. The Māori Party has advocated for emergency housing and lobbied for a Warrant of Fitness on all rental properties. It truly is a sad indictment on our country that there is a growing number of people sleeping rough on the streets, in cars or in garages. The Māori Party are advocating policies to address issues of poverty, homelessness, access to services, and

housing affordability. We will also continue to support iwi and Māori groups that want to provide social housing providers.

Child poverty – our questions

  1. What would your party do to tackle child poverty amongst disabled children and their whānau?
  2. What would your party do to ensure disabled children have access to the same opportunities as non-disabled children?

The Māori Party’s answers:

Māori and Pasifika children are approximately twice as likely as Pākehā/European children to be living in severe poverty. We know 25 percent of children – about 270,000 – currently live in poverty (OCC Report, 2012). Māori Party policy is around creating and enabling wellness in our whānau to ensure that all children have a good start in life.

We believe, given equal opportunities, people living with disabilities can lead thriving lives and do extraordinary things. Our priority is around raising awareness to the public and providing them with the right support so they can be empowered to live lives of their choosing.

Sustainable funding for disability support services – our question

  1. What would your party do to ensure funding for disability support meets demand and is adequate?

The Māori Party’s answer:

Our priority is to reduce disparities and inequities in the overall health of whānau and individuals. We want to ensure that the services provided are effective in providing care for those who live with disabilities. It can be very costly living with disabilities so we support a cost of living adjustment to all benefits.

A social insurance approach for all disability support services – our question

  1. Would your party consider implementing a social insurance funding approach for all disability supports? –

The Māori Party’s answer:

Yes, we would support social insurance funding to provide a safety net for the disabled community.

Disability Commission – our question

  1. Will your party support the creation of an independent disability commission to manage all disability policy and disability support service funding?

The Māori Party’s answer:

Yes, absolutely. We believe that a commission to manage all disability policy would greatly benefit the disabilities community.

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