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A fair go matters

22/1/15 · Posted in fairness, valuing people

The idea of a fair go is key part of New Zealand life, although no doubt Australia will claim they invented the concept. A fair go is also an important part of our vision of a society that includes everyone and respects a person’s individual human rights.

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities does not give disabled people extra or different rights. Instead, it makes sure disabled people can realise the same Human Rights we all should have. The Convention is about disabled people getting a fair go.

A fair go plays a vital role in policy and advocacy. Policies and laws often sink or swim based on whether the people affected and/or the public think that they are fair or not. While not all of us are interested in policy and politics, most of us are interested in everyone getting a fair go. For example, the TV show Fair Go, which investigates unfair situations, has been presented for 37 years and is one of New Zealand’s longest running and highest rating shows.

The great thing about judgments on what is fair is that they are a personal and individual decision. While people can tell you that something is fair or not, and plenty of politicians and journalists do, at the end of the day, you get to decide for yourself.

Government and private organisations sometimes get trapped into thinking that because they followed the correct process and the right people in the right places made a decision, the result is fair. Ultimately, it is up to the people affected and/or the wider public to judge whether something is fair or not. Organisations can attempt to convince people that something is fair, but they cannot force people to accept that it is.

Advocating for change can be a long journey. You know, however that when you hear people start talking about a policy being unfair that you have begun the journey. When enough people say a policy is unfair, its days are hopefully numbered.

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