Champions for Children – early intervention is critical

mural - champions centre

Special needs and early intervention in education has been topical recently. So I really appreciated the opportunity to visit the Champion Centre at Burwood Hospital last week to learn more about how it operates and its philosophy. The Champion Centre us New Zealand’s largest early intervention centre, serving nearly 160 children with disabilities between 0-6 years […]

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Time for NZ to prohibit the killing of great apes

One of the amendments I have put up to the Animal Welfare Amendment Bill prohibits the killing of great apes (chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas and orangutans). Great apes are our closest relatives and are as intelligent as human toddlers, with diverse personalities, complex emotions and mental traits once considered uniquely human, such as self-awareness, empathy and […]

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Election Inquiry – Getting accessible voting on the agenda

James Shaw has been doing a series of blogs on the Election Inquiry into last year’s general election.  I thought this was a great opportunity to raise an issue very dear to me – accessible voting. Last year’s general election proved to be a major milestone for accessible voting. For the first time, telephone dictation […]

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Access and Inclusion: FAQ (Part 1: Captioning)

Last week we launched our election disability policy priorities which received good coverage here and here. I have had some questions about different aspects of our policy, particularly on captioning which I will answer here. Why captioning? Current levels of captioning are woefully inadequate in New Zealand. Only 25% of broadcast TV is captioned compared […]

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Human Rights Amendment Bill fundamentally flawed

Some significant flaws have been uncovered in recent days in the Government’s Human Rights amendment Bill. During Select Committee hearings, one high profile and hugely experienced human rights campaigner even urged for bill to be withdrawn altogether. A key concern among critics is that the Bill could jeopardise the UN’s accreditation of our Human Rights […]

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