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Accessibility for New Zealanders Bill
The Government introduced its 'Accessibility for New Zealanders Bill' to Parliament on 28 July 2022, claiming it would establish "a new legislative framework that addresses systemic accessibility barriers that prevent disabled people, tāngata whaikaha and their whānau, and others with accessibility needs from living independently and participating in all areas of life."
The 'Accessibility for New Zealanders Bill' had its First Reading 2 August and was subsequently referred to the Social Services and Community Select Committee, a group of nine MPs that will examine the bill in more detail and hear submissions from the public.
We can do better
Access Matters Aotearoa believes that the Government's 'Accessibility for New Zealanders Bill' - in its current form - falls well short of the accessibility legislation all Kiwis deserve, and need, to be able to fully participate in society, have the opportunity to learn, to get a job, and to take part in community and social life.
Also, many disabled peoples' groups don't believe this legislation will deliver real progress or improvements, because the Government bill:
- has no means of enforcement
- only applies to central government, is not applicable to the private sector, and has no impact on local government
- has no standards
- has no regulator
- has no dispute-resolution process
- has no obligations or timeframe
- only creates a new advisory committee - which does not require an Act of Parliament - and will only perpetuate the slow and fragmented system currently in place [Aine, paraphrased]
- relies on the values, priorities and decisions of future ministers [overall - Godfrey paraphrased]
The Select Committee needs to hear YOUR VOICE on the 'Accessibility for New Zealanders Bill', and how the current bill can be amended to create an Act of Parliament that will implement an accessibility legislative framework focused on the prevention and removal of new barriers, to ensure everyone can participate and access the same opportunities on an equal basis with others.
It only takes 5 minutes
This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get this legislation right, so we have provided an easy - yet individualised - Quick Submission Form for the Select Committee, below. It only takes five minutes to complete. You can help make real change in Aotearoa New Zealand, so make your submission today!
Want to know more?
Read the Government's proposed 'Accessibility for New Zealanders Bill' with alternative formats also available. Check out Auckland Disability Law's initial response to the bill and Access Matters Aotearoa's Example Bill for recommendations on how we can improve accessibility legislation in Aotearoa New Zealand. Also see our Submission Guide for more information about making a Select Committee submission, plus ideas and themes you may wish to include in your submission.
Write your submission below
If you would like assistance completing the Select Committee Submission form please contact Taryn Banks on [email protected] or 022 016 2571. We're here to help! NZSL video and captioned calls are available.