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The monitoring report on the human rights of disabled people shows that there is still a long way to go for disabled people in New Zealand, Green Party disability spokesperson Mojo Mathers said today.
The 2012 monitoring report on how New Zealand is living up to its human rights obligations to disabled people was launched today. The report was prepared by the Convention Coalition, a collaboration of disabled people's organisations.
"The Government needs to take the report seriously by committing to implement its key recommendations and ensuring that all arms of Government step up to their obligations," said Ms Mathers.
"The last thing that needs to happen is for this report to be shoved in a bottom drawer and ignored.
"Many of the recommendations, such as updating and strengthening the building code, will make a significant outcome to the lives of many disabled people," said Ms Mathers.
"This work is particularly urgent because of the Christchurch rebuild, which is just getting underway.
"Long overdue changes to the building code to ensure that everyone can access public and commercial buildings will lead to better employment prospects for disabled people and that in turn will improve their overall well-being and health.
"We risk losing an opportunity to get it right in Christchurch if we don't take action now," Ms Mathers said.
"For too long the human rights of disabled people, including the right to fully participate in society, have either not been recognised or have been ignored.
"The release of the report today is a great opportunity to put the issues faced by disabled people at the forefront of policy making," Ms Mathers said.