It’s been an incredibly busy time over the last few months, and I wanted to share with you all what has been happening each month. To do this, I will be letting you know:
- who I’ve been talking to;
- what I’ve been talking about;
- some topical issues my team and I have been working on; and,
- some upcoming events.
To see the list of key meetings and events I’ve attended and what I’ve been talking about, click here.
I will be sending out updates once a month. However, this is a trial to see if this is the best form of engagement with you all. If you have any comments or suggestions, please contact Courtney Wilson at [email protected].
New Commissioners appointed
Two new Human Rights Commissioners were announced last week by Justice Minister Andrew Little; acting Chief Human Rights Commissioner and the Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner. Professor Paul Hunt has been appointed the Chief Human Rights Commissioner. The new Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner will be Dr Saunoamaali’i Karanina Sumeo. I will continue to act as Chief Commissioner until Professor Hunt takes up the position in January 2019. Read more here.
Changes to Funded Family Care
Last month, the Government announced its intention to repeal Part 4A of the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act 2000 and to consider changes to Funded Family Care. The Human Rights Commission and I have been advocating continually for a long period for this change to be made. The Government’s intention to repeal this legislation is also great news for the families who have been affected and all who have been fighting so hard for change. The Government will be holding targeted consultations in the upcoming months to talk to people about what changes they would like to see in the policy. Read more here.
Towards an inclusive education system
Education is a critical part of anyone’s life and plays an important role in shaping us into who we will be. It is vital that discussions about the future of the education system focus on ensuring inclusive education is "not a nice-to-have, but every child's right". I have been talking to Ministers, the Ministry of Education, the Education Summit Advisory Group (chair: Judge Andrew Becroft), the Tomorrow’s Schools Taskforce and other stakeholders about inclusive education – what it is, why it is better for all students and how to achieve it.The Ministry of Education has released the draft Disability and Learning Support Action Plan. The plan is currently open for consultation until the end of October. I encourage everyone to read the plan and provide your feedback on the action plan here.
Mental Health Awareness Week
8-14 October 2018
The theme is 'Let nature in, strengthen your wellbeing – Mā te taiao kia whakapakari tōu oranga!'. If you would like to get involved in any of the events planned during the week or order resources, visit the Mental Health Awareness website here.
Employment Design Day
18 October 2018, Wellington
The Disability Employment Design Day is no ordinary strategy process. The Human Rights Commission, Disabled People's Organisations Coalition and the Office for Disability Issues have invited businesses and disabled people to come together for a day to brainstorm how to realise the full employment potential of disabled people.
Universal Periodic Review training
23-26 October; Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch
The Human Rights Commission is inviting organisations to participate in New Zealand’s first in-country Universal Periodic Review pre-session and related training sessions. Read more here.
Alzheimers NZ conference: Tackling dementia: It's everybody's business. Mā wai e āwhina te mate wareware - mā tātou katoa.
25-27 October, Auckland
I will be speaking at the Alzheimers NZ conference about supported decision-making. The Alzheimers NZ Conference will focus on thought-provoking conversations, challenging our views of dementia and what we can do about it. You can register for the event here. Registration is free of charge for people living with dementia and care partners.
InclusiveNZ conference 2018: Our space
30-31 October, Wellington
I will also be speaking at the InclusiveNZ conference at the end of the month about education and employment. The conference theme is 'Mauri Tū, Mauri Ora - creating vibrant and inclusive communities'. The conference will be bringing together community organisations, academics, local authorities and individuals with lived experience to share their experiences, build networks and strengthen partnerships. If you would like to attend the event you can register here.