Disability Rights Commissioner appointed

  • Tariana Turia
Disability Issues

Disability Issues Minister Tariana Turia today announced further measures to promote, protect and monitor the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The measures include the establishment of a full-time Disability Rights Commissioner within the Human Rights Commission, a protection and monitoring role for the Office of the Ombudsmen and resourcing a formalised role for disabled persons' organisations.

Mrs Turia says the announcement further signals the Government's commitment to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The Human Rights Commission will place increased emphasis on promoting the rights of disabled peoples with the Office of the Ombudsmen undertaking a protection and monitoring role.

Disabled people's organisations will also be actively involved in the monitoring.

"Independent monitoring will ensure that Government agencies concentrate on the things that really matter to disabled people."

"I am delighted that we have made such tangible progress in placing disability issues on everyone's agenda"

"We already have a Ministerial Committee on Disability Issues which leads and co-ordinates action across government along with the Office for Disability Issues acting as a focal point for Government," says Mrs Turia.

Chief Commissioner Rosslyn Noonan has welcomed the Government's decision to establish the position of a full-time Disability Rights Commissioner and will in the interim personally hold the designation jointly with EEO Commissioner Dr Judy McGregor.

The Commission will work with Government to progress the changes required to the Human Rights Act to enable the role to be formally established.

"As Disability Issues Minister I welcome this significant role and look forward to an appointment being made."