More books for visually impaired a step closer

  • Paul Goldsmith
  • Nicky Wagner
Disability Issues Commerce and Consumer Affairs

Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Paul Goldsmith says submissions are overwhelmingly supportive of New Zealand joining an international treaty that will make more published works available to people with a print disability.

“The government released a discussion document in October seeking public feedback on whether New Zealand should accede to the international copyright agreement,” Mr Goldsmith says.

“Thank you to those that took the time to make a submission, including the 653 people who provided feedback directly to the Blind Foundation. The feedback will help shape the next phase of work which is to seek Cabinet approval for accession, followed by the preparation of a National Interest Analysis to be presented to the House for examination.”

“Becoming a signatory of this world intellectual property treaty will enrich the lives of 170,000 New Zealanders with a print disability,” Mr Goldsmith says.

Disability Issues Minister Nicky Wagner welcomes the progress and says it will provide more choice to disabled people.

“The Marrakesh Treaty is a great opportunity to open up a world of printed material for access by people with a print disability. It will make better use of the resources for making accessible versions and avoid unnecessary duplication. It could also enable more New Zealand printed works to be accessed by people around the world, as well as domestically,” Ms Wagner says.

“Improving access to information is a priority in the Government’s Disability Action Plan. Progressing the Treaty is a clear demonstration of our commitment to improving the lives of disabled New Zealanders.”

The Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons who are Blind, Visually Impaired, or otherwise Print Disabled, was concluded in June 2013 and will come into effect once ratified by 20 countries.

To view the submissions visit: