It’s an election year here in New Zealand. Last time this event came around I created a post for each political party, looking at their attitudes, priorities and promises when it came to disability (and especially autism) in New Zealand. I simply don’t have the required time to dedicate a post to every party this time around, but I can provide links and other key information that may help make your own decision easier this year, if disability issues are a top priority for you in where your vote goes.
Honestly, in my experience, people rarely vote on single issues – the party you vote for reflects a much wider view of what is best for creating a good society and thereby (naturally one assumes), what is also best for those with disabilities. So if this post will be helpful at all, it may be helpful to those torn between parties with otherwise similar views of what makes a good society, or it may help you figure out which parties you’d like to lobby to change their views. Either way, I hope you find this post a useful resource.
First, a list of links to each party’s disability policy, with further explanation where needed. I’ll present these in alphabetical order. I will not be going over every single political party because there are such a huge number of them, just the ones that regularly make it into the polls (here’s a link to the New Zealand Herald’s poll stories, as a source for those interested in keeping up with the latest polls).
- Act do appear to not have a specific “disability policy,” but you can gleam their attitudes, priorities etc from their policies in the related areas of health, education, welfare (etc).
- Conservative Party also does not appear to have a specific disability policy, see the guidance above about Act for where to look for more relevant details in their other policies.
- Green Party Disability Policy. You can also find a link on the right side of that page to the full disability policy in a PDF.
- Labour Party Disability Policy.
- Internet Mana Party Disability Policy.
- Maori Party, do not appear to have announced a disability policy, and I found it hard to find other relevant policies on their website too. Let me know if you have better luck than I did.
- National Party, do not appear to have announced a disability policy yet, but considering they are the current government it is easy to find huge amounts of information on what they are doing around disability issues on all sorts of websites (NZ Herald, Scoop, and Stuff are useful starting points). Like Act and all other parties, you can also gleam further detail on their disability views by having a look at other policy areas such as education, housing and welfare.
- New Zealand First do not appear to have a specific disability policy, but other policies (health, education etc) will help you figure out what they want too.
- United Future‘s site specifically declares that they are still in the process of releasing policy, and provide a way in which you can contact them to share your suggestions about policy.
I was also interested in finding out which parties have people with disabilities standing for parliament. So far I have only identified two:
- The Greens have Mojo Mathers, who is deaf, and who is currently in parliament as well as standing again this year.
- Labour has Simon Buckingham, who claims to be New Zealand’s first “autistic spectrum lawyer.” Simon is not currently in parliament, and I do not know where he comes on their party list, but I will add that detail when I find out.
I only know of one disability advocacy agency that has tried to find answers to their specific concerns from the parties and shared those answers online. It was a good effort to get responses to a range of issues. You can find the responses here at IHC‘s webpage.
If policies, key personalities, or other relevant information becomes available between now and the election, all you have to do is message me in the comments section below, or via Facebook or Twitter and I will add to or change the information in this post accordingly. If there is a specific issue or party policy you’d like me to look into further, in regards to disability and especially to autism, please do feel free to let me know that too.