DLANZ Old letters series - Waitangi Disputes Tribunal June 2011

1. National Radio decision to withhold Reo to English Translation Services to Maori Radio (Radio Waatea 2011)
2. Disability Funding between services over Accident or Non-Accident causations of Impairment (Marae Investigates2011)

"Disabled Liberation-Aotearoa NZ believes “Te Whakaputunga” (Declaration of Independence 1835), and Te Triti (1840 Waitangi’s February 500 signed), are the founding documents of this special relationship. We believe Whakanui Oranga (The NZ Disability Strategy 2001) will be pivotal to ensure its implementation."

21 June 2011
To: The Registrar
Waitangi Disputes Tribunal
Wellington

Dear Sir / Madam
1. Regarding: National Radio decision to withhold Reo to English Translation Services to Community Maori Radio (Radio Waatea May 2011)
2. Regarding: Crown decisions to discriminate Disability Funding between Disabled Services over Accident or Non-Accident causations of Impairment (TVNZ Marae Investigates –May / June 2011)

To all people, all voices, all the many relations from the 4 Winds, I greet you all.
Tihei Mauriora!!

My name is Doug Hay and I am a born Kiwi on 23 October 1958. Of Scottish origin by way of birth, my primary source of ‘Ethnic’ Identity is born of an Impairment titled Arthrogryposis. This is labelled under the term ‘Disabled’, or the Reo equivalent, ‘Hauaa’; as since the time of the original signing of The Treaty of Waitangi 1840, disabled people (both Maori and Pakeha men, women and children) existed then, as we do today.

The last recorded Census 2006, showed between 700-800 thousand citizens living in Aotearoa NZ with a disability, of which 44 % Maori and 29% Non-Maori still have basic needs unmet. We at Disabled Liberation-Aotearoa feel the time has come for both signatories of Waitangi’s Crown to hear Disabled as a Collective voice.

At the time of writing to you, it has been 10 years since the introduction of The New Zealand Disability Strategy (April 2001) – Whakanui Oranga meaning; “Making a World of Difference”. The document set 15 Objectives where this Sovereignty was supposed to have provided a holistic and inclusive environment, with Crown policies of good practice, to ensure legislation as International Human Rights Covenants include the rights of disabled people.

Of the 15 Objectives, and its vision of a non-disabling society, 4 points are clear

• The Principles of Waitangi are recognised.
• Legislation, policies and other activities should enhance, rather than disable the lives of people with impairments.
• Community based services ensure that disabled people are supported in their own communities and institutionalisation is eliminated.
• Disabled people are treated equitably, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, type of impairment or when and how the impairment was acquired.

Under the special relationship between Maori and the Crown, there was supposed to have been a partnership at all levels of service delivery to promote the protection and improvement of Maori well-being.

Disabled Liberation-Aotearoa NZ believes “Te Whakaputunga” (Declaration of Independence 1835), and Te Triti (1840 Waitangi’s February 500 signed), are the founding documents of this special relationship. We believe Whakanui Oranga (The NZ Disability Strategy 2001) will be pivotal to ensure its implementation.

It’s a confusing world out there, for both frameworks of Able-bodied and Disabled people, wishing to ensure a better life for all our children’s children well-being (I have 4 ‘grand’ able – bodied mokopuna),

On behalf of all Kiwis living under the framework of Disabled (Tangata Whenua – Hauaa)

He totara wahi rua he kai na te ahi

A ttotara tree, split in two is fuel for the fire (Unity is Strength)

  1. National Radio decision to cut funding for Reo to English Translation Services to Community Maori Radio (Radio Waatea May 2011)

The Government-funded National Radio had provided funding to this radio station’s news service (normally read in Maori reo), by providing an overview of Maori issues which could be shared by both cultures.

It has proved very successful for the many listeners who want to know more about Aotearoa NZ from a Maori perspective, which is a pre-requisite if the Treaty, is to be honoured.

Speaking for myself, I believe the focus on serving a ‘Whanau’ broadcast at Waatea – Tamaki Makarau, Auckland, ‘is the best in town’.

Current issues such as;

1 The live broadcast of The Mana Party launch,
2. Te Whanau Apanui’s stand against the oil exploration in their waters
3. The local iwi’s of the Kaipara harbour’s fight against wind turbines destroying the fishing stocks

Would never have been given its fair hearing, had it not been for the extensive involvement of Radio Waatea and other stations belonging to the Maori network.

Disabled of both cultures also share these concerns and feel that National Radio’s decision to this being done “in house”, restricts disabled people’s access to independent communication. Even the simple ability to get up and change radio channels is physically difficult for many.

It helps isolate those disabled who can’t get out and denies those (especially our Kaumatua and Kuia) where radio and television help empower through information, including the right for tikanga and reo Maori (Maori custom and language) Sadly the number of citizens speaking Te reo is low and Non-Maori as myself and other disabled are doing our best to immerse ourselves in Te Ao Maori.

We believe that, these actions by National Radio are in constitutional breach of Treaty principles, plus it contradicts the NZ Disability Strategy and the Crowns obligations to show good practice.

NZDS Objective 1.1:
Develop national and locally based anti-discrimination programmes.
2 Crown decisions to discriminate Disability Funding between Disabled Services over Accident or Non-Accident causations of Impairment (TVNZ Marae Investigates – Hickey May / June 2011)

An item by TVNZ (Television New Zealand) highlighted a long standing dispute between Aotearoa NZ‘s Able-bodied and Disabled populations, over the control and distribution of Disability funding by Government policies towards disabled people (kiwis).

Huhana (Susan) Hickey – Te Aitiawa / Aborigine, is a disabled Maori woman (Multiple Sclerosis was identified as her impairment), and a single mother; who had just recently launched Auckland Disability Law.

She was taking up her vocation as a newly qualified lawyer, to work on behalf of the community, advocating for those having problems with the Sovereign over disability issues

  1. Departmental breaches of Human Rights
  2. Disability Code of Rights
  3. Indigenous matters for Maori with disabilities (Hauaa-Maori), and Waitangi breaches over colonization.

Huhana was Maori Advisor to DPA Disabled Persons Assembly, where her fight for indigenous peoples is noted both academically and within international conventions around the world

“Hu”, as she is well known, lived in Hamilton and was finding it difficult to move to Mangere, where her new offices are situated, because of a bureaucratic nightmare trying to obtain financial assistance to have the helper of her choosing (in this case, her now adult son)

This is a well-practiced ACC (Accident Compensation Commission)) arrangement for the payment of home-care , yet, because the causation of her impairment was attributed to a medically diagnosed ‘illness’, her equal rights were denied, even though she shares the same ‘physical’ disability by living in a wheelchair environment.

This is against the Manaakitanga (Caring) concept of Te Ao Maori, where Whanau and other family members, provide primary support to enable a disabled person to lead an economically productive and independent life.

It also is in breach of Whakanui Oranga clear objectives of not discrimination on the grounds of impairment and its subsequent effect/barrier of disability.
Objective 7.5 Encourage equity of funding and service provision for people with similar needs, regardless of the cause of their impairment

Objective 7.9 Ensure disability services do not perpetuate the myth that disabled people are ill, while recognising that disabled people do need access to health services without discrimination

To date there have been many attempts to address issues such as these through ‘Pakeha’ agencies (like the Human Rights, Race Relations and Health and Disability Commissions).

However these systemic procedures still do not produce equality, as was promised in 1993 Human Rights Act and its Code of Good Practice, as was again promised in 2001 with Whakanui Oranga NZ Disability Strategy.

The governmental Department of Disability Issues Minister (Tariana Turia) had even forgotten it was the 10 year anniversary of her own Ministry when I spoke to her on Radio Waatea, earlier this year

Nor has her predecessors (Dyson, Dalzell, Bennett) have anything to be proud of, when we still see on television, fathers of Down Syndrome children using the term “Nazi”, when it comes to describing Health Ministry policies in relation to these kids. (TV3”60 Minutes – Down, But Not Out “just screened Sunday 12 June 2011)

Alongside others with similar impairments, disabled kids and adults are denied a full and productive / reproductive existence by the National and Labour-led coalitions for last 20 years These Governments have operated policies primarily driven by monetary and economic reasoning.

I still fails to acknowledge that without including a ;Disabled’ frame, it has, and will continue; to breach covenants denying disabled even the choice of birth, parenthood and the equal right to be valued as something other than a burden by a n able-bodied society.

We hope you will favourably consider our concern, and will meet to discuss this with us, our desire for an inclusive environment

Yours sincerely

Doug Hay

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