Tuesday, 14 February 2012


Speaker of the House, Lockwood Smith, has said that there is no funding available to provide live captioning for deaf MP Mojo Mathers.
I'd like to think I am not at all partisan on this issue, though I voted Green and Mojo Mathers represents the Green Party.  To me it;s not about an individual, or the party they represent, it's about human rights, and those can transcend individuals and political parties.
NZ Sign language is one of the three official languages of New Zealand.  As it should be.  Any MP is entitled to use it in parliament, and be readily understood by every other MP in parliament, and everyone watching the proceedings on some electronic visual medium.  And any MP should be able to follow the proceeding of parliament without incurring additional cost to their individual or party budgets.
It's part of the job the MP was elected (in this case by the people of New Zealand) to do.  Not funding this from a general pool disregards the wishes of the people of New Zealand.
I suggest that if the National Party had had a deaf MP elected (as opposed to the bunch of terminally stupid MPs they did get into parliament) there would be no issue at all.
Perhaps I have been unkind and this is just a case of poor communication from the Speaker, we will see shortly.

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