For the past year, Green MP Catherine Delahunty has had a bill in the ballot (and now before the House) to amend the Human Rights Act to require the government to appoint a specific disability commissioner within the Human Rights Commission. Today, the government adopted that proposal:
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.Its a nice example of how a member's bill can force the government to do the right thing (and this is the right thing), and a solid achievement for Delahunty. Hopefully there'll be many more.
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.
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.