It’s election year. I am not sure who I will vote for; I am still finding out what the different political parties have to offer. I also want to know more about the candidates who are standing for election.
I think we all want a government that can improve the quality of people’s lives.
We all want to be safe, have a roof over our heads, have enough food, be healthy, have meaningful things to do, have people we love and have people who love us. We want to belong, to be included, and we want to contribute to our communities. We want freedom to do the things we want to do with the money and support we need.
For a government to improve the quality of people’s lives – to make informed decisions, to fix things before they get worse, to find the best solutions to problems, to know what works well and where tax money can be put to best use – they need good information about who we are, what our situations are and what matters to us.
IHC recently completed research using the Integrated Data Infrastructure (IDI) managed by Stats NZ. It highlights key areas that need to be improved if people with intellectual disabilities are to enjoy good lives. Despite some improvements in the wellbeing of people with intellectual disabilities since the Government’s last health and wellbeing report 12 years ago, further improvements are needed. It is necessary for the next government to put a higher value on gathering and collating solid information on the needs of disabled people, instead of guessing. (See the story on page 3.)
IHC is holding a 2023 Election Forum at the Wharewaka Function Centre in Wellington on 20 September at 4pm. It will be an opportunity for people with disabilities and their supporters to meet and listen to candidates standing in this year’s election. Disabled voters can ask candidates questions to increase their knowledge and understanding of the plans political parties have for running our country. (See the story on page 5.)
Answers from election candidates to the following questions may shed light on how inclusive their policies for disabled people are, in a population where one in four people has a disability:
• What will your party do to address the lack of affordable and accessible housing for people with disabilities on low and moderate incomes and their families?
• What could your party do to increase the life expectancy of disabled Māori?
• How could your party address the high unemployment rate of New Zealanders with disabilities?
• What is your plan for ensuring that disability issues and the community are front and centre in your planning and execution of emergency management plans and climate agenda?
For more information on the Election Forum contact Shara Turner on 0800 442 442 or shara.turner@IHC.org.nz.
IHC Director of Advocacy