Last week I bought one of these cars.
It will allow me to wheel directly in and drive from my chair. I'll no longer need to manually winch my chair in and out, something that, as I age, has become more and more taxing.
This afternoon I presented to the Parliamentary Health Select Committee about my submission on Hon Maryan Street’s petition about voluntary euthanasia (or assisted dying). Imagine my delight when I saw, sitting in the sub-committee to which I was to present, Hon Simon O'Connor, the Committee's Chair, and Poto Williams, Labour's spokesperson on disability issues, whom I have met several times. Score!
I began by acknowledging the death this morning of Helen Kelly who, in her struggle with cancer, lobbied for legalisation of both medical cannabis use and assisted dying (AD). Helen, if you're reading this somewhere and you had anything to do with the sub-committee make-up, many, many thanks.
I love this campaign. It speaks to the heart of an issue of fundamental importance: how do we create a strong, robust future society. Our children are that future. I submitted this to the #DearNewZealand website today.
I would solve child poverty by creating a culture where every kid has what they need, for free. Shelter, clothes, food, learning environments, safety and love. All these things should be provided for free by the Government.
Last week, three people I know within one or two degrees of separation, were affected by cancer — one was diagnosed, one came out of remission and one died. Call me sensitive, but I was a bit shell-shocked.
We've almost come to take cancer for granted — even accept it as fate. We see it as this mysterious medical problem that's suddenly become pandemic, at least in the western world. Meanwhile, friends tell me other life-threatening conditions like heart failure are decreasing.
So what's going on here? I'm not buying it.
If you caught Campbell Live's item on legal highs last night, you may have had the same reaction as me, which I expressed in this tweet:
The issue of legal highs is one of those unnecessary consequences of poor logic of both our political leaders and the mainstream of society. Legal highs have joined the list of legal substances, alcohol and tobacco, that are proven more harmful than marijuana. It's just ridiculous beyond belief.
Today is officially my last day of work until February so I thought I'd look back through my five most popular posts of the year.
The fifth most read post on my blog in 2013 was one I actually wrote way back in February 2012, where I wanted to encourage, in the disability social change space, empathy in place of sympathy. When considering the difference between empathy (understanding) and sympathy (pity), I got thinking about the astounding amount of sympathy or pity people display about the experience of disability.
The media release below highlights a significant gaff on Government's behalf, failing to connect the dots between its social teams and campaigns. What isn't mentioned is the low profile Think Differently campaign, which aims "to encourage and support a fundamental shift in attitudes and behaviour towards disabled people," which seems out of the loop. There also exists a Domestic Violence and Disability working group, which also seems to have been overlooked in the process.
It will be interesting to see how this slip up is addressed. Easy mistake, but will there be an opportunity for a quick fix?
11 September 2013
Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty spoke in the Budget Debate on the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Amendment Bill (No 2) on Tuesday, 28 May 2013, saying:
"The New Zealand Public Health and Disability Amendment Bill (No 2) ... was forced through the House, as part of the Budget. I think the reason it was forced through under urgency, as part of the Budget, is that probably very few support parties could have stomached it if it had not been. It is a unique bill. The Budget has allocated $23 million per year for 3 years for perhaps 1,600 families, who can be paid less than all other carers, who can only be paid for 40 hours' work a week, and who basically, if they are not able to get that funding and want to complain about any aspect of the Government's new policy, will be unable to because there is a discriminatory clause in the bill.
"A most extraordinary discrimination has been entrenched in this bill, and it has been commented on far and wide. That is why I have called the bill the "Too Little, Too Late, Too Bad, Shut Up Bill", because that is really what it is about. The only reason there was any money put aside for this in the Budget is that the Government had lost in every court in the land. The Government did not do it to become internationally recognised as people who really like to defend people. The Government did it because it could, and it is wrong."
Amend as follows:
Dear Hon Tariana Turia, [your MP] and [if appropriate your local Labour MP]
Copy and paste bold text.
Another example of the National Party's complete disregard for a civil society. Shame on you Tony Ryall. Such a dishonourable response.
Big ups to Kevin Hague for taking a stand.
GREEN PARTY MEDIA RELEASE