Stuff are reporting that Lockwood Smith has ruled that new, deaf, Green MP Mojo Mathers will have to fund the $30,000 cost for technology to allow her to participate in the house, out of her own office budget.
Speaker Lockwood Smith has told deaf MP Mojo Mathers she must pay for the $30,000 technology to speak in Parliament out of her own budget.
Green MP Mathers made history when she became New Zealand’s first profoundly deaf MP in November.
She will give her maiden speech in the House tomorrow, which will be translated by sign-language interpreters.
But Smith has told the Green Party that Parliamentary Services will not pay for the electronic note-taking equipment which Mathers needs to take part in debates.
She was prevented from speaking in Parliament last week because the technology isn’t in place.
The Christchurch-based list MP needed a combination of electronic note-taking in Parliament with a laptop or screen at the desk.
He said she must fund the $20-30,000 from her office budget.
As a list MP her total budget is only around $40,000. And let’s not forget that sign language is an official language of New Zealand. I wonder if Lockwood will be charging the Maori MPs for the costs associated with speaking in Te Reo.
This is absolutely disgusting. Twitter is currently going crazy with comments on the issue. The hashtag #sackLockwood has been used.
Let’s not forget though, this is hardly a surprising ruling from Lockwood. He has a fine pedigree when it comes to daft, bigoted rubbish…
He told the Marlborough Express that Asian workers were better at picking fruit “because their hands are smaller.”
Dr Smith said employers should not be solely responsible for teaching or funding training that prepared workers for life in New Zealand.
“Some of them are having to teach them things like how to use a toilet or shower…I don’t think the employer should have to pay for that work.”
Are iPredict taking bets on how long it will be until this decision is over-turned?