Source: Green Party
Our democracy should be accessible for everyone. One of the fundamental things about civil society is that it’s supposed to be by the people, for the people. Currently, it’s harder than it should be for some people to take part. That’s where the Election Access Fund Bill comes in. Make a submission today to make the Bill the best it can be.
What does this bill do?
The Election Access Fund Bill aims to make it easier for deaf and disabled people to take part in politics. It will establish a fund via the Electoral Commission to cover the disability-related costs of taking part.
The Fund would be available to:
- A disabled person standing for election
- An NGO running an election education event to cover the costs of making it accessible
- A political party seeking to make their processes more accessible
The Fund would be able to help with costs like (but not necessarily limited to):
- NZSL interpreters
- Accessible transport
- Support people
- Accessible information (e.g. braille, Easy Read)
- Inclusive venue hire
Why do we need it?
Democracy should be open to everyone, but it’s still hard for some people to take part. Disabled people face barriers to political participation, in part due to the cost of resources they may need to fully take part on an even playing field. This Fund would address some of the key barriers and ensure greater participation for disabled people and a truly representative democracy for Aotearoa. UK and Canada have similar funds, and we want New Zealand to as well.
What’s your story?
The select committee process is a chance to tell your story. All stories matter – whether you are a voter, a future candidate, or have ideas about how to make democracy better for everyone. If you’re an organisation wanting to be more inclusive but need support to make that happen, we need the select committee to hear how this bill would help to achieve that.
If a Fund like this had been available in the past and would have made the difference for you to be able to participate, we want to know that too. It is personal stories that will illustrate for the select committee why this bill is important.