The Election Access Fund Bill aims to remove the barriers to political participation for people with disabilities by establishing a fund to cover the disability related costs of standing in a general election.
People with disabilities have major challenges accessing and participating in elections and standing for political office.
There are a number of barriers to participating in elections. Most political meetings, forums or information are not accessible to people with disabilities. To participate, disabled people need to cover the costs of making political formats accessible, such as New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) interpretation of political meetings, and braille translations of political materials.
Political parties are often unable to cover the access costs for members with disabilities who wish to participate politically.
This bill aims to give effect to Article 29 of the United National Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, which says that people with disabilities have the right to participate in political life including standing for political office.
Get more information and give feedback on this bill here.