Posts by Mojo Mathers

  • Access: The Problem with the Greens’…,

    Readers may also find this blog on FAQ on captioning helpful

    Since Aug 2014 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Access: The Problem with the Greens’…,

    Hi Jonathan

    Thank you for your feedback on our disability election policy we released last week. I really appreciate that you have obviously considered it in detail. I hope it will help if I clarify afew things. Firstly, the election disability priorities (employment, captioning, housing and independent travel ) that we announced in that package are designed to sit in the context our wider disability policy, which can be found here:

    Secondly - with regards to your specific concerns around the focus on captioning - I fully agree that current levels of audio-description are woefully inadequate . I would like to assure you that we are fully committed to accessible TV which includes both captioning and audio-desciption and NZSL.

    Our view is that the current model of publicly funding captioning and audio-desciption via NZ on air funding is that it is not going to get us to the levels of captioning or audio-description that we need to have. It also means that even the existing levels of captioning and audio-description are vulnerable to cuts in government funding .

    This is why we are committed to shifting the responsibility for ensuring accessible TV from government to broadcasters as is done overseas. To make this happen we are going to legistlate to set mandatory targets for broadcasters to meet. These targets will be set not just for captioning but also for audio-description and NZSL content.

    Targets will be set for all of these services for all channels on a case by case paper. The policy paper does have an explicit target for captioning for our largest boardcasters because there is good precedent overseas for this and is clearly achievable. However the same legistlation to make that happen will also set targets for audio-description and NZSL to ensure improved access for everyone to TV including those who are blind or vision impaired.

    So in summary , we are committed to improving both captioning and audio description , we will require broadcasters to provide this and will work with stakeholders to set targets and timeframes to make this happen.

    Finally I note that there has been some discussion in the comments around the process of consultation for developing policy. Since my election in 2011 I have been very aware of the importance of working with a range of disabiltiy groups. I have endevoured to meet with as many organisations and individuals as possible. In particular I have worked with representatives from the Blind community on a range of issues from accessible voting through to accessible buildings and independent transport. I know I will have missed out some sectors of the disabilty community in which is incredibly diverse and dont always agree about priorities but I assure readers here that I try and do the best I can with the resouces I have. Anyone who wishes to raise a particular disabilty issue with me is welcome to email me at

    Since Aug 2014 • 2 posts Report Reply