First deaf MP to join Parliament

Mojo Mathers is looking forward to becoming New Zealand's first deaf MP. Photo / Supplied
Mojo Mathers is looking forward to becoming New Zealand's first deaf MP. Photo / Supplied

The Green Party is celebrating the election of Mojo Mathers as their 14th MP after the counting of special votes increased the Green's share of the party vote and number of MPs to a record high.

The Green's share of the party vote increased from 10.62 percent on election night to 11.06 percent at the final count. In four of the last five elections, the Green Party has gained an extra seat in Parliament after the special votes were counted.

Ms Mathers said she was delighted at the result and was looking forward to the first day of Parliament on 20 December. Ms Mathers will be New Zealand's first deaf MP and the fifth in the world.

"There are many barriers to democratic participation for disabled people. I hope my presence in Parliament will result in improved accessibility and access to political information for everyone, including those with a hearing impairment."

Ms Mathers has a Masters with Distinction in conservation forestry, has worked as a parliamentary advisor for water issues and was a joint owner of a small business offering forestry management services.

The mother of three is also passionate about representing people with disabilities.

"The recent Human Rights Commission review of Human Rights identifies disabled people as the most disadvantaged minority in New Zealand. As a deaf person who lives and breathes green issues, I am a strong advocate for inclusion for everyone."

Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said the party had been happy growing to 13 MPs and was now ecstatic with 14.

"It's a proud day for the Greens. The 2011 election has delivered us an historic result that cements our place as the third party in New Zealand politics," said Dr Norman

"The Greens are part of an international political movement that is in ascendency and our success in this election proves there is a desire for good green change to happen in this term of Parliament.



"We will work constructively in Parliament to advance our key issues of cleaning up our rivers, raising kids out of poverty and creating good green jobs, while also providing opposition leadership on issues such as assets sales, welfare reform and charter schools.

"We are very pleased with the outcome of the MMP referendum. Keeping MMP and proportional representation was important.

"We look forward to the review of MMP and hope it strengthens and further improves our voting system."

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf04 at 29 Dec 2014 21:25:59 Processing Time: 509ms