Green Party MP Mojo Mathers is proud to sponsor a petition launched today by the Captioning Working Group, which calls for mandatory captioning to be put into law.
The petition was created by the New Zealand Captioning Working Group, which is leading the fight for captioning in this country.
“I want to acknowledge all of the organisations backing this petition and everyone who is supporting the push for mandatory captioning in New Zealand,” said Green Party disability spokesperson Mojo Mathers.
“This issue isn’t just about being able to hear the TV commentary when the All Blacks are playing – it’s about inclusion, access, and equality for deaf and hard of hearing New Zealanders.
“Hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders are unable to fully access TV and online programming because we don’t have mandatory captioning.
“The Government could do the right thing and fix this situation today by introducing legislation to make captioning mandatory, but so far they’ve refused to look at this.
“Mandatory captioning would bring us in line with Australia, the EU, the US and other countries who have achieved much higher levels of closed captioning because it is required by legislation.
“Commercial operators in New Zealand currently have no requirement to provide closed captioning. This means that Sky isn’t screening any Rugby World Cup games with captions this year, while TVNZ screened just seven games with captions in 2011
“There is no reason why the Government can’t make captioning mandatory in time for the next Rugby World Cup in 2019.
“I’m going to continue to keep the pressure on the Government over this issue and I’d encourage Kiwis who care about equality to do the same and sign the petition,” says Ms Mathers.
The petition is available here: http://bitly.com/CaptionitNZPetition