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Mojo Mathers became known as a founding member of the Malvern Hills Protection Society, a grassroots environmental group that acted to stop the building of an irrigation dam in Coalgate in Canterbury. This introduction to political environmentalism led Mathers to national politics and she was elected as a Green Party MP in the 2011 general election.
Profoundly deaf from birth, Mathers’ entrance into Parliament meant accessibility issues were at the forefront – while New Zealand Sign Language is New Zealand’s third official language, unlike Māori and English it is not represented.
Mathers has advocated for improved access for the disabled, empowering them so they too can participate effectively and fully in political and public life.
Watch this excerpt from Mojo Mathers’ maiden speech – it was the first time a Parliamentary speech was covered by a signer. Courtesy of Parliament TV.
Image: Screengrab from Mojo Mather’s Maiden Speech to Parliament, courtesy of Parliament TV.
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Production: Parliamentary TV