It’s time to step up and create change!
So a lot has happened since my last post. This post is just going to cover one topic, and I’ll write more during the week about what else I have been up to!

I voted! Did you?
We’ve had the elections and although we’re still waiting for the special votes to come in and our government to actually be formed, it’s not secret I was unhappy with the initial result. Yes I’m a “lefty”, I believe that as a community we need to look after each other and it’s pretty evident the government we’ve had for the last 9  years has not been doing that. You just need to look at the poverty, mental health stats, kids under supported in schools and facing exclusion, violent crime stats, the housing crisis and the state of environment to see this. I felt let down that the National Party got so many votes and that most New Zealanders would rather settle for the status quo than get behind change.
In saying that I know we’re a democracy and that although we don’t know the government yet this is just the way it is. So this makes me think where to from here? Personally I’ve been staying away from getting “too political” on this blog as AntnzVentures started on Facebook purely as a way for people to see what outdoorsy type stuff I was up to. From this point forward I’ll probably be posting a bit more on actual issues that are occurring.
Let’s face it some people see AntnzVentures as a bit of “inspiration porn” which is far from what I want to be. If you find a bit of inspiration from what I do that’s ok but in all honesty I’m just doing what I love, I just have to do it a little differently. People find ables inspirational too, and I, like anyone else “inspirational”, work hard to be doing what I do.
So where am I going with this? To be honest, I’m not 100% sure.
What I do know is that the “disability community” crosses all ethnicities, all faiths, all genders, all sexualities, all socio-economic groups, basically all aspects of the community at large. Yet we are under represented in leadership. Even a lot of “diversity” or “inclusive” trainings fail to address the needs of those of different abilities. In sociological circles there is talk of “intersectionality”, recognising that people have many parts of their lives and still the connections with the disability community is missing.
As you know I’m on the Regional Leadership Group for the Enabling Good Lives Mid-Central roll out. Yesterday some of us gathered with a couple of the MoH team to discuss how to further engage with the community as the process moves forward.  What I have noticed while having forums is the lack of disabled people attending, which is why I stepped up. A common saying in the disability community is “nothing about us without us”, well if we don’t step up to be those that are “with” the process we are still going to have systems that do not work for the people that utilizing the “system”. I know people are hesitant to engage with a system that has continually screwed people over but the only way to make effective change is to get in there and not just sit in the background and accepting we’re going to get screwed anyway. There is a lot of talk about what “should” happen, but not a lot of actual doing it. Sometimes it feels like “lots of hui, but no do-ey”, let get in and do something so we can change things!
I think even ADNZ Ben gets sick of lots of hui no actual “do”ey!
My first passion is and still will be making the most of this beautiful country and the peace and freedom that I feel when climbing or tramping. I will still work towards a more inclusive attitude to adaptive practice in the outdoors. I have more trips planned. I admit I’ve neglected my body a bit since the climbing comp but I’m working at getting back into peak shape and I’ll continue to document them but I will be blogging more about other issues.
My challenge is that knowing there is work to do in the community I still need to feed my soul with my outdoor trips and continue to train for those, so I have carefully balance my work load so I don’t burn out. I’ve been there before and I hate it, the recovery time from that will just hold me back from achieving anything. I will do my best during the Enabling Good Lives process to make a better system than what we currently have. From there I will see where I go.
My challenge to the Disability community is to make your voices heard. Stand up for your rights, be change makers. I know at the end of the day life with a disability is tough, often we have to fight just to live a “normal” life and there is not a lot of energy to fight but I urge you to try and find the energy to. If we don’t we will continue to be overlooked and our needs will not be addressed.
To the wider community, it’s time to think of others less fortunate than yourself. It’s time to address the injustice you see in your community. Let’s make New Zealand a better place for future generations.
Time to mobilze for change!
I know this was a long post but it’s a important subject. Thanks for taking the time to read it.
Stay safe out there and let’s mobilize for change!

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