We’re proud to announce that New Zealand’s first deaf MP, Mojo Mathers, has joined the Kāpiti Independent as a monthly columnist.
Mojo Mathers was born in London in 1966 and her parents named her after the Muddy Waters song ‘Got My Mojo Working.’
Because of a difficult birth, oxygen was cut off to her brain, rendering her profoundly deaf.
She is not, however, mute, and is a lipreader. She only began to make significant use of sign language inthe late 2000’s (saying she had “found it very useful for some situations”), preferring to lip-read and communicate orally before that.
Her first weeks in Parliament were marred by Speaker Lockwood Smith’s ruling that the Green Party had to pay electronic aids to enable her to follow debates, rather than Parliamentary Services.
Now though it’s been reported that this situation may soon change. Her first column will appear soon …