Kilmarnock Enterprises was pleased to host the Minister of Disability Issues, Hon. Priyanca Radhakrishnan, recently. The visit marked the first by Minister Radhakrishnan to an Aotearoa Disability Enterprises (ADE) group organisation following her appointment as Minister of Disability Issues earlier this year. Aotearoa Disability Enterprises (ADE) is a collective formed by nine disability enterprises operating across Aotearoa, New Zealand. ADE works to advocate for disability enterprises and the Kiwis with intellectual disabilities they create purposeful employment opportunities for.
During her visit, the Minister participated in a factory tour, visiting each of Kilmarnock’s working areas. Throughout the tour, Minister Radhakrishnan was shown the specialised processes used at Kilmarnock to ensure work is accessible for a broad range of skill and ability levels. The Minister also had the opportunity to meet several employees to discuss the positive impact their work at Kilmarnock has on their lives.
Following her tour of Kilmarnock’s expansive premises, Minister Radhakrishnan met with Kilmarnock Enterprises CEO and ADE Secretary Michael Toothill. The Minister and Mr Toothill engaged in a robust and productive conversation around the replacement of the Minimum Wage Exemption Permit (MWEP). Mr Toothill expressed that the ADE group supports evolution in the sector but is concerned that the proposed replacement scheme could impact disability enterprises’ ability to continue providing purposeful employment for Kiwis with intellectual disabilities. He stressed that it is critical the proposed replacement for the MWEP does not negatively impact workers with intellectual disabilities or the organisations creating employment opportunities for them. Minister Radhakrishnan heard the ADE’s concerns and recognised the importance of ADE’s active involvement in the design and implementation of the replacement scheme.
Kilmarnock Enterprises and the ADE group were pleased to have the opportunity to meet with Minister Radhakrishnan and look forward to working closely with the Government to support and empower Kiwis with intellectual disabilities.
Learn more about Aotearoa Disability Enterprises (ADE) on our website here