28 Mar 2012

Petition seeks more funding for hearing device

2:00 pm on 28 March 2012

People with serious hearing problems rallied on the steps of Parliament on Wednesday to demand more funding for a device that allows them to hear.

The group presented a petition for greater access to cochlear implants which cost between $40,000 and $50,000 each to install.

Those at the rally say people without access to the devices have lost their jobs because of their disability and have become isolated from family and friends.

They say the waiting list to get an implant is between four and 10 years.

Mojo Mathers, New Zealand's first deaf MP, accepted the petition signed by more than 7500 people.

The Green MP says the implants need to be funded through the public health system, not the disability services.