Just this morning, Speaker Lockwood Smith announced he's directed Parliamentary Services, which funds support for all MPs to do their jobs, to provide the legal authority to fund electronic note-takers for Mojo Mathers.
It's an extraordinary victory for student Merrin Macleod, who started the petition, as well as the over 6,000 people who joined her.
It was an uphill battle to get there. The Speaker was intially reluctant to fund the note-taking, saying that the funds should come from Mojo Mathers' own budget.
Merrin was outraged that New Zealand's first deaf MP wasn't being provided the basic support she needed to do her job -- essentially being asked to pay to participate in Parliament. So she started a Change.org petition and contacted everyone she could think of to spread the word.
The campaign took off quickly, with thousands of signatures driving coverage in some of New Zealand's biggest media outlets, including the New Zealand Herald. Then, last week, the petition was tabled in Parliament -- in front of MPs, the media, and Speaker Lockwood Smith himself.
The pressure worked. Thanks to Merrin's petition and the thousands who supported it, an important step has been made to pave the way for equal access in New Zealand's highest political institutions.