Disability Advisory Group My Opinion
Disability Advisory Group New Zealand
Glen McMillan I am CEO and founder of Disability Advisory Group New Zealand. Formed in March 2018.
My new online DAG New Zealand will bring any important disability related issues to the attention of Local Councils and Government in the hope of changing them to something positive to benefit all people both the disabled and non disabled.
I will express my opinion on a number of issues affecting disabled people.
#1 Parking do you avoid busy places because you can not get a car park?
This is my opinion, personally I am very dependent on finding parking near where I am going, mobility parking spots are so very important in that if well policed the chances of finding safe parking is good.
Below is a email i recently sent out to my local Whangarei council after a mobility spot I often use was removed, as below. For me this is about personal safety, for the Whangarei council it is about income
"Please explain the removal of a longstanding mobility park on Clyde Street, this one is personal because I often used that space which no longer is there, instead a paid space intended to gather WDC revenue has replaced it.
I am very independent I take myself places, I often meet friends at Gengy's I use this, sorry used to use this space often. Because of my disability it is simply not safe to be walking these back streets alone at night the removal of this space means I have to park down the far end of the street, for me it may be a 15 minute walk, in that 15 minutes if somebody decides to assault or rob me I would be helpless I have no vocal cords so yelling for help will not work. I struggle to walk, completely reliant on a walking stick, without the walking stick I can not walk
Removing this established space has put me in personal danger, please explain WDC thinking in doing this"
Below WDC reply
Thank you for your query to Whangarei District Council regarding the removal of the mobility parking space on Clyde Street. This space was established and used when Idea Services was located in Clyde Street. As you are probably aware Idea Services is now located in Bank Street. Whangarei District Council consulted with local business on Clyde Street and it was requested by the local businesses to remove the parking space and make it available for all vehicles. Council will not be reviewing this decision.
I am aware that you used this space regularly when you meet friends at Gengy’s please be assured that the pay and display parking is free after 6pm Monday to Friday, after 2pm on Saturday and all day on Sunday so you are welcome to utilise any PAD parking spaces during off peak times.
Thank you for making Council aware of this issue, please email Council firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any further queries.
The above reply from Whangarei District Council clearly shows that they have no concerns for the safety of disabled community members clearly council has talked to business, should they not instead talk to the disabled community that these spaces are designed for. This is another sign of penny pinching at the cost of the disabled. Two things if the WDC person was really interested in what I am saying he would have taken time to correct his spelling. his offer to allow me to use any parking assumes there will be some available, which indeed there is at the far end of the street as per my email to him
This is what we want
We want this mobility spot reinstated for community use, to tell me that only Idea Services required the spot shows no understanding that there is a disabled community living here in Whangarei.
The Mobility space below was removed by WDC recently I used it a lot
What is the mobility parking permit
Mobility Parking Permits allow people to use:
• Accessible car parks [displaying the wheelchair symbol]
• Standard car parks and metered spaces for longer than stated times, and
• Many time restricted zones, e.g. P30 for longer than stated times (as set out in local bylaws)
Concessions can vary so please check the current provisions for the area you will be in with the
Do uneven surfaces and broken footpaths make moving about difficult.
Should the disabled be forced to use inaccessible parking ticket machines?