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Council commits to improve access and inclusion

Monday 4 December 2017

Council commits to improve access and inclusion

Horowhenua District Council has committed to improve access and inclusion for all people in the District, regardless of age, ethnicity, ability or sexual orientation.

The Council adopted the Horowhenua Access and Inclusion Plan at an Extraordinary Council Meeting on Monday 27 November.

The plan, developed by the Horowhenua Access and Inclusion Forum and endorsed by the Council's Community Wellbeing Committee, serves as a guide and work plan for championing access and inclusion across the District.

It sets four outcome areas and six priority projects as a focus for the Forum's activities. These were identified through a review comprising workshops, focus groups, interviews and surveys. Over 100 individuals and representatives of more than 30 agencies and groups were consulted, including government agencies, disability sector staff and community groups.

The four outcomes areas are: access, attitudes, health, and choice and control.

Priority projects include:

• establishing the relocated Jack Allen Hub as a champion site for access and inclusion
• a public awareness inclusion campaign, Live Well Horowhenua
• a welcoming community campaign, Haeremai Horowhenua
• accessibility advocacy and action, including providing navigation advocates to assist in accessing services and constructing the first fully-accessible public toilets
• emergency preparedness collaborative campaign and kits
• support for inclusion and choice in education, employment and activities, including:
o collaborating with Youth Network on employment opportunities
o collaborating with Education Horowhenua to research learner support in schools and after-school options
o seeking funds for inclusive activities
"Horowhenua's population is ageing and becoming more diverse. In addition, 27 per cent of the Manawatu-Whanganui region's population identify as having a disability or impairment, which is higher than the national average. We need deliberate and considered planning to ensure equal opportunities and outcomes; this action plan provides that", Community Development Advisor Helen Hayes said.

The action plan will be reviewed in 2020.

Copies of the Horowhenua Access and Inclusion Plan are available on the Strategies and Action Plans page of the Council's website, www.horowhenua.govt.nz and Council's customer service centres.


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