News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Total Mobility A Total Mess


The independence of people with disabilities is being impeded by ongoing arguments between central and local Government over who is primarily responsible for the Total Mobility scheme, according to the Association of Blind Citizens.

Its President, Jonathan Mosen, says the subsidised taxi programme has made a huge difference to the ability of blind and vision impaired people to participate fully and independently in their communities. But the scheme which once operated under a set of broadly agreed national criteria now has very different rules based on where a person lives.

"These rules, devised and applied by each regional council, stipulate the level of subsidy, the number of vouchers that can be allocated to an individual in a given period, and even who is entitled to access the scheme," says Jonathan Mosen.

"While Councils are faced with expanding demand for the scheme, and some resent being involved in the scheme at all, we are told that Central Government's contribution to the scheme is dropping as a percentage of the amount spent. It seems like no arm of Government really wants to take charge of this programme. We're the meat in the sandwich, and we're starting to see very dangerous moral judgements being made about when the scheme can and can't be used."

The Association of Blind Citizens believes the time is right for the Ministers of Transport, Local Government, and Disability Issues to take steps to bring some national consistency back to the scheme.

"We're calling on the Ministers to convene a Total Mobility Summit as a matter of urgency. It needs to be attended by representatives of Total Mobility users, the taxi industry, regional councils and central Government. This scheme has made a significant difference to the dignity and freedom of movement of people with disabilities. Its erosion is also making a significant difference to our ability to be full participants in society," Jonathan Mosen concluded.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Off The Hidden Path - Five Los Angeles Treasures (Part I)

The immense cultural diversity of LA provides an extraordinary variety of lifestyles and arhcitecture. Here are five 'hidden' destinations where the discerning traveller can appreciate and enjoy this unique and constantly evolving metropolis. More>>

City Of 100 Lovers: Multi-Million Dollar NZ Theatre Production To Launch

Produced in New Zealand with an $8 million budget, this musical comedy has been created with both locals and tourists in mind. More>>

Howard Davis Review: The Outsider Art of Tony Fomison

Among such gifted contemporaries as Bill Hammond, Tony de la Tour, and printmaker Jason Grieg, Fomison distinguished himself as highly idiosyncratic, and could have become wealthy, had not his demons prevented him from investing his income wisely. In his near monochrome oil painting on black hessian, he staked out a territory of morbid originality. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Immortal Love

The series has a wild-west tone with a steampunk vibe, so if you’re a fan of Joss Whedon’s Firefly or Joe Abercrombie’s Shattered Sea, then chances are you’ll enjoy this book. More>>

Howard Davis Review: The Trappings of Success - McQueen

This troubling documentary about the extraordinary life and untimely death of British fashion designer Alexander McQueen is a cautionary tale of an extremely gifted, but self-destructive soul caught up in a business that chews up and spits out its creative talent. More>>

Indycars: Dixon Wins Fifth US Championship

The New Zealand motor racing driver Scott Dixon has won the US Indycar championship for the fifth time, finishing second in the final race of the season in Sonoma, California. More>>




  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland