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

Legendary Bassist David Friesen Plays Wellington’s Newest Jazz Venue

Friesen is touring New Zealand to promote his latest album Another Time, Another Place, recorded live at Auckland's Creative Jazz Club in 2015. More>>

Howard Davis Review: The Father - Descending Into The Depths of Dementia

Florian Zeller's dazzling drama The Father explores the effects of a deeply unsettling illness that affects 62,000 Kiwis, a number expected to grow to 102,000 by 2030. More>>

Howard Davis Review: Blade Runner Redivivus

When Ridley Scott's innovative, neo-noir, sci-fi flick Blade Runner was originally released in 1982, at a cost of over $45 million, it was a commercial bomb. More>>

14-21 October: New Zealand Improv Festival In Wellington

Imagined curses, Shibuya’s traffic, the apocalypse, and motherhood have little in common, but all these and more serve as inspiration for the eclectic improvised offerings coming to BATS Theatre this October for the annual New Zealand Improv Festival. More>>


Bird Of The Year Off To A Flying Start

The competition asks New Zealanders to vote for their favourite bird in the hopes of raising awareness of the threats they face. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books:
Jenny Abrahamson's John & Charles Enys: Castle Hill Runholders, 1864-1891

This volume will be of interest to a range of readers interested in the South Island high country, New Zealand’s natural environment, and the history of science. More>>