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Access experts strengthen Building Industry Auth.

18 June 2001 Media Statement

Access experts strengthen Building Industry Authority

Disability Issues Minister Ruth Dyson today welcomed the appointment of Alexia Pickering and Bill Wrightson to the Building Industry Authority.

"Alexia Pickering and Bill Wrightson are experts on access. Their appointment to the Building Industry Authority is a signal that the industry is taking the needs of New Zealanders with restricted mobility seriously."

"Good access to buildings and public facilities benefits everyone - especially disabled people, older people and parents with young children. If you can't get into a public building, movie theatre or café, and if you can't enjoy New Zealand's wonderful outdoor facilities because of poor access, you are excluded from community life," Ms Dyson said.

Alexia Pickering and Bill Wrightson have both the professional expertise and the personal experience to be highly effective members of the Building Industry Authority, Ruth Dyson said.

Bill Wrightson has 28 years professional and consumer involvement - as a quadraplegic wheelchair user - in the design and construction of barrier-free, safe environments.

"Bill's achievements include chairing the committee that recently launched a greatly improved national standard covering design for access and mobility in buildings and associated facilities," Ms Dyson said.

Alexia Pickering, also a wheelchair user, is a tireless advocate for disabled people, and runs a consultancy called 'Accessible Options' from Hamilton.

"Last year, Alexia published Accessible New Zealand, an excellent, personally researched guide to accessible facilities for people with restricted mobility wanting to travel around the country," Ms Dyson said.

"I am delighted with both appointments, knowing that Bill and Alexia are knowledgeable, passionate and committed to ensuring that all New Zealanders have access to our buildings and public facilities."

Ms Dyson also welcomed the reappointment of Helena Horswell to the authority. Ms Horswell has had three years' experience on the BIA, providing specialist knowledge in the area of disability issues and access.


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