Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Continued discriminatory treatment of disabled passengers

Hon Tariana Turia
Associate Minister of Health

Friday 5 April 2013 Media Statement

Minister of Disability Issues alarmed at continued discriminatory treatment of disabled passengers

The Minister for Disability Issues, Tariana Turia has called for Tauranga Bus Company ‘Go Bus’ and all public transport companies to review its policies and provide staff training immediately following a third incident of discriminatory treatment of a disabled resident trying to board a bus.

“I’m alarmed that within the space of a few months two disabled passengers have experienced discrimination while trying to board Bay Hopper buses,” says Minister Turia.

Minister Turia recently responded to a newspaper article in the Bay of Plenty Times about the treatment of Peter Baker, who relies on a four wheel drive wheelchair for mobility, after having twice been denied access on local buses in Tauranga.

“Now it seems another disabled Tauranga resident has had an unpleasant experience. I was distressed to hear about Ashleigh Dixon’s story and how she has been humiliated. It is degrading for this young woman to have to reveal an empty eye socket before a Bay Hopper bus driver would agree to issue her with a concession fare - despite presenting her Royal New Zealand Foundation for the Blind ID card to him which entitled her to the equivalent of a student fare.”

“This ID card should have been sufficient for the driver to issue this young woman with a student fare ticket. Instead, she suffered humiliation by not being believed and by having to draw attention to her disability to prove her loss of sight.”

“To add further to the discriminatory treatment of Ashleigh other drivers have blatantly been unwilling to give her information about where the bus was going or the right bus stop to disembark, despite the fact that she has a visual impairment.”

“Those who live with disability have a right to access transport, health and education services around the country. I urge Go Bus and other public transport services around the country to be inclusive not exclusive. Go Bus and the companies it contracts must change the way they perceive those with disabilities and ensure their services are inclusive of all.”

“Accessing transport is crucial for everyone including those with disabilities who also work and who also participate in the community."

“I reiterate that Go Bus, the bus service operator, should monitor driver behaviour to ensure every bus user is treated fairly. People with disabilities often tell me it is not their disability that is the problem, but rather it is the way the disabilities are viewed by others. Go bus exemplifies that view through this discriminatory behaviour.”


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Minister of Finance: Plan Shows $100 Billion Infrastructure Projects

Finance Minister Bill English has today launched the Government’s Ten Year Capital Intentions Plan (CIP) which shows a pipeline of $100.9 billion worth of infrastructure projects over the next decade. More>>


Werewolf: Safe Landings Gordon Campbell on the safety challenge to the Wellington runway extension.

The safety-related legal challenge revolves around the size of the 90 metre long Runway End Safety Area (RESA) being proposed for the runway extension. More>>


Environment Commissioner: We Need To Work Together On Climate Change And Farming

“The debate around agricultural emissions and the ETS has been polarised for too long,” said the Commissioner. “But the ETS is not the only way forward – there are other things that can be done.” More>>


NZ Super Fund: Seeking To Put A Market Price On Climate Change

Oct. 19 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand Superannuation Fund says it will devise a set of rules to assess investment winners and losers under climate change, a strategy that could rule out fossil fuels or producers such as current portfolio member Exxon ... More>>


Rejuvenation: Parata Will Not Contest 2017 Election

Education Minister and National List MP Hekia Parata has today announced that she will not be contesting the next election. She advised the Prime Minister of her decision earlier this year. More>>

Prisons Grow: Government Approves Plans For Increased Prison Capacity

Despite significant progress in reducing crime the number of prisoners has increased faster than projected. This is because the proportion of offenders charged with serious crimes has risen, meaning more people are being remanded in custody and serving more of their sentences in prison. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Plastic Bag Activism, And Street Harassment

Amusing to see the Act Party experiencing another outbreak of young fogey-ism. What has aroused the ire of Act Leader David Seymour this time is the introduction of a Greens private members bill to the ballot process, calling for a 15 cents levy on plastic bags to reduce pollution. More>>


Unclear Weapons: US Navy Ship Cleared To Visit NZ For Navy's 75th

United States Navy ship, the USS Sampson, has been given clearance to visit New Zealand next month by Prime Minister John Key... “The process for considering the visit by the USS Sampson is the same as that used for all ships attending the International Naval Review." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news