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New Dates For Transport Inquiry Public Hearings

Human Rights Commission
Media Release - 9 July 2004

New dates for Transport Inquiry public hearings

Public hearings, conducted by the Human Rights Commission as part of its Inquiry into Accessible Public Land Transport for people with disabilities, will take place in September and October.

The hearings were previously scheduled to run in July and August but have been moved to allow submitters more time to review other submissions and prepare their own.

All submitters now have until 31 August to make submissions or register their interest in appearing at a public hearing.

Hamilton has also been added to the list of venues for public hearings. The new schedule is:

* Dunedin - 27-28 September
* Oamaru - 29 September
* Auckland - 30 September-2 October
* Wellington - 4-6 October
* Palmerston North - 7 October
* Hamilton - 8 October

Confirmed hearing dates/venues will be posted in the public notices sections of local newspapers closer to the scheduled dates. The information will also be available by contacting the Commission Infoline (0800 496 877) or on the HRC web site: www.hrc.co.nz/Inquiry.

Chief Human Rights Commissioner Rosslyn Noonan said making the Inquiry process as accessible as possible was a central consideration and several options were available for people wanting to make submissions.

Public submissions can be presented in handwritten, typed, taped, emailed or fax formats or through the TTY (teletypewriter) access number 0800 150 111.

"It is important that all those with an interest in accessible land transport issues make a submission or attend a public hearing in September or October," Ms Noonan said.

The Commission announced the Inquiry in September and in May released the Inquiry Consultation Report which invited people to make submissions. The Report provides a comprehensive assessment of accessible land transport issues in New Zealand and overseas and includes the views both of people with disabilities and of people working in the transport sector. Copies are available on request (see below).

The Inquiry will consider the need for changes to legislation, regulations, policies and procedures and funding arrangements relating to the delivery of public land transport.

Since 1994 discrimination against people with disabilities has been unlawful in a number of areas including access by the public to places, vehicles and facilities and in the provision of goods and services.

Making a submission

Submissions or indications of those wanting to present their submissions at the public hearings should be sent to: Bruce Coleman, Project Manager, Human Rights Commission, PO Box 1578, Christchurch; or to brucec@hrc.co.nz

Public submissions will be received up until 31 August 2004.

Further information or copies of the Inquiry Consultation Report can be found on the Commission's web site in several formats: www.hrc.co.nz/Inquiry or by phoning 0800 496 877 or via the TTY access number: 0800 150 111. Braille, plain language and big print versions of the report are also available on request. A marked-up version for use with screen readers is also available.


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