Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Proposed Access Exemption A Nightmare

Proposed Access Exemption A Nightmare

One of New Zealand’s leading providers of disability services, CCS Disability Action, warned today that the proposed access exemption in the new earthquake strengthening law is a mistake that will cause headaches for building owners, councils and people with disabilities.

David Matthews, chief executive of CCS Disability Action, said that from every angle the proposed access exemption was flawed.

“Access issues affect all of us, but people with physical and/or sensory impairments are more affected than others. 383,500 people had a physical impairment and 239,000 people had a sensory impairment in 2006. Any law change will potentially have a serious effect on a population equivalent to the size of Christchurch.”

Mr Matthews was clear that the idea that access is only about disabled people is a myth.

“When you design and build for people with impairments, you create a safer and more convenient environment for everyone. The proposed access exemption will undermine decades of progress in ensuring all New Zealanders can access buildings. Yet at the same time, it will not address the concerns of building owners and will create a bureaucratic nightmare for councils.”

“A key problem of the current access sections of the Building Act is that they are poorly understood by building owners and councils. The Government’s proposed solution is to make these sections even more complicated and this defies common sense.”

Mr Matthews said that it was clear from the submissions to the Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission that many building owners and councils struggled to understand the access sections of the Act, particularly the existing reasonability test. Building owners only have to upgrade access as far as is reasonably and practically possible.

“Properly used, the reasonability test would address building owners’ cost concerns, while ensuring buildings are made as accessible as is reasonably possible. Councils have struggled to apply this test, however, without guidance. The solution is clear. Central government needs to provide guidance on the existing law. This would create fairness and certainty for everyone.”

Mr Matthews added that this guidance should be developed in consultation with disabled person’s organisations, access groups, building groups, local government and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

“There is no need for a law change and it will just make the situation worse for everyone. We need to clear up the existing law. Access is not about one group versus another. It is about finding a workable solution to ensure everyone can access their community.”

~ENDS~

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Local Governments To Decide: Easter Trading Bill Passes

The union representing working people in the retail industry is condemning the Government for whipping its MPs to pass the controversial Shop Trading Hours Amendment Bill. More>>c

ALSO:

Departure Speech: Governor-General’s State Farewell Luncheon

"...Unfortunately I was unable to get to the Antarctic, the Chatham Islands and the Kermadecs. A dicky heart thwarted our travel to the Antarctic; and even though I volunteered to parachute into the Kermadecs to join the Young Blake expedition, time, commitments and officials frustrated my plans to visit the Kermadecs and Chathams." More>>

ALSO:

New Research: Most Homeless People Working Or Studying

“The cost of housing has been rising without corresponding increases in income, whilst the number of state houses per capita has been in decline. Many low-income people are missing out on housing, whether we recognise them as ‘homeless’ or not. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Traynor: New Offender Info Sharing Plan

“This Bill delivers on that step-change by moving away from name-based records held by individual agencies to a shared, anchor identity based on unalterable information, such as fingerprints and facial recognition. It also gives agencies access to the drivers’ licence photo database and birth, death and marriages information." More>>

  • NZ Law Foundation - New $2M fund for research on information challenges
  • Littoral: New Ship To Deliver Enhanced Naval Capability

    Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee says the Government has approved a Ministry of Defence and New Zealand Defence Force recommendation to request tenders for a new naval ship to support littoral operations. More>>

    July:

    After King's Labour Snub: Māori Party And Kiingitanga To Work Together

    Māori Party Co-leaders Te Ururoa Flavell and Marama Fox met with Kiingitanga representatives in Wellington yesterday to discuss working together on key issues for the betterment of Māori. More>>

    ALSO:

    Waitangi Claim On Rehabilitation: The 'Justus' System For Māori Not Good Enough

    Closing statements at the Waitangi Tribunal case against Corrections called for immediate steps and a comprehensive review to address the high rate of Māori reoffending. More>>

    ALSO:

    Advice: PM Sets Rules For Ministers' Treatment Of Public Servants

    Prime Minister John Key has laid down the law about the way ministers and public servants should interact, saying ministers may not always like the advice they receive, but they must listen to it carefully, respectfully and professionally. More>>

    Gordon Campbell: On The Funding Changes In Special Needs Education, And Uber

    The plan to strip out the educational support for older “special needs” children in order to meet the existing shortfall in funding for special needs in early childhood education is so miserly and relentlessly stupid as to defy belief… More>>

    SPECIAL EDUCATION (& More):

    Online Learning Plans:

    Get More From Scoop

     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Politics
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news