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

Gordon Campbell:
On Pharmac, Gough Whitlam And Sleater-Kinney

Ridiculous reported comments on RNZ this morning by Trade Minister Tim Groser, as he sought to dampen down concerns about the leaked draft of the IP chapter of ther Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations. According to Groser, ‘extreme’ positions are common at the outset of negotiations, and these get whittled down over the course of negotiations. Fine.

Except that we’re not at the outset of these negotiations. The outset was six years ago, and negotiators were hoping to have some sort of ‘framework’ deal finished in time for the APEC meeting in a few weeks’ time. These ‘extreme’ positions are what we’ve reached near the intended end of the negotiations.

Still, Groser did promise that the cost of medicines would not rise as a result of the TPP trade deal. Great. But this is not what politicians in other countries are saying. More>>

.

 
 

Parliament Today: State Opening Of Parliament

The House sat at 10.30am on Tuesday before MPs were summoned to hear the Speech from the Throne in the Legislative Council Chamber. More>>

ALSO:

Tertiary Education: Students Doing It Tough As Fees Rise Again

The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. More>>

ALSO:

Housing, Iraq: PM Press Conference – 20 October 2014

Prime Minister John Key met with press today to discuss:
• Housing prices and redevelopment in Auckland
• Discussions with Tony Abbott on the governmental response to ISIS, and New Zealand’s election to the UN Security Council More>>

ALSO:

Labour: Review Team Named, Leadership Campaign Starts

Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review. He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban.

ALSO:

Roy Morgan Poll: National Slips, Labour Hits Lows

The first New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll since the NZ Election shows National 43.5% (down 3.54% since the September 20 Election). This isn’t unusual, National support has dropped after each of John Key’s Election victories... However, support for the main opposition Labour Party has crashed to 22.5% (down 2.63% and the lowest support for Labour since the 1914 NZ Election as United Labour). More>>

ALSO:

In On First Round: New Zealand Wins Security Council Seat

Prime Minister John Key has welcomed New Zealand securing a place on the United Nations Security Council for the 2015-16 term. More>>

ALSO:

TPP Leak: Intellectual Property Text Confirms Risk - Jane Kelsey

The US is continuing its assault on generic medicines through numerous proposed changes to patent laws. ‘These are bound to impact on Pharmac if they are accepted’, according to Professor Kelsey... Copyright is another area of ongoing sensitivity... More>>

ALSO:

RMA: Smith Plans Reform To Ease Urban Development

Newly appointed Environment Minister Nick Smith has announced Resource Management Act reform to foster urban development, where high land prices and expensive resource consents are blocking efforts to provide affordable housing. More>>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news