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

 


Access to buildings is a human right, says monitoring group

Embargoed until 2.30pm, Thursday 7 August 2014

Media Release: Access to buildings is a human right, says monitoring group

A key group monitoring disability rights in New Zealand says proposed changes to building regulations are unnecessary and infringe disabled people’s right to access buildings.

When a building is upgraded, reasonable and adequate access must be made for people with disabilities. The proposed changes to the Building Act 2004 will allow councils to issue building consents for earthquake strengthening without triggering this requirement.

In its second report, launched this week, the Independent Monitoring Mechanism (IMM) of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities criticises this proposal.

Chief Ombudsman Dame Beverley Wakem says the proposal sends a clear message that the rights of disabled people are a low priority.

“Inaccessible buildings limit disabled people’s opportunities for education, employment, and their ability to contribute to and participate in their community.”

The IMM includes the Office of the Ombudsman, the Human Rights Commission and the New Zealand Convention Coalition made up of eight disabled people’s organisations (DPOs).

In the report, the IMM has contrasted the Building Act proposals with other areas where progress has been made since July 2012. It welcomes increasing involvement by disabled people and their organisations in practical and policy decisions about their lives. For example, the Earthquake Disability Leadership Group (EDLG), established to advocate for the rights of disabled people in Canterbury during the recovery, is making progress.

“The EDLG has been particularly successful in ensuring that disabled people have an effective and united voice in the rebuilding of Christchurch,” says the IMM’s report.

The EDLG’s aim is to make Christchurch the most accessible and liveable city in the world. This is picked up as the focus of the IMM’s report launch in Christchurch tomorrow (August 7).

However, Disability Commissioner Paul Gibson says accessibility continues to be an issue in Christchurch and across the country.

“The Commission’s December 2013 report Monitoring Human Rights in the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery identified two and three level buildings constructed without lifts or the capacity to include them at a later date,” he says.

The IMM welcomes the current Government review into building access for disabled people. Its report recommends considering whether the existing accessibility standard should be mandatory and extended to cover residential housing.

ENDS

Find out more at: http://www.hrc.co.nz/

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

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