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Transport Inquiry public hearings begin

28 September 2004

Transport Inquiry public hearings begin

Public hearings, held as part of the Inquiry into Accessible Public Land Transport for people with disabilities, begin in Dunedin today.

People who made written submissions to the Inquiry have been given an opportunity to appear at a public hearing to present their submission. The hearings are open to members of the public and the media and are as follows:

* Tuesday 28 September, Dunedin Centre, 1 Harrop Street, Dunedin (8:30am - 5:15pm)

* Thursday 30 September, Lincoln Green Hotel and Conference Centre, 159 Lincoln Rd, Henderson (10:15am - 5:15pm)

* Friday 1 October, Centra Auckland Airport, Cnr Kirkbride and Ascot Roads, Mangere (9:00am - 5:00pm)

* Monday 4 October, Lion Harbour View Room, Michael Fowler Centre, 111 Wakefield St, Wellington (11:00am - 7:15pm)

* Tuesday 5 October, Wallaceville House, 2 Wallaceville Hill Road, Upper Hutt (9:00am - 4:00pm)

* Thursday 7 October, Meeting Room, Palmerston North Central Library, 4 The Square, Palmerston North (10:30am - 3:00pm)

* Friday 8 October, Environment Waikato Council Chambers, 410 Grey St, Hamilton (9:00am - 1:45pm)

The Inquiry, which is being conducted by the Human Rights Commission, was announced last September. Chief Human Rights Commissioner Rosslyn Noonan said the Inquiry would consider the need for changes to legislation, regulations, policies and procedures and funding arrangements relating to the delivery of public land transport.

"The lack of an accessible public land transport system is often a major barrier for disabled people to access jobs, education or even recreation and other community activities," Ms Noonan said.

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.

The issue is potentially a large one. The 2000-2001 national disability survey, conducted by Statistics New Zealand found that one in five New Zealanders - a total of 743,800 people - reported some level of disability.

Further information on the Inquiry, including copies of submissions, can be found at: www.hrc.co.nz/Inquiry.

ENDS

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