Capital could lift accessibility game
A man who sang the praises of a South Island town for being completely accessible to those with disabilities, can’t say the same about Wellington.
This is despite a British travel blogger recently saying the capital was the most wheelchairfriendly city he had visited.
But for quadriplegic Paul McKenzie, Wellington was not quite up to the standard of Blenheim - the town the Australian believes is the most accessible he’s ever been too.
The disability advocate said he and his Kiwi wife Jess, travelling with their baby Eleven, found it much harder to find parks, get into shops, and even cross the road in the capital.
‘‘I’m not having a go ... Wellington is good, it’s just not excellent.
‘‘They have done what they had to do, they haven’t gone better and beyond. They haven’t made a huge effort like they have in Blenheim.’’
Earlier this year travel blogger Anthony William commented in The Independent that Wellington was one of the easiest places to travel for someone in a wheelchair.
McKenzie said accessibility needed to be extended to all. For example disabled parks needed to cater for disabled vehicles where a person might be getting out from either side, or the back.
Wellington City Council spokeswoman Victoria BartonChapple said the council was proud of the city’s generally positive accessible reputation, both here and overseas, but was aware it could always do better.
It worked closely with its Accessibility Advisory Group which gave feedback and advice on accessibility issues.
It was working on a number of initiatives to improve access in the city, including a review of the distribution of mobility parks in the suburbs, and engaging with experts while planning major projects.