Ferry pas­sen­ger is mys­ti­fied by sea­horse

North Shore Times - - SALES/SERVICE - MANDY TE

An ac­ces­si­bil­ity sign fea­tur­ing peo­ple with sea­horse heads on an Auck­land ferry has left a Wai­heke res­i­dent ‘‘mys­ti­fied’’.

Ac­tor Erueti Brown was trav­el­ling from Wai­heke Is­land to Auck­land two weeks ago when he no­ticed the sign in a Fullers ferry.

Sit­ting on the up­per deck, Brown was an­noyed be­cause peo­ple had not closed the toi­let door prop­erly which meant it kept open­ing and clos­ing, he said.

‘‘But then I looked at the door and saw the sign and thought, ‘what?’,’’ Brown said. ‘‘I do have a habit of find­ing those sorts of things around which is why I took a photo of it.’’

Tak­ing to Fullers’ Face­book page to ask about the sign’s mean­ing, a Fullers’ spokesper­son said its ferry, now called the Takahe¯, was orig­i­nally a ves­sel from Aus­tralia.

It was first called the Fan­tasea Sun­rise, which was why there were sym­bols of sea­horses, the spokesper­son said.

‘‘The orig­i­nal sig­nage was in place when the ves­sel was com­mis­sioned in Aus­tralia,’’ the spokesper­son said. ‘‘We’ve kept her orig­i­nal sig­nage to hon­our her his­tory.’’

While Fullers’ re­sponse went some way, Brown felt as though he was left with more ques­tions, he said.

He was un­sure what the sign had to do with be­ing ac­ces­si­ble, Brown said.

‘‘It just makes no sense. I don’t get what the two pictures to­gether mean.’’

Brown thought be­cause the sign was so am­bigu­ous that it could be seen as of­fen­sive, he said.

CCS Dis­abil­ity Ac­tion’s na­tional man­ager of ac­cess and in­fra­struc­ture BJ Clark said ‘‘whilst I ac­cept that the sign was al­ready part of the ferry when pur­chased and there is no in­ten­tion from Fullers to of­fend any­one, I am con­cerned that some will find it of­fen­sive’’.

CCS Dis­abil­ity Ac­tion is a na­tion­wide or­gan­i­sa­tion which pro­vides sup­port, ad­vo­cacy and in­for­ma­tion for peo­ple with a dis­abil­ity.

‘‘We would pre­fer that stan­dard sig­nage was used, bear­ing in mind also that many tourists will use the ferry and they may not un­der­stand the cur­rent sig­nage,’’ Clark said.

‘‘There­fore, I would rec­om­mend the re­moval of the sign and it be re­placed with the in­ter­na­tional sym­bol of ac­cess.’’

Fullers had no com­ment be­yond the re­sponse on its Face­book page.

SUPPLIED

The ac­ces­si­bil­ity sign on a Fullers ferry fea­tures peo­ple with sea­horse heads.

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