Did you know? Current New Zealand legislation, specifically their building codes require public buildings to be accessible for individuals with disabilities including providing accessible parking but the monitoring and enforcement of these spaces falls to the property owner. Also, when asked, most retailers and building owners were not even aware that current legislation only applied to public, not private areas such as retail malls and shops yet they were quite supportive to have a consistent nationwide approach to policing accessible parking and to have it extended to private parking areas. What is known as New Zealand’s mobility parking scheme, is administered by the advocacy organization, CCS Disability Action which provides over 100,000 permits.
CCS is looking for an accessible parking program similar to that in the US with signage, messaging on who can and can’t use the spaces and painting the spaces blue to increase their visibility. With one in five people in New Zealand having a disability, local retailers are realizing that this is not only a social issue but an economic issue.
Just when we in the U.S. get frustrated because we believe things are moving too slowly relative to the rights and mainstreaming of individuals with disabilities, we hear of issues such as these and perhaps, even for a moment, consider, though we still have a long way to go, just how far we have come.
This information should not be construed as “legal advice” for a particular set of facts or circumstances. It is intended only to be a practical guide for participants familiar with this subject. Users should seek appropriate legal advice tailored to address their specific situation.