Mayme writes : “While it’s heartening that Mayor Rowan should champion the passage of gay marriage through Parliament, it concerns me that
upholding the rights of the disabled & elderly to equal access via the ramp should be ignored so cavalierly.I am heartened by the article “Ramp access approved ‘in principle” in a recent Kapiti Observer. However I think it is a shame that the issue was allowed to reach
such a crisis point before Council realised it had breached the rights of the disabled in our community by not adequately following due process in decision-making.
Despite protest from our combined disability organisations, elderly & concerned citizens (who make up a significant proportion of Kapiti’s population), I was
saddened to observe the Aquatic Trust Members’ obdurate belief that reneging on its earlier commitment to provide ramp access was acceptable.
KCDC dismisses criticism
I noted Council was dismissively critical of those who would not accept its arbitrary decision. That able-bodied Trust members, the Council’s decision-makers, should assume they knew best what the disabled & elderly needed & deemed full consultation unnecessary was offensive.
But for the threat of legal action by the Human Rights Commission against KCDC for contravening the rights of the disabled, the Council might well have continued disregarding Community demands for the return of ramp access to the main pool.
Whilst it is noteworthy & heartening that, on the one hand, Mayor Rowan should champion the passage of gay marriage through Parliament, it concerns me that upholding the rights of the disabled & elderly to equal access via the ramp on the other hand, should be ignored so cavalierly.
Ironically, it was only a few weeks ago Mayor Rowan opened The Speakers’ Corner outside the Council Chambers, espousing our right to free speech & affirming that we do live in a democracy.
A couple of weeks later I listened to a speaker, earnestly protesting the Council’s decision to remove ramp access to the main pool & denouncing the Council’s undemocratic disregard for its disabled & elderly.