Community wants action

A meeting was convened by Tiaho Trust at the Kaikohe Disability Information Centre on the 22nd November to find ways disabled people can have a voice within the Far North District Council.

This meeting was timely as we have a new Mayor who has a good understanding of the needs of the disabled community and recognises the barriers disabled people face.  We also have a disabled councillor; David Senior who has been elected to the Northern Community Board.

In the past there has been a high degree of frustration and annoyance felt within the disabled community.

People feel that whilst the Council may be may be listening to the issues faced by many members of the public, they are not acting on these issues; “We want accountability not lip service”.

Jonny Wilkinson, CEO of Tiaho Trust explained how the DSRG was working in Whangarei and that this would be a good model to use in the Far North.

Issues discussed at the meeting were; access to the built environment, lack of transport, attitudinal issues and lack of work opportunities for disabled people.

Forming a group similar to the DSRG would be practical way to address these issues.  Essential for this to happening is a strong desire within Council to strive for a non-disabling society for anything to be achieved.

It was agreed that a letter would be sent to Wayne Brown (Mayor), Clive Manley (CEO), David Senior (Northern Community Board member) and Tracey Dalton Western Community Board Chairperson Documenting the Far North disabled communities desire to have a meaningful, formal relationship with the Far North district Council.

Watch this space.

Published 20/12/2007