Published: 28 April 2022
‘Napier – a city for everyone’. That’s the vision of Napier’s first Disability Strategy, which has caught the attention of Minister of Disability Issues, Hon. Carmel Sepuloni.
Ms Sepuloni was hosted by Napier’s Deputy Mayor, Annette Brosnan, at the Napier War Memorial Centre on Friday, 22 April. She met with residents with lived experience of disabilities, disability agencies and Napier City Council staff, to discuss Napier’s plan to become a more inclusive city.
Michele Grigg, Napier City Council policy advisor, says the Disability Strategy focuses on the things Council does to improve accessibility in Napier, both within Council and in the community.
“Having the Strategy is critical, as we know over a quarter of Napier’s population – 27% - lives with a disability. And this will increase as our community ages.”
The Strategy has six goals: Everyone can go where they want to go; opportunities for everyone to engage; services and information are accessible for everyone; something fun for everyone; everyone is safe; and, a workplace where everyone can fulfil their potential.
Minister of Disability Issues, Hon. Carmel Sepuloni says it was wonderful to meet representatives from the Napier Disability Advisory Group, including Council staff, and the Napier Ability Plus group.
“This strategy is an example of a local authority “stepping up” to show leadership in its inclusion of disabled people in its thinking and planning across all of its activities,” says Ms Sepuloni. “Napier City Council is right to be very proud, not only was the strategy provided in alternate formats, but its easy-read format won a national award.”
Napier Deputy Mayor, Annette Brosnan, says it was an honour to host Ms Sepuloni and discuss the important matters around accessibility for people with disabilities.
“We have done some things already, including purchasing an all-terrain wheelchair for people to borrow, having a sign language interpreter in our Council hearings, and producing our key Council documents in more accessible formats, such as Easy Read and audio,” says Ms Brosnan.
“We are encouraging people from the disability community to stand for Council so we have more representation around the Council table too,” Ms Brosnan says. “We look forward to updating Ms Sepuloni on Napier’s progress and working with central government on the roll out of their new Ministry for Disabled People.”
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