Calls for disabled 'companion card' scheme to launch in New Zealand

Author
Newstalk ZB Staff ,
Publish Date
Tue, 10 Jul 2018, 3:23PM
The scheme currently exists in Australia and Great Britain but not in New Zealand. (Photo / SXC)

Calls for disabled 'companion card' scheme to launch in New Zealand

Author
Newstalk ZB Staff ,
Publish Date
Tue, 10 Jul 2018, 3:23PM

There's a call for New Zealand to introduce a disabled "companion card" scheme similar to those run overseas.

In Australia, such a programme gives discounted and free tickets to the companion escorting a registered disabled person to an event.

There's a similar scheme in Great Britain.

Caller Melanie, who cares for her disabled son in Sydney, told Andrew Dickens that she was shocked to learn that no such scheme exists in New Zealand. She had been intending on taking her son to see Cher at Spark Arena. 

She said both LiveNation Australia and Spark Arena were unable to help her. 

Richard Benge, Executive Director of Arts Access Aotearoa, told Andrew Dickens that hindering the ability of disabled people to bring a companion is denying them their human rights.

He says New Zealanders have every right to be very disappointed by this, given how successfully it has been run in Australia.

A spokesperson from the Ministry of Culture and Heritage says they are currently leading research work on companion ticketing in New Zealand to get a clearer idea of the situation here.

"One of the Government’s key priorities for the Arts, Culture and Heritage portfolio is ensuring access and participation to cultural experiences for all New Zealanders. The Ministry for Culture and Heritage is currently leading research work on companion ticketing in New Zealand to get a clearer idea of the situation here. The Ministry’s research will guide officials’ advice to Ministers on the best way to approach this issue in the New Zealand context." 

LISTEN TO MELANIE AND RICHARD BENGE TALK WITH ANDREW DICKENS ABOVE