Mobility park permit used as protest tool

JOEL MAXWELL
Last updated 10:22 05/09/2014
mobility parks Kapiti
JOEL MAXWELL/FAIRFAX NZ

Problem parking: The car left by Dale Evans in the Kapiti Coast District Council headquarters mobility car park space.

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A self-styled community advocate says he has taken up mobility parking spots for hours with his cars to highlight the lack of parks for people with disabilities.

Dale Evans, a former Paraparaumu-Raumati Community Board member, said he was entitled to park in the spaces, on Seaview Rd and outside the council headquarters.

The parking, including leaving a sign-adorned vehicle outside a business his wife owns on Seaview Rd, drew a backlash from residents and the Kapiti Accessibility Advisory Group, which provides advice to the council on disability issues.

Chairwoman Sue Emirali said Evans was a CCS mobility cardholder, so he was not breaking the law by using the spaces.

"[But] It's really just inconsiderate, and to my mind it's not the purpose for which those parks were designed."

She said Evans' use of the spaces, one on Seaview Rd and a council park, was simply "ignorant".

On Thursday Evans said he was highlighting issues including the limited number of mobility spaces in Kapiti.

"It's an ageing population of course... there needs to be more parking, particularly down the beachfront."

Evans had parked a car with a toilet and signs mounted on the roof in the council mobility space.

The parking at the council headquarters drew a Facebook rebuke from the council, which posted a statement from mayor Ross Church about the parking.

"If Mr Evans wants to get at council - and he regularly does - there are other forums. Mr Evans has the right to use the park if he is legitimately using the library, needs to see someone at customer services or is attending a council meeting."

Church said if Evans wasn't doing any of those things then it wasn't fair to take the park and disadvantage people with disabilities in Kapiti.

Meanwhile Emirali said she was generally satisfied with the number of mobility spaces around the council building and Seaview Rd.

She said there were about 18 mobility parks outside the council headquarters, library, community centre and aquatic centre.

"We're relatively comfortable with the number, as long as they're used in an appropriate manner."

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