Club promises access solution

21:41, Feb 06 2013
Phillip Humphreys outside the Kaiapoi Golf Club

A Kaiapoi man frustrated at a lack of wheelchair access to the Kaiapoi Golf Club believes a small change to the way the building's ramp is designed could allow him and others access to the Links bar and cafe inside. 

Phillip Humphreys said he had tried several times over the last four years to get into the cafe, since he and his wife moved from Sumner to Kaiapoi, just round the corner from the golf club. 

"I love it here and we always try to use 'local', but I've been stymied by a 100-millimetre step at the top of the ramp. 

"If a building is open to the public, then by law it must be wheelchair accessible."

Mr Humphreys uses a motorised wheelchair, which weighs about 250 kilograms, and it was not possible to lift that much over the 100mm step to gain access to the cafe. 

"In early November, I spoke with a committee member and the manager on duty, who assured me that proper ramp access would be completed within a month, " Mr Humphreys said.


"Nothing has been done to fix it at all." 

There was even a wheelchair symbol on the clubhouse beside the ramp, but he still was not able to enter the cafe, even with the assistance of another person, because of the weight of his wheelchair.

 He said the changes need not cost the golf club much.

"You would only need access out 12 inches (about 300mm) to do away with the step above the ramp. You wouldn't need to affect the playing area at all. The present situation is not good enough.

"People in wheelchairs have money to spend too." 

It seems help is at hand. 

Golf club manager Neville Lyons said he was engaging a contractor to put in wedge- shaped rubber mats to improve wheelchair access to the step and these would be in place in a few days.

(Live Matches)