Meet the mobility parking warriors taking big companies to the Human Rights Commission

https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/109505050/meet-the-mobility-parking-vigilantes-taking-big-companies-to-the-human-rights-commission

Parking activists are taking multinationals to the Human Rights Commission over misuse of their accessible car parks.
Mobility Parking Action has even taken the country's largest airport to task, resulting in it creating more than 50 new mobility parks.
Now it has district health boards, supermarkets and fast food outlets in its cross-hairs.

The group's aims are threefold: making sure landowners have enough properly sign-posted mobility parks, making sure they aren't being misused, and doing something about it if they are.

It all started several years ago when a small group of ordinary people, sick of the "relentless onslaught of blatant mobility park abusers", banded together.

Operations started small, MPA's Lee Warn said, with the organisation going after individual offenders and courier companies on a case-by-case basis.

Warn's been with Mobility Parking Action, a small group of only three members, for about three years.
But when that tack proved unsuccessful, it scaled up to a new strategy.
It now asks landowners to trespass mobility parking offenders.
If the landowner doesn't oblige, MPA looks at taking them to the Human Rights Commission for not monitoring and controlling their mobility parks properly.
"The problem is that once a landowner obtains a building code of compliance, they can pretty much do what they want with their mobility parks," Warn said.
"It's our main focus to make sure mobility parks remain useful to the disabled and we're one of a select few groups that are actually enforcing it."

Warn said the work constitutes wading against the tide of uncertainty around who's to blame – the driver, the land owner, the building code, or the disability commissioner.
"I've been in a wheelchair for 29 years and I find people parked in mobility parks, when they shouldn't be, pretty much every single day," he said.
"We've seen it all, people using disabled parks for staff parking, unloading goods, construction sites, storing rubbish skips or simply painting over them.

"Then there are the blatant everyday abusers, these are the courier companies and people 'just nipping into the shops for a bit'."
MPA photographs offenders and sorts through complaints, then approaches the powers that be to try stop the offending from happening again.
"It's an emotional situation. No one wants to be seen to be using mobility parks when they're not meant to be so when confronted they can often become combative," he said.
As a result of HRC mediation in July, Warn said Auckland Airport had drastically upped its game in terms of accessible parks.
The airport's head of retail and commercial, Richard Barker, said both groups went into the mediation meeting "very open-minded and looking for solutions".
It was a "very successful meeting", he said.
"Lee had some good suggestions but was also quite pragmatic as well."
Barker commissioned a report which resulted in the airport widening some of its existing disability parks and constructing about 50 more disability parks.
"I think Lee and the team do an important job in raising awareness and speaking on behalf of people who have accessibility issues," he said.
Lee said it was the perfect example of the sorts of outcomes the group hoped to achieve in every mediation.
"[The airport was] unaware they were behind the ball, but totally stepped up the the play and we came away with a satisfactory outcome for all."

Stuff