Members of Auckland's disabled groups have handed a petition signed by 500 asking Mayor Len Brown for a rethink of an Auckland Council restructuring move that axes the jobs of the region's disability advisers.
The council's "Empowered Communities" plan will cut community development and safety staff from 101 to 78 fulltime-equivalents to cut costs by $1.6 million this year and $2 million a year in future years.
However, a dozen representatives of various disability groups protested an impact of the plan at the council's governing body meeting.
Nicola Owen said her partner Paul Brown had been told that his job of four years as disability adviser would end on September 30 unless he found another council position.
"With a four-month-old baby, it's bad timing for us but for the disabled community its a huge concern," she said.
"The two disability advisers are our point of contact for transport, mobility cards, funding and coming events.
"Two years ago, a restructure took two disability advisers, who served the West and North, and we have gone down from four to two.
"We won't have anyone to go to.
"They understand what we are saying.
"At the call centre you have to explain your disability all over again."
The advisers' specialist knowledge ensured that people were able to engage with the council in a meaningful way and their work on regional initiatives, such as sign language, won the council national awards.
Nicola Owen said although disability affected one-in-four of the population, she suspected that a quarter of the budget was not spent on disability and maybe it could be increased to keep the disability advisers.
Mr Brown said most councillors did not know the position and the chief executive Stephen Town would be asked for a report on how the disability programme would be supported.
Deputy mayor Penny Hulse said support for the disabled had been a foundation policy of the council and it needed to check that the policy would be delivered under the restructure plan.