Two Government ministers spent much of today in wheelchairs to gain some insight into the challenges of living with a spinal cord injury.
"There will come a day where there's someone who is a Member of Parliament who is in a wheelchair, and that'll be a great day. But actually this is a good way for Parliament to experience how accessible they are as well," said Disability Issues Minister Carmel Sepuloni.
Sepuloni and ACC Minister Iain Lees-Galloway spent from 9am to 4pm wheeling themselves around Parliament and into question time to promote World Spinal Cord Injury Day and raise awareness of pressure injuries.
"We are making policy that affects people of all kinds in New Zealand, people with all sorts of different experiences. The opportunity to spend even a little bit of time experiencing what people deal with on a day-to-day basis is helpful," Lees-Galloway said.
"As Minister for ACC, I am aware of how pressure injuries impact the New Zealand health system by prolonging hospital stays, delaying community reintegration and, in the most severe cases, can cause death."
Sepuloni said 31 state sector organisations had so far signed up to the Accessibility Charter which outlines how they will improve the accessibility of their information, premises, and services for disabled people.