A wheelchair-bound teen was left "humiliated" and in tears when her mother and autistic brother were forced to carry her up and down stairs at the Elton John concert, despite purchasing disabled-access tickets.

To make matters worse, the family had to park six blocks away from the Mt Smart venue after being refused disabled parking, despite having a wheelchair in the back of their car.

The 14-year-old girl was given the tickets as a reward for doing so well learning the piano.

The teenager is recovering from a complex surgery to realign her lower spine after she was diagnosed with spondylolisthesis, which meant it became painful for her to walk far.


Her mother, who didn't want to be identified to avoid further embarrassing her daughter, said she had paid $590 for the special disabled-access tickets and had now asked for a full refund.

Sir Elton John was forced to leave the stage after losing his voice during his Mt Smart Stadium performance on Sunday. Photo / File
Sir Elton John was forced to leave the stage after losing his voice during his Mt Smart Stadium performance on Sunday. Photo / File

"That's a lot of money. I paid for the disability service, which included the parking and not going down the stairs."

The woman said their struggles began when she was turned away from the disabled parking at Mt Smart Stadium on Sunday night despite having a mobility parking permit as she had not emailed ahead.

A staff member told her she could leave her daughter and son, 12, at the gate entrance while she parked elsewhere.

"I couldn't leave my kids on the side of the road - they're both high needs and there were so many people everywhere."

She ended up parking six blocks away but when they got back to the stadium at Gate C she was told the only way to get to the "Field Platform" was down stairs.

The woman and her son carried the chair.

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"It was so chaotic, there were people everywhere and some of them had had a few drinks. What if there'd been an accident or she'd fallen out of her chair? It was a clear health and safety risk."

After the concert was cut short early due to John's illness, the woman had to carry her daughter back up the stairs.

She said it was not good enough and she had expected more from the venue.

"Myself and my children were put in an extremely unsafe position with highly intoxicated people offering and assisting lifting my daughter's wheelchair up and down the flight of stairs twice as there was no way out of the venue for us.

"This was extremely humiliating and unfair for my teenage daughter in a wheelchair and caused a lot of upset and tears for all three of us."

The woman had complained to Ticketmaster and informed the Health and Disability Commissioner.

In a statement, Auckland Stadiums, which runs the Mt Smart venue, admitted the family's experiences were "completely unacceptable" and said they would receive a refund.

"We weren't made aware of this issue until this afternoon and have since spoken to the patron. We will be refunding the patron, as her experience at the venue is completely unacceptable.

"We pride ourselves on our service to all patrons and have worked very hard specifically on the experience we provide to our mobility patrons.

"We will be investigating how something like this could happen to ensure it doesn't happen again."