IT IS curious what generates a disproportionate intensity of hatred, in circumstances that have no effect on you personally.

People hate seeing misuse of disability parks. I believe it has less to do with sticking up for disabled people, who need those parks, and a lot to do with the idea of someone enjoying an advantage you do not have. People hate the basic cheat.

This month, the NZ Herald has published photos of a Rolls-Royce Wraith, worth nearly $500,000, parked across a disabled park and the adjoining park, in Wellington. And a shopper has snapped photos of a Lamborghini worth $400,000 in a mobility parking space at Lynn Mall in West Auckland.

It is right and proper that disdain for the disabled parking concept is brought to the attention of the public. Name and shame advocacy is part of what the media does.


But I sometimes wonder if people, generally, resent disabled parking, and those who get to use them. I think they accept it unreservedly if the nature of the disability is clear-cut. In other words, if a driver uses a portable hoist mounted on the car to help ease them into the wheelchair, then okay, that's clearly disabled.

I think when it comes to courtesies like disabled parking, there is a clear prejudice against those who are disabled, but possess all their limbs and can walk. In our story on Masterton disabled resident Kim Davies, she has endured prejudice because she appears to get out of her car in reasonably good order. The limit was reached for her when someone left a rude note on her car, prompting her to provide some education on the new disabled stickers.

Disabled people aren't "cheating". As Kim puts it, if you want her disability, you're welcome to it. By all means photograph the Lamborghini that lacks a sticker, but would it kill you to either take a second look at the situation, or perhaps just mind your own business?