1 Oct 2004

Cooks' Disabled Council accuses government of neglect

10:26 am on 1 October 2004

A report in the Cook Islands says the National Council of the Disabled has accused the government of neglecting an agreement on disability rights.

The Cook Islands News reports the council's president, Tuki Wright, as saying the government has done nothing to carry out the agreement.

Mrs Wright has told this week's national conference on women that she would like to see special crossings on roads, ramps for wheelchairs, parking spaces and disability access at airports, banks, hospitals, churches and hotels.

She says she's met the Justice Minister to raise the issue of access to the new China-funded courthouse on Rarotonga:

"There are about 40 to 50 steps, up. So a disabled person can't go up those steps, or elderly, or pregnant mothers: No access for them."

Mrs Wright says the Justice Minister has assured her that he's asked China to arrange disability access.

The national conference on women has been meeting all week and is due to set out its work programme for the next two years.

Aside from disability the meeting has seen discussions on substance abuse, intellectual property rights and migration.