Overly Zealous

February 7th, 2014 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reported:

An Auckland mother says she is subjected to abuse and insults by elderly strangers for using mobility parks because her brain-damaged son “doesn’t look disabled”.

Other parents with disabled children, those suffering from disabilities themselves and disability advocates say it is a common problem.

The North Shore woman has a permit to use the parks due to the needs of her 3-year-old son who cannot walk or control his upper body following the removal of a brain tumour when he was 3 months old. She does not want to be named for fear of further abuse and said the level of aggression she is subjected to means she will now abandon her errands if the only option is to use one of the parks.

“Elderly people have come up to me and made it clear that I shouldn’t be parking there because I don’t look disabled and my child doesn’t look disabled,” she said.

Last week an elderly man blocked her into a mobility park she was using at Westfield Glenfield, yelled at her and threatened her with his walking stick.

“He parked his car behind my car and jumped out like he was … in his 20s with his walking stick and came up and said, ‘You need to move your car because you’re not disabled’.

“I said that I wasn’t but my son was, and he looked at my son and said, ‘What? This boy? He’s not disabled’. He got his stick and waved it around at me and shouted at me and I just stood there and said, ‘I am sorry but I won’t be moving, I am entitled to park here just like you are’. And he threatened to call the police so I pulled my phone out and offered to do it for him because he was the one waving a stick in my face.”

What a pillock. One should never make assume that all disabilities are visible. It is quite valid to check if someone has a mobility parking permit and point out these parks are reserved for those who do. But if someone does have a permit, it is not for you to decide if you personally think they deserve it.

Another Aucklander, Bonnie Robinson, suffers from multiple sclerosis and said she was often questioned about her use of the parks despite displaying her permit.

“I have had people come up to me,” she said. “They have just queried and I can understand why as long as people are polite, respectful and sensitive about how they do it.

“Not everyone who parks in a disabled car park actually wants to tell people why they can because it can be quite private.”

Absolutely.

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51 Responses to “Overly Zealous”

  1. lilman (885 comments) says:

    If only the people were as upfront in getting into Len Brown who is lying and stealing from his community ,yet they find the balls to chastise a woman with her son who has an mental health issue.Well done Auckland.

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  2. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    lilman: You are right on the money . . . Auckland ratepayers are under the influence of left-leaning media, and don’t have the “balls” to do anything that may upset a Labour-based council. Lecher Len is getting an armchair ride, and basically laughing all the way to another session at Sky City. They have let him off the hook, it is a shame.

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  3. Odakyu-sen (440 comments) says:

    That’s the troubled with the “disabled” sign and it’s use to mark disabled parking. By using a wheelchair logo, the public has become conditioned to expecting a person in a wheelchair or having other obvious physical disability to be using these parking spaces.

    As a result, if you don’t “look physically disabled” then Mr. Zealot will have a go at you.

    Perhaps more taxpayer money can be spent educating the public that disabled people may look totally “non-disabled.”

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  4. unaha-closp (1,111 comments) says:

    igm,

    Given the culture of Auckland’s council, it is perhaps not unlikely there are a few parking permits that have been handed out to friends of the council.

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  5. davidp (3,540 comments) says:

    >It is quite valid to check if someone has a mobility parking permit and point out these parks are reserved for those who do.

    No it isn’t valid. It is not the job of the general public to go around sticking their nose in to other people’s business, any more that it is valid for the public to go around a car park checking WOF and vehicle registration. NZ suffers far to much from this sort of amateur law enforcement, mostly on the roads.

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  6. nasska (10,632 comments) says:

    Maybe the best response for those entitled to use disabled parks is to tell the busy bodies to shove their queries & opinions up their noses.

    Even though it won’t always promote peace it guarantees satisfaction.

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  7. Pete George (22,781 comments) says:

    No it isn’t valid. It is not the job of the general public to go around sticking their nose in to other people’s business, any more that it is valid for the public to go around a car park checking WOF and vehicle registration.

    That’s a good point. You could add a few other things to that list, like parking on a meter for longer than you’ve paid for, running red lights, parking in a retailer’s free car park and not shopping there etc etc.

    It seems that alleged misuse of a disability car park get’s singled out as bad, the rest are fair game.

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  8. Southern Raider (1,540 comments) says:

    The ones that do raise my eyebrows are the obese ones using these car parks. Even if they do have a sticker wouldn’t making them park further away from where they need to get to actually do them some good?

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  9. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    Have you noticed the obese ethnics that inhabit these parks in Papakura? They are shameless and arrogant when asked to move, and to think it is poor taxpayers supporting them, including those disabled.

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  10. Nigel Kearney (864 comments) says:

    No doubt there are people who either don’t really need the permit, or take advantage of it when the person who needed the permit is not in the car. It’s inevitable that members of the public will take it on themselves to try to police this, as nobody else is doing it. Maybe they shouldn’t, but it is just human nature that they will.

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  11. Pete George (22,781 comments) says:

    The ones that do raise my eyebrows are the obese ones using these car parks.

    Why? Should obese people not be able to claim any sort of disability?

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  12. Kimble (4,377 comments) says:

    Why? Should obese people not be able to claim any sort of disability?

    Should you be able to claim a disability if you chainsaw off your own legs?

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  13. wikiriwhis business (3,883 comments) says:

    I didn’t think kiwibloggers would be concerned about disabled rights. It usually smells of beneficiaries. No disabled Nat MP’s.

    Plenty of beneficiary MP’s.

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  14. David Garrett (6,350 comments) says:

    lilman: This unfortunate child doesnt have a “mental health issue”…he has unavoidable brain damage from the removal of a tumour.. Yes I am being pedantic…but those with mental health problems (when did “problems’ become “issues”??) are perfectly capable of walking..

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  15. Fletch (6,010 comments) says:

    I guess you can’t really tell unless you ask the person.
    I remember reading an article a few years back about a man or a woman who drove an expensive looking sportscar which had a disabled sticker and could park in disabled carparks. The person actually had a debilitating disease that didn’t show on the outside and also did not have long to live. The only joy was driving the sportscar.

    They still got a lot of stick from people for parking in disabled spaces.
    I think it was in the Herald, but I can’t find it.

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  16. gravedodger (1,510 comments) says:

    If that demented old git has a permit it should be removed immediately and take his f*^king stick as well.

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  17. Nigel Kearney (864 comments) says:

    If you can fix the problem yourself, it’s not a disability it’s just poor decision making.

    The main examples of this are obesity, drug use, and having more children than you can pay for, and there is no reason they should entitle the person to anything from the rest of us, except maybe a one-off and time limited attempt to help the culprit remedy their behaviour.

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  18. Pete George (22,781 comments) says:

    The point I was having a go at making was that you shouldn’t assume that an obese person using a disability park qualifies because they are obese.

    Some people who are obese are not that way because it’s self inflicted, there are different causes of obesity.

    And in any case if someone qualifies as disabled because of self caused obesity related problems they are still disabled.

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  19. Aredhel777 (278 comments) says:

    Wait a minute guys. I mean, I do get where that old man was coming from. There is another side to the story here. I’m not sure that being aggressive and nasty is the way to go about correcting someone, but people parking in disabled parking spaces when they aren’t disabled is a problem in Auckland and I don’t blame people who get annoyed about it.

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  20. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    Some people who are obese are not that way because it’s self inflicted, there are different causes of obesity.

    Bullshit. There are some medical conditions and medications which will cause fluid to build up, but the only way to put on fat is through your mouth. No if or but. You can not build something from nothing.

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  21. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,790 comments) says:

    He was probably one of those North Country ten bob tourists of the 1950s.

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  22. labrator (1,745 comments) says:

    Hey at least it’s not the council telling you you’re not disabled enough 10 years later.

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  23. David Garrett (6,350 comments) says:

    I wonder if Ms Chuang got a disabled permit so she could park as close as possible to whatever (free) hotel they were meeting in on any particular occasion?

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  24. lilman (885 comments) says:

    Well slap my thigh.

    Sorry Mr Garrett,my original diagnosis was in correct ,as I mis-diagnosed this individual I shall immediately retire my warrant to perform and act as a leading medical professional.

    P.S. I wonder if he has a current Passport !

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  25. David Garrett (6,350 comments) says:

    lilman: another brave anonymous asshole…With your poor usage I doubt you could fill out the application form without help…I would offer, but that might provoke fresh “issues” with the Law Society…

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  26. Pete George (22,781 comments) says:

    Health Conditions
    Some hormone problems may cause overweight and obesity, such as underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), Cushing’s syndrome, and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).

    Medicines
    Certain medicines may cause you to gain weight. These medicines include some corticosteroids, antidepressants, and seizure medicines.

    http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/obe/causes.html

    Obesity can also be related to mental health issues.

    Again – regardless, if you are disabled due to eating too much, drinking (alcohol), taking drugs, due to genetics or whatever, you are disabled.

    It would be wrong to use moral judgements to determine eligibility to get a disability permit – and that still means that disability park users shouldn’t have to justify that use to the self appointed parking police.

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  27. BeaB (2,057 comments) says:

    The Stasi would thrive in NZ. Kiwis love nothing more than telling people off. And getting all indignant and judgemental.

    I saw a woman being unpleasantly and loudly chastised for using a disabled toilet and she told me, embarrassed, that she had a colostomy bag and needed the privacy and wash hand basin.

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  28. lilman (885 comments) says:

    LOL, YOU CRIMINAL LOL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Now now,just because you are dishonest and a lawbreaker dont shit your pants when someone points it out.

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  29. David Garrett (6,350 comments) says:

    BeaB: There’s an excellent example of why people shouldn’t assume…I hope the prick who chastised the poor woman had the decency to apologise profusely…

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  30. RRM (9,434 comments) says:

    It must be awful having people approaching you in public and giving you arseholes, as you try to go about life with a disability in an able-bodied world.

    But then, I have very occasionally seen people who look perfectly able-bodied, getting out of their cars (with all proper permits etc in place) and saunter off into whatever shop is nearby.

    It’s hard not to raise an eyebrow in these circumstances… if you can walk without apparent difficulty, then aren’t you, QED, not really in need of a disabled parking space?

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  31. RRM (9,434 comments) says:

    BeaB / David –

    I didn’t think the deal with accessible toilets was the same as disabled car parking spaces? But I could be wrong.

    I’ve always interpreted accessible toilets as being Accessible to the disabled, not reserved for the disabled.

    When there’s a row of toilets and one of them is a disabled accessible toilet, frequently the baby change table (if there is one) is located in the disabled one. I’ve always taken this as tacit endorsement of my view on disabled toilets vs disabled car parks.

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  32. Pete George (22,781 comments) says:

    I have very occasionally seen people who look perfectly able-bodied, getting out of their cars (with all proper permits etc in place) and saunter off into whatever shop is nearby.

    It’s hard not to raise an eyebrow in these circumstances… if you can walk without apparent difficulty, then aren’t you, QED, not really in need of a disabled parking space?

    RRM – in that situation it’s possible they are there to pick up someone who is disabled.

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  33. David Garrett (6,350 comments) says:

    RRM: Re the use of disable toilet, that’s right…they are AVAILABLE for the disabled but not RESERVED for them…a situation I hope doesnt become common knowledge, cause I like to “stretch out” when having a crap!! Pluse it’s much easier to read the newspaper in a disabled cubicle…

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  34. flipper (3,538 comments) says:

    Some commenters here are as thick as two short planks, and about as nowledgeable/understanding of mobility/disability issues as Putin.
    1. A medical certificate is required.
    2., Disability toilets are for everyone, they are outfitted differently.

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  35. edhunter (493 comments) says:

    We’ve all seen people parking in the handi spaces without the permits, I’m usually quite polite in pointing out to them that their disability must be being “pig shit ignorant” for which I usually receive a one finger salute & some verbal, never have they sheepishly hopped back into the car & parked elsewhere. No skin of my nose really apart from the thought you bastard I had to park 500m so should you.
    Also being able bodied my perception is there never seems to be a lack of disabled spaces I mean when you’re circling the car park looking for a space there’s always plenty of empty handy spaces. Again just a perception.
    Now the pram spaces on the other hand are just down right ridiculous & open to abuse by one and all.

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  36. Southern Raider (1,540 comments) says:

    It’s no different than lefties abusing mothers for feeding babies with formula in cafés.

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  37. RRM (9,434 comments) says:

    Or conservatives abusing mothers for breastfeeding babies in cafés ;-)

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  38. hmmokrightitis (1,507 comments) says:

    On a related issue…

    Im constantly amazed by how friggen rude many older folk are. I always hold doors open for them as needed, and many refuse to acknowledge let alone thank – and I have no idea why. Ive taken to saying loudly “You’re welcome” if they don’t even make eye contact. Especially hate seeing it when my kids, who have been similarly trained, hold doors for these ungrateful bastards who just waltz through with nary a word.

    /rant

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  39. gump (1,474 comments) says:

    @Fletch

    “I think it was in the Herald, but I can’t find it.”

    —————————–

    I remember reading that article as well. Here is a link to it:

    “Porsche-driver needs disabled parking space”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10345992

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  40. cubit (356 comments) says:

    “Rude older folk” were once rude younger folk. Just reflect on how many rude older folk there will be in the future.

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  41. chiz (1,119 comments) says:

    RRM:

    if you can walk without apparent difficulty, then aren’t you, QED, not really in need of a disabled parking space?

    Not necessarily. For example symptoms of Parkinson’s can come and go – you may be fine one minute walking into a shop, then, twenty minutes later, have difficulty walking.

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  42. Scott Chris (5,875 comments) says:

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  43. secondcumming (90 comments) says:

    My dear ol’ grandma never ‘looked the part’, but was certainly entitled to a Disabled Parking card…..and she always had the same response to any busy-body that queried her right to be there, “FUCK OFF NODDY!”

    Sadly, no longer with us……

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  44. valeriusterminus (245 comments) says:

    “The North Shore woman has a permit to use the parks”
    The article does not state that she was displaying this permit at the time of the incident. This – being a critical element in the debate would have easily been revealed by replacing the word “has” with “was displaying”. The NZH chose otherwise.
    The second Parnell parker “Bonnie” is not new to this controversy – we’ve heard about her before.

    Davidp – what do you have to fear?
    A civil society is dependent on those who have an interest in civility to question the behaviour of those who appear to behave unlawfully.

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  45. V (668 comments) says:

    Reminds me of a story, had to take the 80yr old mother into hospital for an appointment. Has limited mobility so dropped her off out front of the hospital in the wheelchair then went to find a park (of which at hospitals there never are any), so parked in a disabled park and displayed the mothers disability permit (which btw is hardly ever used).

    Was accosted by some absolute fuckwit in the carpark with nothing better to do over using the park as I am obviously not ‘disabled’. I replied to this born life-loser, “oh so you’d like to take my 80yr old incontinent mother to her appointment would you?
    And with that I received a mumbled apology.

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  46. lolitasbrother (470 comments) says:

    There is a problem with disabled car spaces in that there are usually more of them than necessary.
    Lets look at my supermarket, often all the car parks full, but the ones at the front with the yellow sign empty.
    So i get out my walking stick and limp inside, the checkout girls they laughing and laughing

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  47. lolitasbrother (470 comments) says:

    So some dude said to me, you not disabled.
    I said yes I am a psychopath thats a disability,
    I am unable to behave rationally
    why only last week I
    attacked a man for nothing,
    think what will happen if you do something

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  48. jcuk (582 comments) says:

    valeriusterminus (235 comments) says:

    February 7th, 2014 at 6:32 pm
    “The North Shore woman has a permit to use the parks”
    A civil society is dependent on those who have an interest in civility to question the behaviour of those who appear to behave unlawfully.

    The authorities should only be a very small part of a society which is largely self regulating, but in a polite and sensible way.

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  49. Shazzadude (505 comments) says:

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the zealousness, but people should check to see if they’ve got the right sticker in their windscreen before going off.

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  50. scrubone (3,044 comments) says:

    It reminds me of the case a few weeks back, where some guy saw what he thought was a skinhead, and felt entitled on that basis to beat the crap out of the guy.

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  51. Scott1 (445 comments) says:

    I think people should be able to (politely) ask the question if they see someone park in a disabled spot if they are not clearly displaying the appropriate documentation. If you are going to take advantage of the fact that there are free disabled parking spaces you should be willing to contribute to that by being willing to confirm that you are indeed disabled if asked.

    If someone continues to be upset and ends up waving a stick at you despite you telling them that you are disabled and displaying the correct permit I suppose that can be filed under “there are unreasonable people everywhere”.

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