Transport access and mobility needs and impediments in New Zealand : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Public Policy at Massey University

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Massey University
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New Zealand's Land Transport Management Act 2003 places a statutory requirement on transport agencies to improve access and mobility. However, the access and mobility needs of New Zealanders, and existing impediments to access and mobility, are not well understood. This thesis focuses on groups of people that international research suggests are at risk of social exclusion. It investigates their transport needs and impediments related to access and mobility, by reviewing the international literature and by conducting face-to-face interviews with eight people selected from these potentially at-risk groups. The understanding gained from this present research of mobility needs and impediments, and the effects of these impediments, are discussed. This thesis suggests that mobility impediments are resulting in social exclusion in New Zealand, and that while current consideration of the transport-disadvantaged in New Zealand is largely focussed on the elderly and the disabled, other groups identified internationally, such as young people and new settlers, are also at risk of social exclusion because of impediments to their mobility. This thesis has examined what people perceive as their mobility needs, and suggests that as needs are variable, it is not possible or appropriate to identify basic mobility needs that should apply to everyone. Also, mobility impediments, rather than being a matter of can or cannot, are a matter of degree. The ways in which identified mobility impediments might be addressed are described. It is suggested that because of the difficulties in establishing and providing for access and mobility needs, it may be more appropriate to focus on providing access and mobility opportunities instead. The usefulness and limitations of this present research are discussed, together with the prospects of subsequently applying the research method on a wider scale in order to develop a fuller understanding of the range of access and mobility needs and impediments of New Zealanders.
New Zealand, Transportation