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Doors slide open for disabled communities

New automatic doors at Trust House Recreation Centre. PHOTO/HELEN HOLT


A Masterton recreation centre is now accessible to the disabled community after three years of advocacy and planning.

Automatic doors were installed last week at the Trust House Recreation Centre on Dixon St, replacing push-pull doors which were inaccessible to the disabled community.

People First president Peter Knighton said he was relieved that the automatic doors were finally installed.

“We approached the council a while ago; we needed to make the centre more accessible. It’s great to see they’ve actually done it,” Knighton said.

“The issue with the doors was that for people in a wheelchair or walker, it was impossible to open them.

“The doors were also heavy.

“It was also hard for people pushing prams to get in and out.”

He said it was a human right for people with disabilities to be able to access indoor and outdoor facilities, and the previous doors did not honour that right.

In 2019, Knighton and vice-president Millie Ogg advocated for Masterton District Council to install automatic doors at the facilities.

In August, the council said it had started preparing for the installation of the doors, hoping for them to be finished in December.

The plans included two sets of automatic sliding doors, one in the main entrance of the building and the other replacing the wooden double doors which separated the foyer from the main pool hall.

The council said the work was delayed due to a combination of staff and contractor availability and the impact of covid-19.

Council community facilities and activities manager Corin Haines said while there had been a delay in completing the work, he was delighted that the doors were now in place.

“We believe this significantly increases accessibility to this great community asset.

“As part of the project, we shared designs with CCS Disability Action and thank [rural infrastructure design specialists] Ordish and Stevens for their work to lead the design and implementation of the doors.”

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