New Business Champion: Mackenzie Region

Mackenzie Region joins the growing number of businesses to become an Access Alliance Business Champion for Accessibility.

The Access Alliance is delighted to welcome Mackenzie Region New Zealand to the growing group of businesses who understand the value of being accessible for all customers. In becoming part of the cohort of Business Champions for Accessibility, Mackenzie Region joins the call for enforceable and efficient Accessibility Legislation in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Accessibility Rights

With 400 businesses operating around the region, Jason Menard, Mackenzie Tourism Marketing Executive, and his team of operators are tasked with managing enquiries for these businesses. Jason recently discovered that there was an untapped demand from visitors with access needs who want to know in advance if an attraction is accessible. He wants to ensure that customers with access needs have all the information they need to make informed decisions about which attractions, accommodation and hospitality are accessible for them.

“One of our operators got a call from a customer asking about accommodations that were access friendly,” said Jason. “The person wanted to visit the area but they wanted to know if their needs would be met before making arrangements to travel to the Mackenzie.

Bragging Rights

“This got me thinking, our job is to brag about living in the most beautiful part of New Zealand and showcase what’s available,” Jason explained. “But we need the relevant information that would help us to highlight the region as an accessible and inclusive destination for all Kiwis.”

“People and industries are becoming more inclusive of all walks of life,” Jason continued. “Our team contacted all the business owners to take part in an online self-assessment about the level of accessibility for their business. The information we gathered will equip us to better inform and assist travellers with access needs.”

Jason reached out to the Access Alliance to ask what questions needed to be asked of the businesses. He also sought advice from Chris Orr, an Access Alliance advocate who is blind.

Information Rights

“Our next project is to create a page on our website for members of the access community which will have all of the information available,” said Jason. “We hope these resources will be of valuable use to New Zealanders with access needs.”

The Access Alliance is looking forward to this new collaboration with Mackenzie Region. Together, both organisations aim to make sure that New Zealand is inclusive and equitable for all, through the introduction of Accessibility Legislation.

Aoraki Mount Cook and Lake Pukaki photo by Rachel Gillespie.

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