Kiwi Property has become the first New Zealand property business to achieve accessibility accreditation across its entire shopping centre portfolio.
According to the property firm two of its six centres received Platinum ratings from social design centre Be.Lab – its highest rating – while the remaining four were rated Gold.
“We’re incredibly proud that our shopping centres have been Be.Lab accredited. We believe strongly in the importance of making our properties highly accessible to all New Zealanders,” said Kiwi Property general manager of asset management Linda Trainer.
Specific issues tackled include people with autism disorder, people who struggle with the English language, people with prams, people in wheelchairs, and more.
According to Trainer the next step will be to extend the lessons learned during the accreditation process to its office portfolio, and hopes other property owners will follow suite.
Be.Lab founder and chief executive Minnie Baragwanath said in engaging with the work to achieve accreditation Kiwi Property had raised the bar for New Zealand enterprise.
“[Kiwi Property’s] work across their shopping centres represents a significant commitment to access and possibility thinking that will help them connect and sustain with their local and visitor community, with economic, social and cultural benefits both within their business and outside it,” Baragwanath said.
“We have been deeply impressed by the complete buy-in at every level – it has to start with management’s belief in the value of moving from disability through accessibility to possibility – and their willingness to make all the cultural and practical changes.”