Local Whangārei business helps out wheelchair victim

By Raniera Harrison

A young Māori woman who suffers from cerebral palsy has had her wheelchair stolen. Jasmine Fraser woke up to find her wheelchair had been taken from outside her home in Kamo on Sunday morning. 

Her plight has been felt by local businesses who have come to her aid.

Diane Sullivan from NorthAble says, "James from Māori TV came in yesterday to get an image and I don't know, it just made me think well we've got a power chair in our hire pool and maybe we can just loan something to Jasmine until she can get something sorted."

Jasmine says, "Thank you so much! I love it! I absolutely love it, the support is amazing. I'm just... Oh my God!"

Now she's got a new set of wheels in the meantime, similar to her original one which served Fraser for over a decade.

A formal police investigation is currently underway into the theft of the motorised chair, estimated at $20,000 in value, taken from her carport while she was sleeping on Sunday evening.

Whangarei locals are now being urged to rally together to support Fraser in her bid to buy a new chair, much like her former one, to the value of $20,000.

Sullivan says, "Because it's a specialised chair designed for her needs she's definitely looking at a huge cost to replace it."

Fraser says with her mobility back, she plans to hit the streets tomorrow in search of her chair.