'Attacked, abused': KFC car park act highlights disturbing issue

Nadine Carroll
·2-min read

A TikTok user with a prosthetic leg has lashed out at a P-plate driver for occupying a disability parking space and making young drivers look bad.

He said the driver had not displayed a parking permit and his actions had contributed to people assuming young people often park illegally in disabled parking spaces.

Sydney man Paniora Nukunuku made headlines earlier this month when he uploaded a TikTok video after he said he was confronted by an older women for parking in a disability parking bay at a Sydney McDonald’s.

Stills from a TikTok video made by @pnuks about a person parked in a KFC car spot for a disabled person.
The TikTok user lashed out saying people who park in disability parking bays without visible permits are the reason he is often questioned about his disability. Source: TikTok/pnuks

Mr Nukunuku fired off on social media under the TikTok username, @pnuks, stating he was sick of people questioning his parking permit because he “doesn't look disabled enough”.

Then last week he took to the video-sharing platform again to show a car parked in a disability parking space outside a Sydney KFC without a permit displayed.

He claimed the driver was adding to the stereotype that young people park illegally in disability parking spaces.

The drivers making it hard for young disabled drivers

Mr Nukunuku said he had uploaded the follow-up video because even though he was able to find a car park close to the KFC entrance he wanted to emphasise the point he made in his earlier video.

“This person has parked in a disabled parking spot and I’m not targeting them because they have a P-plate, I’m targeting them because they are parked and they don’t have a disability permit,” he said in the video, which had been viewed more than 845,000 times.

“People like this are the reason people like me get harassed, attacked, abused for not looking ‘disabled enough’."

Some people suggested Mr Nukunuku retaliate.

“I would simply park in front of them and walk in. When you come out you can calmly tell them you just got as close as you could to the space,” one user said.

While others with a disability parking permit said they had also experienced similar difficulties.

“This happens so often and it infuriates me! I don’t care if there are no parks left or you can’t be bothered walking - Don’t park there!” a person with a disability wrote.

Mr Nukunuku said "not all disabled people are in wheelchairs and not all disabled people are old people".

Pictured is Paniora Nukunuku with his disabled parking permit and a still from one of his TikTok videos showing his prosthetic leg.
Paniora Nukunuku said he was confronted by an elderly woman at McDonald's who demanded he prove he was disabled. Source: TikTok/pnuks

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