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DPA's Information Exchange - 28 June 2020

In this week's Info Exchange:

DPA submission on Covid-19 Recovery (Fast Track Consenting) Bill 

The Covid-19 Recovery (Fast track Consenting) Bill was introduced into the House on 16 June 2020.  

If enacted the Bill would:

  • fast-track resource consenting and designation processes for eligible projects 
  • accelerate the beginning of work on a range of different sized and located projects   
  • support certainty of ongoing employment and investment across New Zealand.
(Read more about the Bill on the Ministry for the Environment website)

Many of the proposed projects flagged for fast tracking involve transport and housing projects. Both are areas where disabled people often face major barriers to access and where lack of access can have a major impact on our lives and ability to live independently in the community.

DPA is concerned that without provision for the public to submit, or a requirement for disabled people and their organisations to be consulted, there is a risk that the projects will result in infrastructure that is inaccessible for disabled people. There is often poor or non-existent engagement with disabled people into the design, development and placement of infrastructure. Consultation processes are therefore key to ensuring that accessibility is fully integrated into new projects.  

DPA strongly recommends that the public still be able to submit on fast tracked projects.

As a minimum, Disabled People's Organisations must have the opportunity to provide comment and have input by being added to the list of stakeholders in Schedule 6 clause 17 of the bill.


Footpaths for Feet petition presented

Thank you to everyone who signed the petition to Keep Footpaths for Feet and Mobility Devices - the petition has now been presented to the Transport and Infrastructure Committee.

The petition request was: That the House of Representatives pass legislation prohibiting e-scooters and new forms of motorised vehicles or devices from being used on footpaths in order to ensure pedestrians and mobility device users are safe and feel safe on footpaths.

DPA Policy Advisor Bronwyn Haines joined Footpaths4Feet Coalition Convenor Dr Chris Teo-Sherrell, Grey Power Federation National Vice President Peter Matcham and Blind Citizens National President Jonathan Godfrey in submitting on the petition.

You can watch their submission on the Transport and Infrastructure Committee Facebook Page.


DPA Bubble Hui - 4 July

Join DPA at our online Bubble Hui.

When: Saturday 4 July

What time: 3.00pm  – 5.00pm

Where: Zoom (all members will be emailed a link on the morning of 4 July )

You are invited to our sixth Bubble Hui. We've decided to stick to the name Bubble Hui for our online hui for now despite no longer being in our bubbles in lockdown - because the hui on Zoom have been a great success and we think keeping the name acknowledges how they started, and because we've come to see the "Bubble" as representing the online space where DPA members come together to share their thoughts. 

-NZSL interpreters will be present at this event
-This is a national event, members from around the country are invited to attend

Do you want to join in but are not a DPA member? Joining is easy and free – go to to sign up.


DPO Coalition news

Voice of Disabled People – We are working in challenging times with Covid-19. While there is good engagement with Government overall, the speed of change is making it harder to ensure Government meets its commitments to engage with disabled people early and in partnership. Our focus is accessible formats and early consultation. We also need to ensure that disabled peoples’ representatives are included in the new governance and decision-making groups that are emerging. We have strong support from Minister Sepuloni on this.

Covid-19 Issues for Disabled People – In addition to accessible formats and early consultation, we have raised issues around support at home, working at home, rent freeze, access to personal protective equipment to allow disabled people to protect themselves, public transport and many other issues. If you have issues you believe need more attention, please let DPA know - email or phone us on 04 801 9100.

Health and Disability Sector Standards – Two DPO Coalition representatives (Martine Abel-Williamson and Bronwyn Haines) are now representing the voice of disabled people in the review of these important standards. This has happened because we wrote to the Ministry of Health raising concerns that disabled people have not been involved in the review of these standards. The standards last for ten years and so full involvement is crucial. There will be more information soon on how we will achieve engagement with disabled people.

Workbridge – We are engaging with Workbridge about how their services and funding approach can be improved. If you have comments on this, please email or phone us on 04 801 9100.

Disabled People Led Monitoring – Our Housing Report is almost completed and will be available in the full range of alternate formats, and Te Reo. There will be a launch (date yet to be set) and we will also hold a workshop with Government agencies that have a role in improving housing. Our next report on Health and Wellbeing is starting (see item below). This will include a wide look across all aspects of wellbeing plus research into the impact of the Government’s response to COVID-19.

Education – We continue to work closely with the Ministry of Education across all their strategy work. We have been holding regular workshops on topics important to disabled people and are planning a further half-day workshop for 1 July. We will soon have two DPO Coalition representatives on the Review Panel for the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA).

Disability Action Plan – The Government has committed to important actions in the Disability Action Plan and progress must continue. Now that we are in the Covid-19 recovery phase, we are re-engaging with the Office for Disability Issues and Government agencies to re-activate the Disability Action Plan.

Tatou Whaikaha: All of Government Network of Networks – This new group has been established to coordinate the ongoing response to Covid-19 across Government. The DPO Coalition Chair, Leo McIntyre is representing the DPO Coalition on this group

The DPO Coalition is: DPA, Blind Citizens NZ, People First NZ, Deaf Aotearoa, Kāpo Māori O Aotearoa, Balance Aotearoa and the Muscular Dystrophy Association of New Zealand.


UNCRPD Monitoring - My Experiences, My Rights: Health and Wellbeing 2020-2021

You are invited to take part in monitoring research about disabled people’s experiences of health and wellbeing in Aotearoa New Zealand. This monitoring research is being carried out by the Donald Beasley Institute (DBI), and is sponsored by the Disabled People’s Organisation (DPO) Coalition*.

[Links to this information in: NZSLte reo Māori and Easy Read]

What is this consultation about?

In Aotearoa New Zealand, essential healthcare is provided free for those who qualify through the public health system.

But sometimes disabled people receive inadequate health and wellbeing treatment, care, and services. Sometimes they miss out altogether.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is an international agreement. It sets out what the New Zealand Government must do to make sure disabled people have the same rights as everybody else.

This includes a disabled person’s right to a high standard of health, without discrimination on the basis of disability (Article 25).

It is important to understand if, and how well, this is happening.

To do this, the DBI are asking disabled people and their families/whānau to tell them what health and wellbeing issues they should monitor. This might include rights violations, or problematic policies. Family and close supporters of disabled people who are unable to consent to taking part in this monitoring research are also invited to contribute their views and experiences.

At the end of the consultation the DBI will have a good understanding of what health and wellbeing issues matter to disabled people. They will use this feedback to design the next phase of monitoring interviews. Monitoring interviews will investigate the issues on a much deeper level. The DBI will share more information about how to be involved in these interviews at a later date.


How can I take part in the consultation and what will I have to do?

There are two ways you can take part in the initial consultation phase. First, you can share your views by answering a short survey. The survey is available in accessible formats through the Donald Beasley Institute website. If you would like to take part in the survey, please complete the questions before midday Friday 24 July 2020:

The second way to participate is through a focus group. To take part in the focus groups the DBI are looking for people who are over the age of 18, can provide informed consent, and who identify as:

- Māori

- Pasifika

- Rural

- Immigrants/ ethnic minorities (Asian, African, Latin American)


- Deaf

- Family and supporters of people with complex disabilities

- Psychosocial disability/ mental health

- People with learning disabilities

- Female

- Young adults (18 - 25)


If you want to take part in the focus group, you can contact the DBI Research Team by email or by phone. They can help you fill out the Focus Group Interest Form.

If you are able to fill out the Focus Group Interest Form yourself please do so by answering the questions in the form on the DBI website:

You can also download the form on the DBI website, fill it out, and either email or post it to the DBI. If you would like to register your interest in New Zealand Sign Language, you can also email the DBI a video of your responses. It is okay to ask a friend, family member or a support person to help you fill out the form if you want to.

If you would like to talk to someone from the DBI about this research, you can contact research assistant Umi Asaka: Free phone: 0800 878 839, email:

*The DPO Coalition is: DPA, Blind Citizens NZ, People First NZ, Deaf Aotearoa, Kāpo Māori O Aotearoa, Balance Aotearoa and the Muscular Dystrophy Association of New Zealand.


Inclusive Education Advisory Group - nominations

The Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand is seeking nominations for members of the Inclusive Education Advisory Group (IEAG).

The IEAG is a group of Inclusive Education experts who work collaboratively to provide the Teaching Council with research and advice. Please note that IEAG members are not employees of the Teaching Council but are remunerated for their time.

The Teaching Council is looking for people who are eager to engage in open and honest conversations about how the Teaching Council can add value to the Inclusive Education sector. Members must be able to work collaboratively with each other and the Teaching Council, be aware of the complexity of inclusive education issues, and be passionate about improving inclusive education in New Zealand.

Knowledge and understanding of legislation, guidelines and evidence-based practices that guide inclusive education across the sector and various age groups is necessary. IEAG members are selected based on their expertise in their field, rather than as representatives of particular organisations, professions, or bodies.

Members are chosen to offer a range and balance of relevant, expert perspectives on inclusive education issues. 

People under the age of 18 may apply; the Teaching Council are most interested in applications from young people who are active in advocacy or inclusive education work, as well as having personal experiences of inclusive education.

If you are interested in putting yourself forward:
Download this letter (PDF) which includes more information. 
Download the application form (PDF).

Joanne and Áine sit together on a red sofa talking
Video still from Áine Kelly-Costello's conversation with DPA NEC member Joanne Dacombe - part of the Generations of Change series

Generations of Change - conversations with disabled leaders

If you're keen or curious to kōrero with some fabulous disabled change-makers and learn more about their journeys, you'll want to check out a new series called Generations of Change.

Facilitated by DPA member and journalist Áine Kelly-Costello partnering with Imagine Better,  you can Zoom in every Tuesday at 7pm between June 16 and July 28 to join in. We'll watch and listen to a pre-recorded conversation first and then it'll be your turn, with a live Q&A.

The first two conversations have been recorded and you can now watch then online:
Conversation with Dr Huhana Hickey
Conversation with Joanne Dacombe  

Next Tuesday the conversation is with Pati Umaga. The following weeks will be with Duane Kale, Rachel Noble, Robyn Hunt and Tewai Skipwith-Halatau.

The conversations with Áine will also be broadcast on Wellington Access Radio on Wednesdays at 4pm, and released as captioned videos. Sign up here and you'll get updates about the whole series:


IMM report online launch - reminder

The Independent Monitoring Mechanism (IMM) warmly invites you to the live streaming of the launch of our third status report on disability rights in New Zealand, Making Disability Rights Real.

The IMM is made up of the Disabled People’s Organisations’ (DPO) Coalition, the Human Rights Commission and the Ombudsman.

You will learn more about the report’s findings in brief addresses from Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier, Paula Tesoriero MNZM Disability Rights Commissioner (Human Rights Commission) and Leo McIntyre, DPO Coalition Chair.

We are delighted to have the Hon. Carmel Sepuloni, Minister for Disability Issues, attending as a guest speaker and to receive the report on behalf of the Government.

Please note that the report will be available in a range of accessible formats which will be available at

Everyone is welcome to attend this online event, and we encourage you to share this invitation with your networks.

For further information, assistance or to submit a question to the presenters, please email:

Launch details

When: Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Time: 4.30pm to 5.30 pm Link:

NZSL: The live stream will include NZSL interpreters.

About the Independent Monitoring Mechanism

The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) is the overarching human rights document for disabled people. It reaffirms that all disabled people with all types of impairments must enjoy all human rights and fundamental freedoms. The New Zealand Government showed its commitment by ratifying the UNCRPD in 2008.

To help monitor the implementation of the UNCRPD in New Zealand, a mechanism or group of agencies, the 'Independent Monitoring Mechanism' (IMM), was set up to monitor and report on the Government’s performance. This group is made up of the Human Rights Commission; the Ombudsman and the DPO Coalition.

DPO Coalition members are: DPA, Blind Citizens NZ, People First NZ, Deaf Aotearoa, Kāpo Māori O Aotearoa, Balance Aotearoa and the Muscular Dystrophy Association of New Zealand.

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