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DPA's Information Exchange - 24 July 2020

In this week's Info Exchange:

Free data access to key health websites

Mobile data used for accessing 13 key health websites will now be free for anyone using a mobile phone connected to the Spark, Skinny, Vodafone or 2degrees networks.

This has been set up to ensure people don’t incur mobile data charges when they need essential information about Covid-19, health information and resources, or access to eligible GP portals.

For free access to the websites, all you need to do is make sure your mobile data is turned on on your mobile device before you enter the address of the website into the web browser. (This is available for Spark, Skinny, Vodafone or 2degrees customers who are either pre-pay users or on a monthly plan).

All mobile data charges for content hosted on these websites are automatically charged back to the Ministry of Health - the data is "Sponsored Data".

Most content on a Sponsored Data website is free to access from your mobile device - but any externally hosted (from another website) content available through the website will incur data charges according to your usual terms and conditions. All the websites included within this initiative have reviewed their content to minimise the amount of externally hosted content, and to make it clear if clicking a link will take you to another website.

The Sponsored Data websites are:
Government website that brings together everything New Zealanders need to know about COVID-19 and how the government is responding.
Ministry of Health website with a wide range of information to help New Zealanders manage their health
A digital front door for accessing information about health topics, medicines, healthy living and health services.
A programme to increase access to high quality health information.
Information and resources to help New Zealanders recognise and understand depression and anxiety
Information and resources to help young New Zealanders recognise and understand depression or anxiety
Support and information for New Zealanders who have a gambling problem or are concerned about someone else’s gambling
Portal for accessing digital health services
Portal for accessing digital health services
Information and resources to help New Zealanders manage their mental health
Mental Health Foundation website with support and information to help New Zealanders manage their mental health
Health Quality and Safety Commission New Zealand site that provides information and resources to New Zealanders
Plunket New Zealand site that provides advice and support for the health and wellbeing of tamariki under-five and their whānau

The Ministry of Health is working closely with a number of other health-related websites with support from Spark, Vodafone and 2degrees to broaden the Sponsored Data initiative so even more key health and wellbeing information and services can be accessed without mobile data charges.

The initiative will be reviewed in June 2021 to determine its renewal period.

3DHB Equity Initiative Covid-19 Counselling Fund

This is a reminder that the 3DHB Covid-19 Counselling Fund is still available (up until 9 August 2020) for people living in the Wairarapa, Hutt Valley and Capital and Coast DHB areas.

What is the counselling fund?

Covid-19 has had a big impact on disabled people’s lives, routines, and mental wellbeing.

If you have been affected by Covid-19 and would like to access counselling or other mental wellbeing support services, you can apply to the DHB for funding to pay for it.

Who can apply to the counselling fund?

You can apply if:

  • You are a disabled person, or you have a family or whānau memeber with a disability
  • You live in Wellington, Porirua, Kāpiti Coast, Lower Hutt, Upper Hutt, or the Wairarapa
  • You would like counselling support for anything related to Covid-19
What counts as Covid-19 related?

Covid-19 has impacted everyone in different ways. You may have had difficulty accessing services, or changes with your support arrangements. You may feel that you missed out on information or events that were important to you. You may have faced challenges at home, work or school. Counselling is a good way to express how Covid-19 and the lockdown have made you feel.

How do I apply?

Pam MacNeill is administering the application process.

Send an email to her here:

Make sure to include:

  • Your name
  • The area you live in
  • Which counsellor or other professional mental health support service you would like to talk to
  • How much the appointment will cost

Pam will be in touch with you to let you know if your request was approved.

What happens next?

If your request is approved, you can organise an appointment with the counsellor or professional mental health support service of your choice, and payment will be arranged for you. Up to three sessions may be funded, between now and 9 August 2020 inclusive.


Situation Vacant reminder - DPO Coalition Secretariat

Applications close noon next Monday 29 June!

The DPO Coalition has an exciting new opportunity available for an exceptional person to support us. This position is re-advertised and previous applicants do not need to reapply.

The secretariat will provide a full range of administrative and executive support, to the DPO Coalition and DPO Managers. This ground-breaking role will be demanding, challenging and rewarding.

Person Specification and Position Competencies:

• minimum of three years working in an environment undertaking a similar role (experience may be in a voluntary or paid position);
proven ability to anticipate and meet the needs of individuals and groups (DPO Coalition and stakeholders);
• proven ability to provide the range of high level administrative skills required, including attention to detail, and a systematic and organised approach;
• extensive knowledge and proven ability in the use of the Microsoft suite of products;
• proven experience working with both hardware and software required to provide communications and information in accessible formats;
• effective written and communication skills.

Full details are contained within the position description (Word Doc)

The DPO Coalition advocates and promotes respect for an understanding of human rights in New Zealand society. We support equal employment opportunities and encourage disabled people to apply.

To express your interest in this role please, send your CV and covering letter to

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


Disability Discrimination and the Law - free legal education sessions

Get in quick: last chance to register for ADL’s free Disability Discrimination and the Law Series 2020 on Zoom.

This session will cover our disability discrimination law and where to get help. ADL’s Disability Discrimination and the Law series is designed for Disabled and Deaf People and supporters.

The session is repeated, so please only book one date. To register or for more information, email, or text 027 457 5140, or call 09 257 5140 and leave a message.

Wednesday 29 July 2020, 10am – 11am (a few spaces still available)

Register ASAP!

Tuesday 11 August 2020, 6pm – 7pm

Register by 4 August 2020


Going to hospital - a new resource

The Health and Disability Commissioner (HDC) has produced a new booklet called “Going to Hospital?” The booklet has been developed after consultation with older people (50+) and disability groups, with input from the District Health Board sector.

The booklet has information on what to expect when you use a public hospital service. It covers various situations including:

  • an emergency
  • a planned hospital admission
  • a specialist outpatient service or day clinic.

The “Going to Hospital?” booklet has tips on how to prepare for hospital, useful contacts, frequently asked questions and a glossary of words including some in te reo.

You can download and print the booklet from the HDC website at this address:

A limited number of printed booklets are available from DPA’s Wellington office, or you can order a booklet from HDC by phoning 0800 11 22 33 or emailing

HDC is also working on a smaller pamphlet version of the booklet and an easy-read version. Both will be completed in the coming months. We will let you know when these are available. 

HDC has received positive feedback about the booklet so far and we trust that this information will help to remove some of the uncertainties and concerns you may have about going to hospital.

What do you think?

HDC would like to hear your thoughts on the booklet. If you have any comments or suggestions, please contact HDC on 0800 11 22 33 or email


Disability Faith Community Zoom meeting

The Disability Faith Community are having another zoom meeting this Sunday, 26 July, from 2-4pm. 

Discussion will focus on where do we find the Spirit in disability? What gives us hope?

The group will also be discussing the future of these meetings.

If you would like to join the meeting, please email Vicki Terrell, for the Zoom link. 

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