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DPA's Information Exchange - 16 October 2020

In this week's Info Exchange:

General Election 2020 - Vote! (and give us feedback on accessibility)

Tomorrow is the last day of voting for the New Zealand General Election 2020  - voting closes tomorrow at 7pm Saturday 17 October.

If you are not enrolled you can still vote (if you are over 18) - you can even register tomorrow at the polling booth itself.

If you are a person who needs support with the enrolment process, you can ask a support person, such as a friend or family member, to help you complete your enrolment form, or to complete your form for you.

If you need help with voting at a polling booth, that can be done by anyone you feel comfortable with, be it a family member, friend, support worker or polling booth worker.

Please let the polling booth staff know when you arrive that you will be getting someone to help you with your vote. The support person can not tell you how to vote or direct you as to who to vote for, but they can help you with casting your vote.

More information about the election, including information in NZ Sign Language and other accessible formats, can be found by going to the Electoral Commission's accessible voting information section of its website.

How did you find the voting process?

We'd really like to hear about people's voting experiences. Was it easy? If you used telephone dictation voting, how did you find it? Did you have any difficulty accessing information to voting? Have you faced any barriers to voting?

Your feedback will inform any feedback or submissions that we make to the Electoral Commission and/or Justice Select Committee following the election. For example, after every election the election process gets reviewed by the Justice Select Committee, who then make recommendations that often result in the Electoral Act being amended.  

Email feedback to


DPA NEC nominations and remits reminder

Ahead of the DPA AGM which will be held online on November 28, DPA members have been invited to submit nominations for the National Executive Committee (NEC) and DPA life membership and remits.

This is a reminder to send in those forms by 5pm this Sunday October 18 2020.

We want our National Executive Committee (NEC) to reflect the intersectionality of our community. We encourage you to put nominations forward for members who have diverse experiences and identities.

Previous board experience is not necessary. There will be a governance training session for the NEC, including new NEC members, some time after the AGM.

If you are a full member and have not received the nomination forms please email and we will forward them to you. (Full members are those with an impairment / who identify as disabled and are entitled to vote. Members who do not have an impairment are Associate members and are unable to vote.) 

If you are not a member yet but would like to take part (including in the voting process once we have received nominations and remits) you can join DPA and take part.


DPA submission on District Court (Protection of Judgment Debtors with Disabilities) Amendment Bill

This week we made a submission on the District Court (Protection of Judgment Debtors with Disabilities) Amendment Bill.

This bill amends the District Court Act 2016 to prohibit the seizure of goods of a judgment debtor with a disability, where the item proposed to be seized is necessary for the judgment debtor’s care, support, or independence.

DPA strongly supports the District Court (Debtors with Disabilities) Amendment Bill.

We proposed an addition to clause 4 (in bold):

(iii) in the case of the judgment debtor with a disability, any item that is necessary for his or her care or support, communication, independence, or to promote his or her inclusion and participation in society (for example any mobility device, specially adapted motor vehicle, computer/smartphone with adaptive technology or accessible features, or medical equipment)

We proposed adding the word ‘communication’ to the list above as many disabled people rely on computers and smartphones for their communication needs; and while a non-disabled person can often use a cheap smartphone or computer, this is not the case for many disabled people who rely on specialised adaptive features or technologies.

We proposed adding the words ‘computer/smartphone with adaptive technology or accessible features’ to the list of examples to show the kind of communication devices that can be used by disabled people.

Read DPA's submission on the Amendment Bill.


DPA submission on Workforce Development Councils

DPA also made a submission this week on how the governance of the six Workforce Development Councils is set up.

The industry-led Workforce Development Councils (WDCs) are being established to provide industry with greater leadership across vocational education and training. They will take over some of the key functions of the current Industry Training Organisations, including ensuring training qualifications meet industry standards and that courses taught are relevant and up to date.

DPA welcomes the setting up of WDCs and in particular the statement from the Minister that they must better engage underrepresented communities including Māori, Pasifika and disabled people.

Given the poor statistics of participation of disabled people in the workforce it is particularly important that the WDCs connect with the disability community.

Disabled Person’s Assembly has made a number of recommendations around how the governance arrangements are set up to ensure that the views of Māori, Pasifika and disabled people can genuinely influence WDC direction.

Read DPA's submission on the Workforce Development Councils

Two-day disability rights education programme - Palmerston North

Kia Noho Rangatira Ai Tātou is a two-day education programme developed by Te Pou and DPA that puts human rights for disabled people and the Disability Convention into a New Zealand cultural context.

Delivered over two days the programme provides practical application of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) that can be used by disabled people, whānau and disability support providers to ensure disabled people’s human rights are upheld in everyday life and practice.

Content includes:  

Section 1 Human Rights

Section 2 The Treaty of Waitangi, tūrangawaewae and citizenship

Section 3 The Human Rights system

Section 4 Disability, the social model and Human Rights framework

Section 5 The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Section 6 The eight General Principles

Section 7 The Articles

Section 8 Applying the Disability Convention

More more information and to register visit the Te Pou website.


Vacancies - Human Rights Commission

The New Zealand Human Rights Commission (HRC) has vacancies for Senior Human Rights Advisor or Human Rights Advisor roles with a focus on either Pacific rights, EEO, or Disability rights.

About the advisor role with a Disability rights focus:

  • Permanent position; Open to flexible working arrangements
  • Salary band - Advisor: $76,900 – $104,100 Senior Advisor: $90,000 – $121,800

Human Rights Advisors take a Tiriti-based human rights approach to delivering strategic advocacy, analysis and research for the promotion of human rights in Aotearoa New Zealand. They are particularly seeking expertise in disability rights for this role.

HRC's Human Rights Advisors provide evidence-informed research and skilled policy analysis, to communicate clearly about human rights and, to deliver and manage human rights projects. You will be working closely with Commissioners, advocating for civil, political, and social rights for all people in Aotearoa New Zealand. HRC's advisors engage with government decision-makers and community leaders, and support Commissioners to do the same.

This role is a generalist role that involves working on a variety of projects as well as contributing to and being accountable for the general human rights mahi HRC do, including working alongside the Disability Rights Commissioner. Applicants with relevant lived experience are welcomed.

To read more about the roles and to apply, visit the HRC website.


Waitemata DHB Disability Support Advisory Committee opportunity

Waitematā DHB invites applications from disabled people to become co-opted members of its Disability Support Advisory Committee (DiSAC).

This Committee provides the Waitemata DHB Board with advice on the disability support needs of people in the Waitematā District; planning, strategy and policy development, funding priorities and service development.

The Committee currently meets once each quarter and meetings are usually of 2-3 hours duration. It is also anticipated that metro-Auckland DiSAC meetings will be convened twice a year with Auckland and Counties Manukau DHBs. A meeting attendance fee and travel expenses are paid.

In addition to the personal experience that members will bring the Committee, the Board, is ideally seeking people who have a wider involvement in the disability community and its associated networks and activities.

If you wish to follow up on this opportunity please send details of your interests and experience to: Peta Molloy, Waitemata DHB at or phone/text on 021 422 765 by Friday 23 October 2020.

Read the Committee Terms of Reference (Word Doc)

If this newsletter has been forwarded to you and you would like to receive the Information Exchange weekly, please subscribe here

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