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DPA's Information Exchange - 15 August 2020

In this week's Info Exchange:

New Covid-19 Alert Levels

Kia ora koutou,

Well - what a week it has been! First the initial news that Covid-19 Alert Levels were changing, then the three day wait to see whether they were changing again, now the news that for the next 12 days Auckland will remain at Alert Level 3 and the rest of the country at Level 2. 

It’s completely normal for people to be feeling a wide range of emotions right now. If you need to talk – call or text 1737 at anytime, 7 days a week, 24 hours a day to connect with a professional counsellor for free. (Read about the 1737 Need to Talk service in Easy Read - PDF)

Food and shopping 

We have heard from Countdown Supermarkets that their online ordering is again being prioritised for people who have already registered as priority customers. They have also reopened the application process for any new people to apply.

All DPA members who have recently joined have been forwarded a priority code. If you have not received a code, please email

The Student Volunteer Army have reactivated the SVA Grocery Delivery Service.

The service is available throughout the country, with a current focus on Auckland. You can either shop online  or call 09 801 2122 and one of their friendly volunteers will pick up your order from the supermarket, and deliver it (contactlessly) to your doorstep.

Disability Support Services

We've updated information on disability support services on our website: 

- Alert Level 3 - Disability Support Services
Alert Level 2- Disability Support Services


We are pleased to see that the needs of disabled people appear to be being considered in the management of quarantine facilities. This from Ministry of Health Deputy Director-General Disability Adri Isbister:

"As part of our overall national response to this new outbreak, the Director-General of Health has directed medical officers of health that all cases of Covid-19 are to be managed in a quarantine facility.  This will make it easier to wrap support around families and lessen the chance of spreading the virus. Families are not being separated and people are given an opportunity to organise their home affairs, for example the care of pets. Further advice on appropriate quarantine arrangements for different population groups, including disabled people, will be provided next week."

DPA meetings and Election Forums

Under both Alert Levels 2 and 3 no face to face DPA member events will be held.

In consideration of the move to Alert Level 3 in Auckland, a decision has been made to move the upcoming Auckland election forum to an online-only event at the same date and time. We will update you about other planned election forums DPA is involved in or running around the country when any changes are decided. Details about the election forums are on our website.

Most DPA staff work from home anyway, but any staff who work in an office will work from home in these levels.

Keeping you up-to-date

As always, we will bring you the most up-to-date information we can through this newsletter, our Facebook page and Twitter and we'll keep updating our Covid-19 Information for the Disabled Community page on our website.

Let us know any issues and concerns

Again we are very keen to hear of any issues or concerns you may have. Throughout previous alert levels we heard from many of you - that information was passed on to the relevant agencies and informed the pandemic response. We're keen to ensure that disabled people's voices continue to be heard at this time.

Email us at or call us on 04 801 9100 (leave a message and someone will get back to you). 

Ngā mihi,

The DPA team


Travel survey shows disabled people leave home less often

Last week we sent out an invite from transport researcher Bridget Burdett to take part in a short travel survey.

During Covid-19 Alert Levels 3 and 4, Bridget surveyed 220 people about how often they left their home and property. 

The lastest survey shows the results from an 'ordinary' week replicate what she found during lockdown - that disabled people leave their home much less often than non-disabled people.

Bridget has written about her findings on Linkedin

(The graphs on the Linked in post show the proportion of disabled and non-disabled respondents who left their home and property between zero and more than twenty times during a typical week in Covid Alert Level 1.

There were 25 disabled respondents and 51 non-disabled respondents.

40% of disabled respondents left their home fewer than seven times in the last week, compared with 2% of non-disabled respondents.

So, 60% of disabled respondents left their home seven or more times in the week, compared with 98% of non-disabled respondents.

In terms of leaving their property, 52% of disabled respondents left their property fewer than seven times in the last week, compared with 6% of non-disabled respondents.

So, 48% of disabled respondents left their property seven or more times in the week, compared with 94% of non-disabled respondents.

Even though the sample size was quite small, the difference was statistically significant. Disabled people are significantly less likely than non-disabled people to leave their home or property more than six times per week.)


Auckland Council Emergency Budget keeps transport investment and libraries

We're pleased to hear that Auckland Council, in adopting their emergency budget, have retained transport investment (there was talk of stopping concessions) and funding to keep libraries open (this was one of our main concerns).

In June DPA made a submission on the budget. (Word Doc)

DPA's recommendations were:

  • Demographic panels are not cut, including the Disability Advisory Panel.
  • Engagement with disabled people on all issues that affect them continues
  • Libraries stay open to ensure access to information for all
  • A disability impact assessment on how the proposed cuts will affect disabled people to be undertaken by Auckland Council
  • Transport concessions for disabled people not to be removed by Auckland Transport
  • The UNCRPD is upheld by Auckland Council

Health Quality and Safety Commission formalise commitment to accessible information

The Health Quality and Safety Commission is the latest signatory of the government Accessibility Charter - a commitment to providing accessible information and online tools to all disabled people.

The Accessibility Charter was developed by Ministry of Social Development (MSD) and the Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs) and launched by MSD in 2018. It requires agencies to work towards making information accessible, so that everyone can interact with them in a way that meets their individual needs and promotes their independence and dignity.

Read the Health Quality and Safety Commission's press release.


Vacancy - Connector EGL Christchurch

Connector/ Kaitūhono, Enabling Good Lives (EGL), Christchurch
Fixed term (part or full time) positions until June 2021

The EGL Christchurch team is recruiting to expand their team; they are looking for a diverse team of Connectors / Kaitūhono to work with young disabled people and whānau in the Christchurch / Selwyn / Waimakariri regions.

The Connector/Kaitūhono role is to assist disabled people and whānau to think about options, create possibilities and make decisions about their lives and the resources and connections that would enable them to attain their life objectives.

The Connector / Kaitūhono will work proactively in people's homes, schools and communities to develop relationships with disabled people and whānau, and assist them to be aspirational in planning and directing their own lives.

To find out more about the role and to apply visit the Ministry of Health Careers Centre

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