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DPA's Information Exchange - 18 July 2020

In this week's Info Exchange:

The upcoming election - enrolling, referendums and forums

It's now about two months until the 2020 General Election, which will be held on 19 September. This year there are also two referendums that you can vote on.


You’re eligible to enrol and vote if you are 18 years or older, a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident, and you’ve lived in New Zealand continuously for 12 months or more at some time in your life.

If you are already enrolled, you should have received an update pack in your letter box which lets you check that your enrolment details are correct.

If you haven't enrolled yet you can do so online at using a New Zealand driver licence, New Zealand passport or RealMe verified identity.

You can also enrol or update your details by filling in an enrolment form. Forms are available online at, by calling Freephone 0800 36 76 56 or by texting your name and address to 3676.


There are two referendums (votes on a question) this election: you can vote on whether the recreational use of cannabis should become legal; and you can also vote on whether the End of Life Choice Act 2019 should come into force.  

The Government website has put together some factual, impartial information designed to help you understand what is being proposed for each referendum.

A Referendum Information in Accessible Formats page has information available in these accessible formats:

  • audio
  • braille
  • dyslexic-friendly
  • large print
  • HTML
  • New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL)
Information in Easy Read will be available soon - we will let you know when it is available.


DPA has been collaborating with various other organisations around the country to organise Election Forums - meetings focused on disability issues where you can hear from candidates and ask questions.

We'll provide more detailed information about these meetings soon, however here's a quick run down of where/when they are being held so that you can make a note in your calendar: 

Waikato Election Forum

August 10
Where: Blind Low Vision NZ, 15 Liverpool Street, Hamilton

Christchurch Election Forum

August 22
Where: Deaf Society of Canterbury, 80 Fitzgerald Ave, Christchurch

Wellington Election Forum

26 August 4pm
Where: Wharewaka Function Centre, Taranaki Wharf, 2 Taranaki Street, (waterfront) Wellington

Auckland Election Forum

29 August 2010 1-3 pm
Where: Blind Low Vision NZ Recreation Centre, 4 Maunsell Road, Parnell, Auckland

Dunedin Election Forum

8 September 6-8 pm
Where: Blind Low Vision NZ Rooms, 458 Hillside Road, South Dunedin

Other organisations election forums:

Alzheimers NZ are holding a virtual election forum where key politicians from Labour, National, NZ First and the Green Party will discuss how best to address the growing dementia challenge facing New Zealand, and their stance on implementing the recently released Dementia Action Plan.

Alzheimers NZ Champion for Dementia Dame Kerry Prendergast will moderate the discussion.
Questions ‘from the floor’ to participants will be welcome, but should focus on policy issues. Questions will not be taken that involve someone’s personal circumstances, or situations involving individuals.

When: 28 July, 6.15pm
Where: Livestreamed on the Alzheimers NZ Facebook page


DPA AGM Preliminary Notice

This is to give you advance notice that the Disabled Persons Assembly Annual General Meeting 2020 will be held on:

Date: Saturday November 28

Place: Wellington (venue to be confirmed)

The AGM will also be live-streamed on Facebook.

Venue, agenda and board election details will be sent out closer to the date.

Angela and Anahila stand together with a cafe counter in the background
Angela and Anahila met to talk about Anahila's Member's Bill

District Court (Protection of Judgment Debtors with Disabilities) Amendment Bill 2020

Auckland Kaituitui Angela Desmarais met with Labour MP Anahila Kanongataá-Suisuiki to talk about her District Court (Protection of Judgment Debtors with Disabilities) Amendment Bill which was pulled out of the biscuit tin ballot last month.

If passed, the bill would amend 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.

Likely to have its first reading next week, on either 22 or 29 July, Anahila is asking you to contact your local Member of Parliament to seek their support. You can find out how to contact your local MP on the Parliament website.

This Newshub story illustrates why the Bill should be considered. Una Tanginoa had his modified van seized due to rent arrears. Unable to afford a taxi to see the doctor for an infected foot, delayed care meant he ended up in ICU.

Read the District Court (Protection of Judgment Debtors with Disabilities) Amendment Bill 2020


Petition for free Total Mobility taxi fares

A petition has been set up calling for free taxi fares for people with limited mobility.

As part of the Covid-19 pandemic response, Total Mobility travel became free up to the regional fare subsidy cap. This ended on June 30. Petition organiser Karly Parker says she believes that the free service provided substantial benefits to taxi users and providers: "This scheme enhanced quality of life for many people with access needs and we wish to bring this back!" 

The petition includes an open letter to NZTA asking them to review their position and reinstate full cover rates for Total Mobility transport fares. Read and sign the petition here.

The petition organisers have also set up a Facebook page that you can follow if you are interested in following the campaign's progress.

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