Weekly update: 1 September 2023

Kia ora Tatou,

Hello to all of us,

Wishing you happy Spring Days!

Thank you to all those who engaged with us in any way for our Annual General Meeting last Sunday. We are grateful for your questions, interest and commitment. This is very welcome as it helps us to learn about and better serve your interests.



RNZFB Auckland Meet and Greet invitation

Friday 8 September, from 2:00pm to 4:00pm.

The Board of the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind (RNZFB) is holding meetings in different places around the country, so they can connect with folks in local areas who are interested in discussing Blind Low Vision NZ and their initiatives.

Where: Jubilee Hall, Ground Floor, Jubilee Building, 545 Parnell Road, Parnell, Auckland.

What: During the session, you will have the opportunity to meet the Board members. They’ll share insights about the Board’s key priorities, and you can let them know your views, and ask them questions. Afterwards, there will be tea, coffee and biscuits.

RSVP: Please email boardsecretary@blindlowvision.org.nz or call the Contact Centre on 0800 24 33 33.

Wellington City Council Accessibility Action Plan Workshops

Wellington City Council (WCC) is in the process of refreshing and updating the Accessibility Action Plan they adopted in 2019. WCC has asked Allen + Clarke and All is for All to help with this process, and are providing opportunities to share your thoughts about your experience of accessibility in Wellington City.

Several workshops are being run in September. While some of these are already full for in person participation, there are opportunities to join online, including with NZSL and closed captions. Your input and perspectives will help to ensure the updated Plan represents the priorities of the Wellington disabled community.

Options for workshop times and dates and to register your interest are available at the following link.

WCC Accessibility Workshops (Google Forms)

If Google Forms is not accessible for you, please email accessibility@allenandclarke.co.nz and we can reach out by email or by phone.

2019 Wellington City Council Accessibility Action Plan

Audio described My Fair Lady in Christchurch

My Fair Lady is based on George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion, with book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe.

A Cinderella story about the Cockney flower girl, Eliza Doolittle, and the appealingly arrogant phoneticist, Professor Higgins, is an endearing tale that charms audiences with its warmth and vivid characters. The clash of cultures sparks some of the theatre’s most jubilant songs and witty dialogue.

The triumphant score features unforgettable numbers including ‘Wouldn’t It Be Loverly?’, ‘On the Street Where You Live’, ‘I Could Have Danced All Night’, and ‘Get Me to the Church on Time’.

The musical’s 1956 Broadway production was a notable critical and popular success. It set a record for the longest run of any show on Broadway up to that time.

The show has recently enjoyed enormous success with sold-out revival seasons on Broadway, in Sydney and Melbourne. Showbiz Christchurch is delighted to bring a stunning new production of this much loved classic back to Christchurch audiences.

Date: Sunday 24 September

Venue: Isaac Theatre Royal, 145 Gloucester Street Touch Tour Time: 2pm – 2.30pm Performance Time: 4pm Finish time: 7pm (approximately)

Price: $54.80 including booking fees and 1 free companion.

To Book: Phone Isaac Theatre Royal Ticktek Box Office: 03 260 5260 Open Tuesday – Friday and quote the password AUDIO.

Audio described Hansel & Gretel, Nationwide October – December

Following its triumphant premier in 2019, The Royal New Zealand Ballet’s acclaimed production of Hansel & Gretel returns as a sweet treat to end the company’s 2023 season. From Choreographer in Residence Loughlan Prior and composer Claire Cowan, return to the production that launched the dynamic duo’s work into the hearts and minds of New Zealand audiences. Follow Hansel and Gretel’s journey as they navigate the forest encountering a host of magical characters along the way. From the Sandman and his band of Dew Fairies to the seemingly pleasant Ice Cream Witch – and best not to forget about the Man in the Moon! Laughter, tears, shivers down the spine, plenty of sugar and just a touch of spice together make a recipe for a truly happy ending and a wonderful ballet experience for all ages. This production is an assortment of spooky forest creatures, fantastical food and a sinister chorus line of pink-iced gingerbread men. All set to Claire Cowan’s original score, what better way to kick off the holiday season than a foray into this sweet wonderland.

For the first time, The Royal New Zealand Ballet is thrilled to offer Audio Description at every venue of this nationwide tour. A free touch tour will be held in Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin and Auckland and introduction to ballet terminology will be held before the show- giving you a chance to touch set pieces, feel costume samples and gain behind-the-scenes insight into the production.


  • When: Friday, 27 October, 12:30pm, audio described School Matinee.
  • When: Saturday, 28 October, 1:30pm, audio described Public Performance.
  • Where: St James Theatre, 77-81 Courtenay Place, Wellington.


  • When: Saturday, 4 November, 7:30pm, audio described public performance.
  • Where: Napier Municipal Theatre,119 Tennyson Street, Napier South.

Palmerston North

  • When: Friday, 10 November, 7:30pm, audio described public performance.
  • Where: Regent on Broadway, 53 Broadway Avenue, Palmerston North Central, Palmerston North.


  • When: Wednesday, 15 November, 7:30pm, audio described public performance.
  • Where: Civic Theatre, 88 Tay Street, Invercargill.


  • When: Saturday, 18 November, 7:30pm, audio described public performance.
  • Where: Regent Theatre, 17 The Octagon, Dunedin.


  • When: Friday, 24 November, 12:30pm, audio described School Matinee
  • When: Saturday, 25 November, 1:30pm, audio described Public Performance.
  • Where: Isaac Theatre Royal, 145 Gloucester Street, Christchurch Central.


  • When: Friday, 1 December, 12:30pm, audio described School Matinee.
  • When: Saturday, 2 December, 1:30pm, audio described Public Performance.
  • Where: Kiri te Kanawa Theatre, Aotea Centre, 50 Mayoral Drive, Auckland CBD.

To book tickets to a public performance, contact the RNZB Ticketing Team on 04 831 1056 or email subscribe@rnzb.org.nz. Box office hours are Monday to Friday, 10am-4pm. Tickets are $28 for children and $48 for Adults. Each booking has a service fee of $2. Seats are allocated in the stalls. A free companion ticket is available if required. Guide dogs are welcome.

To book tickets for a schools performance, please email education@rnzb.org.nz. Thanks to the generous sponsorship of Parents of Vision Impaired New Zealand Inc, visually impaired students can attend for free alongside their carer. Additional adult tickets can be purchased for these shows for $15 with a $2 booking fee.


Links to other newsletters

August Newsletter of the World Blind Union Asia Pacific Region: East Wind 35 (DOCX 36 KB)

DPA Information Exchange: 27 August

Disability Connect Newsletter: 31 August

Please note, access to our weekly emails and other updates and news are also available on our website via our news and events page, at the following link.

News and events (Deafblind Association New Zealand)

As usual, event reminders and TellMe phone numbers follow.

Ngā mihi mahana,
Warm regards,
Amanda and Sarah


Event reminders

Hapticonf 2023 4-5 September

Hapticconf 2023: Conference on Social-Haptic Communication (Ca’ Foscari University of Venice)

Registration for online attendance is free of charge. Register online before September 1st. Details were provided in 18 August update.

18 August update

The link to register via google forms follows.

Hapticconf 2023 Registration (Google Forms)

Trans-Tasman Certificate of Proficiency in Unified English Braille

Registration closing date: Friday, 1 September 2023. Week 1 begins Monday 2 October and Week 2 begins Monday 9 October. Details were provided in 18 August update.

18 August update

NZ Opera and Black Grace Dance Company (m) Orpheus – Audio Described Performances – Auckland Sunday 10 September and Wellington Saturday 23 September

Details were provided in 26 August update. To book, please call our NZ Opera Box Office Manager, Julie Bird, on 0800 696 737

26 August update

2023 General Election

Voting starts on Monday 2 October and finishes at 7pm on election day, Saturday 14 October. Information about enrolling in alternate formats is available through our website via the following link.

2023 general election

Research about disabled people’s experiences of supports and services in Aotearoa New Zealand

Information about the Donald Beasley Institute’s (DBI) Disabled Person-Led Monitoring research team questionnaire is available at the following link.

Disabled Person-Led Monitoring of the UNCRPD (Donald Beasley Institute)

Details were provided in 18 August update.

Blindness and Mental Health Webinar

Friday, September 29 at 12:00pm ET, which is 5:00am on Saturday, September 30 local time. Discussion on mental health in the blind and low vision community. Details were provided in 18 August update.

18 August update

Tim Bray Theatre Company Audio Described performances of Roald Dahl’s The Twits – PumpHouse Theatre, Takapuna on Tuesday 19 September and Saturday 7 October. 1pm show, 12pm touch tour and at Māngere Arts Centre, Māngere: Wednesday 18 October, 10:30am show, 9:30am touch tour. The show is 50-60 minutes long, designed for ages 5-10.

Details provided in 5 August update.

5 August update

19-20 October 2023, Tauranga Arts Festival – The Haka Party Incident Audio Described Performance at Baycourt Community and Arts Centre. Details and booking arrangements were provided in 19 June update.

The Haka Party Incident Audio Described Performance Court Theatre Otautahi Christchurch. Show runs 25 October – 11 November 2023. Further details to come.

Royal New Zealand Ballet (RNZB) Education Audio Described Performances of Hansel and Gretel – Nationwide October – December Wellington – St James Theatre – Saturday 28 October, 1.30pm

Napier – Municipal Theatre – Saturday 4 November, 7.30pm

Palmerston North – Regent on Broadway – Friday 10 November, 7.30pm

Invercargill – Civic Theatre – Wednesday 15 November, 7.30pm

Dunedin – Regent Theatre – Saturday 18 November, 7.30pm

Christchurch – Isaac Theatre Royal – Saturday 25 November, 1.30pm

Auckland – Aotea Centre – Saturday 2 December, 1.30pm

RNZFB Next Board Meeting

Saturday 9 September in Auckland

25 to 31 May 2024, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland – International Council on English Braille 8th General Assembly


Ongoing – Entertainment with Able

Able is a not-for-profit organisation working towards a more inclusive Aotearoa, believing everyone should be able to access news, entertainment and culture. Funded by NZ On Air, they’re Aotearoa’s leading provider of media access services, including captioning services, subtitling and audio description.

Listings are available at the following browser links.

A link to Able’s website to subscribe to the weekly newsletter with listings and picks of the week follows.



Deafblind Association New Zealand access to TellMe

See TellMe numbers for your area


End of report and this week’s update.

Amanda Stevens
Executive Officer
Taringa Turi Kāpō Rōpū
Deafblind Association New Zealand

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