Weekly update: 19 June 2023

This week’s update comes with an apology from Sarah for the delay in sending.

Kia ora tatou,

Hello to all of us,

International Deafblind Awareness Week is nearly upon us. The World Federation of the Deafblind are suggesting a theme of “Older Persons” for this year. I like it. What about you? Last week I asked for contributions for what is on top for a letter to our Minister to be sent on 27 June, Helen Keller Day. Please get inspired and email or call in your contributions so we can make this a happening thing. If you need a few ideas here is the link to the be Seen be Heard be Connected – Reconnecting Seminar Report 2023. It is being released to you today before we release it anywhere else. I can promise you it is an interesting read – enjoy!


Message on public transport fares from Te Hiranga Tangata Work and Income

Public transport is half-price for all New Zealanders until 30 June. From 1 July, Community Services Card holders can get a 50% discount on single-trip adult fares on public transport. This discount is part of the Community Connect programme.

Other discounts will be made available as part of Community Connect, including free fares for children aged 12 and under, and a 50% discount for anyone aged 13 to 24. You will need to check with your local transport provider for more information about these other discounts and when they will be available in your area.

Applying for the Community Services Card discount

You can apply now for the Community Services Card discount through your local public transport provider. If you have already applied, the discount is ready to be used from 1 July.

If you have public transport included as a cost for payments such as Disability Allowance, please tell us about the new public transport costs when starting to use any Community Connect concession. In some cases, this may affect the amount you get for these types of payments

Following is a link to the Work and Income website where you can learn more about Community Connect and how to apply, including links to your local public transport provider’s website:

Public transport fare information (Work and Income Te Hiranga Tangata)


Living Streets Aotearoa Accessible Streets footpaths for feet Campaign

With thanks to member Elizabeth East who brought this to our attention via Blind Citizens NZ. Living Streets Aotearoa were invited to share its position and provide supporting evidence today in its campaign to get e-scooters off footpaths. Stories were being sought the experiences you have had as a pedestrian with e-scooters and the impact they have had on you to share with Government officials.

While it is now too late to be involved in this part of the project, we thought it was worth letting you know more about Living Streets Aotearoa’sAccessible streets – footpaths for feet campaign via the following website link. There is also a list of MP’s that you may wish to contact.

Accessible streets – footpaths for feet (Living Streets Aotearoa)


Notice of International Council on English Braille 8th General Assembly

This will be held in Auckland from 25 to 31 May 2024. Additional details will follow in coming weeks, as well as the Call for Papers, etc.

Senior Roles at Whaikaha currently being advertised

The following links are the Deputy Chief Executive roles closing Monday 26 June.

Deputy Chief Executive – Corporate Services (Whaikaha Ministry of Disabled People)

Deputy Chief Executive – Commissioning, Design and Delivery (Whaikaha Ministry of Disabled People)


Family Violence and Sexual Violence Update

A link to the June Update follows:

Family violence and sexual violence update (MSD)


The Haka Party Incident Audio Described Performances for National Tour

The full house at Te Pou Theatre rose to a standing ovation at the opening of the Haka Party Incident in Tāmaki Makaurau recently. References to performances that have already taken place (Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland and Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington) have been removed from the listing that follows.

The Performing Arts Network of New Zealand (PANNZ) are delighted to announce that in addition to Tāmaki Makaurau, all performances on the PANNZ leg of the tour in Te Whanganui-a-Tara, Rotorua, Te Tairāwhiti and Ngā Motu are offering a touch tour and audio described performance for the low vision community.

Audio Described Aotearoa are thrilled to be able to provide audio description for these centres thanks to funding from Manatū Taonga. Director Nicola Owen says: “We are passionate about Māori audio describers bringing the world of Māori arts to blind and low vision audiences across Aotearoa. No one should miss out on understanding history and culture due to lack of access and we hope that this is the start of blind people feeling welcome in theatres across the motu.”

In 1979 University of Auckland engineering students, rehearsing their annual tradition of a mock haka, were confronted by the activist group He Taua. That confrontation led to the nation’s baptism of fire into addressing systemic racism.

Provocative, resonant, and joyfully unforgettable, writer and director Katie Wolfe’s (Ngāti Mutunga, Ngāti Tama, Ngāti Toa Rangatira) The Haka Party Incident innovatively combines documentary and Kapa Haka to thrilling effect. Awarded Best Play by a Māori Playwright as well as The Dean Parker Adaptation for Non-Fiction Award, (2021 Adam New Zealand) the production is a not-to-be-missed theatre event.

“Wolfe has taken an approach reflective of the values we love most as descendants and citizens of Aotearoa: direct, inclusive, humble and with no nonsense.” – Theatreview, June 2023

“Masterfully brings to life a bold act of resistance….intensely funny, to heartbreakingly sad in a single beat– Theatreview

With dynamic performances from Roimata Fox (Ngāti Porou, Rongomaiwahine) (Waru, Muru),

Nī Dekkers-Reihana (Ngāi Tu Te Auru, Ngā Puhi) (Waru, Anahera), Lauren Gibson (be Longing, Anne Boleyn), Patrick Tafa (48 Nights on Hope Street, Westside), Aidan O’Malley (Bystander, Good Idea at the Time) and Kauri Williams (Ngāti Tūwharetoa) (Astroman, The Brokenwood Mysteries), the ambitious stage production requires them to divide up 38 different roles. The students, activists and many others directly involved or impacted in and by the Haka Party Incident were interviewed by writer Katie Wolfe over a two-year period. Their verbatim accounts of what actually happened in 1979 are directly voiced onstage.

Touch tours and audio described performance details are as below. PANNZ, venue and festival partners are pleased to offer free companion seating for accessible patrons attending these performances.

Rotorua, The Sir Owen Glenn Theatre, Sir Howard Morrison Centre, Wednesday 21 June:

  • backstage touch tour at 5:30-6pm
  • audio described performance at 7pm.

To book AD tickets or touch tour phone 07 351 8094 or email the address below.


Ngā Motu (New Plymouth), TSB Theatre: Wednesday 28 June:

  • backstage touch tour at 5.30-6pm
  • audio described performance at 7pm.

To book tickets call 0800 TICKETEK.

To book a place on the touch tour please email ticketnp@npdc.co.nz with your name, how many people in your party, and if you have any additional access requirements.

Te Tairāwhiti Arts Festival (Gisborne), Tairāwhiti War Memorial Theatre, Wednesday 5 July:

  • touch tour at 6pm
  • audio described performance at 7:30pm.

To book a place on the touch tour and audio described performance email marketing@ttaf.nz or call 06 867 4792.

The full season runs 4-5 July, for all other bookings visit the link below.

The Haka Party Incident (Te Tairāwhiti Arts Festival)

Other tour centres

Tauranga Arts Festival, Baycourt Community and Arts Centre, 19-20 October 2023

Book Tauranga tickets through Ticketek

Otautahi (Christchurch) Court Theatre 25 October – 11 November 2023.

Showings information (The Court Theatre)


Autonomous robots delivering food with the help of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

This link comes via Martine Abel-Williamson on the BlindDiscuss list, with the comment “See what’s in store for us. Let’s hope once we locate the robot, it’s easy to open it up with our app…:)

Autonomous Robots are delivering food for 300 Restaurants on Uber Eats in the Los Angeles area using Serve Robotics vehicles. The CEO of Serve Robotics was on CNBC’S Squawk Box very recently. Here is the interview.

Watch “Serve Robotics, Uber Eats to deploy 2,000 food delivery robots across U.S. cities (YouTube)


DPA’s Information Exchange

A link to the recent Information Exchange in your browser follows.

DPA Information Exchange 11 June


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

News and events (Deaflind Assocation New Zealand)


As usual, event reminders and TellMe phone numbers follow.

Ngā mihi mahana,
Warm regards,
On behalf of Amanda and Sarah


Event reminders

A list of the Blind Sport opportunities for June and July from Jemma was provided in our 2 June update.

Disability Connect Webinars – Bookings required.

Thursday 22 June 11:30 – 2pm Education Legal Issues. Further details are available at the following website link.

26 June to 1 July Deafblind Awareness Week – anywhere or anything you want it to be.

Wednesday 28 June, New Plymouth – Backstage Touch Tour and Audio Described Performance of The Haka Party Incident by Katie Wolfe. Part of Taranaki Arts Festival.

Friday 30 June – closing date for BANZAT call for expressions of interest in becoming a Trustee.

Sunday 27 August, Braille House, Wellington – Deafblind Association NZ Annual General Meeting and gathering. Please email Sarah boardsecretary@deafblindassociation.nz if you are interested in attending.

Election Access Fund – the Election Access Fund supports disabled people to be candidates in parliamentary general elections and by-elections, including helping candidates to complete an application. Nominations for candidates standing in this year’s General Election close at noon, Friday 15 September.

More information and resources are available at the following website links.

Information about becoming a candidate in a General Election.

Information about the Election Access Fund and how to apply, including in alternate formats.


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 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

2 thoughts on “Weekly update: 19 June 2023”

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