Weekly update: 22 September 2023

Kia ora Tatou,

Hello to all of us,

Most of the time now I don’t think about whether I am deafblind or not – it’s just my normal. Every three years however I have a little smug moment when I am grateful not to be able to see all the larger-than-life faces of election candidates. The psychology of course is that we will vote for the face we see most often and I m not under that influence – lucky me! What I do really like is the Telephone Dictation Voting Service. I do know that it will not serve all of our community well. However I have just registered and, once again, found it very easy. I called 0800 028 028 and confirmed my details as being on the electoral role. It was explained that I need a code and I was asked how I would like that to be provided and it duly was. My choice – nice! I then gave my answer to one of three questions offered as my password. Easy! When I phone back to vote I will not disclose my name, simply my code and my password. I look forward to this opportunity to use my vote independently and encourage you to do the same if you are able.

I can place my vote:

  • Wednesday, 27 September through to Saturday, 14 October
  • Monday through Saturday 9am to 7pm.

Select option 2.

If you choose to vote this way I would be really pleased to receive your feedback on the process so we can pass it on to the Electoral Commission in absolute confidence. I hope you enjoy the ease of this process. I did have to ask the person who took my call to speak up a little but otherwise it was great.


Enrolling and voting in the General Election

In New Zealand you must enrol to vote if you:

  • are 18 years or older and
  • have lived in New Zealand for more than 1 year at some time in your life and
  • are a New Zealand citizen who is living in New Zealand now or are a permanent resident who is living in New Zealand now.

You can enrol to vote any time before or on election day. You can also enrol at a voting place when you go to vote.

We provided information on how to enrol and vote in last week’s update, otherwise you can find information on the Electoral Commission website at the following link.

VoteNZ (Electoral Commission)



Tauranga Arts Festival October 2023

A link to a word document with information from Audio Described Aotearoa follows.

Tauranga Arts Festival (DOCX 482 KB)


Links to other newsletters

DPA Information Exchange: Election 2023 Edition

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

On now until September 30, Disabled Artists’ Festival of Theatre 2023 – Wellington

D.A.F.T 2023 is presented by and showcases Wellington-based d/Deaf and Disabled performing artists, writers, and filmmakers. The Festival is being held over two weeks across two accessible venues, the ground floor of BATS Theatre and Two/FiftySeven Willis Street, as well as two online events. Details were provided in 15 September update. More information and website ticket purchases are available at the following link.

DAFT – the Disabled Artists’ Festival of Theatre 2023 (Bats Threatre)

Oppenheim Tertiary Education Trust Fund

Applications for those studying in 2024 opened on 18 September 2023. The closing date is Wednesday 11 January at 5pm. This financial fund is available to assist Blind Low Vision NZ clients who are enrolled in Tertiary education and in their second year or above. Students of any age and both full and partial clients can apply online via the Blind Low Vision NZ website at the following link.

Support grants (Blind Low Vision NZ)

Monday 2 October 2023 – closing date for Te Pou Disability Consumer leadership development grant

All applications are made through the grants portal, which is accessed via the following website link.

Te Pou grants portal

For more information please contact the grants team by emailing grants@tepou.co.nz.

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

19 – 29 Oct 2023 Nelson Arts Festival

Nelson Arts Festival are offering three audio described events / experiences and one pre-recorded audio described tour within the festival this year. Details were provided in 15 September update. For more information:

Text/call: 027 241 4599.

Email: access@nelsonartsfestival.nz.

Website: Nelson Arts Festival.

15 September 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 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 atBaycourt 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.

Details were provided in 1 September update.

1 September update

RNZFB Annual Meeting

Saturday 11 November in Christchurch

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

2024 Activity Deafblind International Youth Network (DbIYN).

Monday 30 September to Friday 4 October in Disneyland Paris.

Expression of interest: Please contact simon.allison@sense.org.uk.


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