Weekly update: 26 April 2024

Kia ora Tatou,

Hello to all of us,

If you have the time I encourage engagement with surveys that spark your passion for change. Here’s one you might like and, as Helen Keller said, “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much!”

Office of the Privacy Commissioner | Biometrics

We’re asking New Zealanders to have their say about new draft rules that would outline how biometrics can be used. Biometrics are physical and behavioural characteristics (face scans, fingerprint scans, voice recordings) that can be used to identify individuals or work out things about them using technology like facial recognition.

Have your say on the future of biometrics rules in New Zealand

New Zealand doesn’t have specific rules for biometrics. The Office of the Privacy Commissioner is proposing that we create some, by a code of practice under the Privacy Act 2020.

There are three main points they would like everyone to consider:

  • We think businesses and organisations should have to balance the benefits and risks before deciding to use biometric technologies.
  • We think that people should be told when biometrics are being collected unless there is an exceptionally good reason not to. Any posters, notices, or communications should be obvious and clear. Extra information like how long the biometric information will be kept and how to make a complaint should also be available.
  • We think biometric technologies should not be used for assuming emotions, detecting demographics, monitoring attention, or finding out health information (except by a health agency) unless it’s for legitimate health and safety reasons.

There’s a lot more detail and nuance in their exposure draft of a biometrics code, which you can read on their biometrics web page. We’ve also included some links to specific places for the consultation document and communications materials.

Link to Privacy Commissioner biometrics consultation webpage below, including all the documents and nuance.

Have your say on biometrics (Privacy Commissioner)

Link to draft code as a word document below.

Draft biometrics code (Privacy Commissioner) (DOCX 156 KB)

Link to full consultation document below.

Consultation paper word document (Privacy Commissioner) (DOCX 295 KB)

Link to the questions asked in the consultation as a word document below.

Consultation questions (Privacy Commissioner) (DOCX 90 KB)

You can have your say on biometrics between now and 8 May 2024 by emailing the address below.



Whaikaha News – Court of Appeal Decision on Family Carers

This information was released on 16 April and was included within the Carers New Zealand newsletter in last week’s update.

The Court of Appeal has released a decision about the employment status of two family carers, who brought court proceedings against the Crown. Whaikaha – Ministry of Disabled People is carefully considering the findings.

Link to the decision below.

Court of Appeal decision (note: PDF)

This was a complex case with many aspects for the Court of Appeal to consider.

The Court has found that Whaikaha is not the employer of these family carers. This means that Whaikaha does not employ any family carers.

Whaikaha recognises the important role that supportive family, whānau, aiga and communities have in a disabled person’s life. We acknowledge the impact that these prolonged legal proceedings will have had on the individual whānau involved in these cases.

We recognise that due to recent changes to the Purchasing Rules, some people may be interested in any impact the Court decision may have on their funding arrangements. We would like to reassure people that this decision is unrelated to the recent funding announcements and won’t affect your funding arrangements.

Additional information about the background to this court case is available in alternate formats including Audio, Braille and Large Print via the following website link:

Court of Appeal decision on employment of family carers



Peer to Peer Support

Kirikiriroa Hamilton Tuesday 14 May – please let us know if you are interested in attending by replying to this email or calling Amanda on 0800 450 650 and we will pass your details on to Organiser Judy Small.

Wellington, Auckland, Christchurch – Royal New Zealand Ballet Swan Lake – Audio Description 2024

The Royal New Zealand Ballet is pleased to be presenting Swan Lake with Audio Description this year.

Considered the greatest of all classical ballets, Swan Lake is a perfect marriage of music and dance. With Tchaikovsky’s sweeping score – lush, romantic, instantly recognisable – and Kristian Fredrikson’s opulent designs, gorgeously lit by Jon Buswell, Swan Lake transports the audience from the palace ballroom to the lakeside in wave upon wave of beauty and emotion. You’ll be inexorably drawn into the unfolding tragedy and exalt as the dancers bring every facet of their iconic characters to life.

Celebrating the dramatic and technical brilliance of a new generation of RNZB dancers, this production, honouring and cherishing the artistic legacy of former Artistic Director and RNZB kaumatua Russell Kerr will celebrate the company’s rich past and bright future.

We are thrilled to be able to present this beautiful production, not seen in Aotearoa since 2013, with the support of colleagues from the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra (Wellington), the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra (Christchurch) and the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra (Auckland).

Audio described performances will be available in Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch. A free touch tour 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.

Dates and venues:

  • Wellington: Saturday 4th May, 1.30pm, St James Theatre
  • Auckland: Saturday 11th May, 1.30pm, Kiri te Kanawa Theatre
  • Christchurch: Saturday 25th May, 1.30pm, Isaac Theatre Royal.

How to book

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.

Auckland (Henderson) – I LOVE YOU G – audio described show and evening ticket giveaway

Massive Theatre Company are giving away a double pass to the audio described evening of I LOVE YOU G at Te Pou Theatre on Wednesday 8< May at 7.30pm, with a touch tour beginning at 6.30pm.

Email info@massivecompany.co.nz with I LOVE YOU G – Audio Described ticket comp in the subject heading to go in the draw.

Email is the preference, but you can also text or phone Audio Described Aotearoa 0210358513 to enter.

Winners will be notified on Thursday 2< May.

More information about the show below.

I LOVE YOU G, presented by Massive Theatre Company

“We’re dicks, we’re idiots, we’re guys. We don’t dive deep.”

But what happens when their friendship fractures and they need to work out how to put it back together? When ignoring it stops working, Neil, Beulah and Dom have to work out how to fix their friendship or walk away.

Gaming online together isn’t the same as turning up for each other. They have to excavate what being brothers really means.

This won’t look or sound like your usual theatre show. Three of New Zealand’s best actors bring their real lives to the stage, returning to Massive Theatre Company where they first met as teenagers, to explore the va of their friendship.

Full of trademark cheek, grit and a whole lot of heart, I LOVE YOU G is a gutsy and at times uncomfortable love letter to brotherhood – a joyous invitation to “soften the fuck up.”

Concession tickets $25 each.

Content Notice: The show contains strong language and haze.

Tickets are now on sale at the link below.

Performance – I LOVE YOU G – Te Pou Theatre (patronbase.com)

Or you can book through by emailing the address below.


You can hear more from the actors on these two podcasts on Spotify, below.

Nelson – Museum visit: Animal Antics: Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards Thursday 9 May

Get ready for a roaring good time at Animal Antics, our hilarious exhibition curated from the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards Collection.

Join us on an unforgettable journey into the wild, where laughter and awe collide.

Immerse yourself in a world of mischievous monkeys, clumsy cats, and photobombing fish, captured in their most comical moments.

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to see the animal kingdom like never before – it’s guaranteed to be a wild and uproarious adventure!

Te Hītori Aotūroa: Learning from Nature is a thought-provoking exhibition which delves into the world of birds, bones, and bugs, showcasing natural history highlights from the Museum’s collection.

When: Thursday 9 May at 1 pm.

Where: The Nelson Provincial Museum, Pupuri Taonga o Te Tai Ao, 270 Trafalgar Street, Nelson.

Who: Blind Low Vision NZ Sport and Leisure Nelson.

Please RSVP by Thursday 2 May, contact Petronella or Hanya.

Volunteer transport may be available.

Hanya Gallagher Sport and Leisure Advisor.

Phone 022 011 3390.


Petronella Spicer Recreation and Volunteer Coordinator

Phone 03 375 4324 or 027 808 3761.




Blind Spot, Radio Southland

Sent by Carolyn Weston to BlindDiscuss List.

Hi all,

Please see the link below which will bring you to our April Blind Spot Show.

This month I am talking with Lesley Soper who is one of Invercargill’s City Councillors.

We are talking about the ICC Equity and Access Policy which is currently undergoing a review.

Whilst you may not be interested in our Invercargill city Council, all local bodies should have a policy similar to this one.

All Councils should consult their disabled community when they review their policy.

Your policy may be call something different but it should have similar goals and actions in it.

Best wishes,


Blind Spot, 23 April 2024.

Instagram content by Lucy May Dawson

Disabled Model and Content Creator on the question would you stay with someone if they became disabled?

Link to content below.

luuudaw on Instagram

Survey request – Call for Survey Participants request on behalf of Able

Notice sent on BlindDiscuss List follows.

Hi everyone!

Jean from Able here. We are currently conducting market research into audio description users with research agency TRA, and we are looking for another participant to take part.

I hope it’s all right to reach out on behalf of them – I’ve attached the email they send out below.

This is open to anyone in New Zealand and you’ll receive $90 as a thank you. If you’re keen, please email me back the completed form below on jean@able.co.nz , and I will pass your details on to them to get in touch.

The interview will likely have to take place, over Zoom, on Monday 29 April or Tuesday 30 April.

Many thanks,


Email: jean@able.co.nz.


Kia ora

The project I have right now is very specific – we are looking for people who use audio description when watching TV. This is not subtitles or captions, but actual audio description available on certain TV programmes and channels.

This might not be you, but it might apply to someone you know. If this is the case and they would be interested in taking part, please reply to this email with the following:

  • name
  • age
  • contact number
  • where you are in NZ
  • how many hours do you watch TV each week (approximately)
  • are you blind / low vision / sighted.

This research is on behalf of Able. It is a one-hour chat via Teams with a researcher at TRA, $90 as a thank you.


Other newsletters

DPA’s media release on 24 April in response to the announcements relating to the disability community was shared as an additional Information Exchange and is copied below.

Shuffling the chairs on the Titanic won’t resolve underfunding of disability support

Disabled Persons Assembly (DPA) welcomes the move to place the new disability Minister position inside Cabinet but is concerned that on its own the move will not resolve the underlying issue of chronic underfunding of disability support.

DPA, a pan-disability organisation, run by and for disabled people, is calling for regular and meaningful engagement between Minister Upston and the disability community.

DPA Chief Executive Mojo Mathers says the change of Minister is no guarantee that disability support will be adequately funded.

“Changing ministers will only amount to shuffling chairs on the Titanic if it is not matched with meaningful resourcing and dialogue with disabled people and the wider disability sector.”

“We are aware that former disability minister Hon. Penny Simmonds caused significant hurt with her comments suggesting that carers were abusing the system for personal gain, instead of recognising the need for carers’ wellbeing to be supported so they in turn can offer the best level of care to disabled people.

“We know many will be relieved that there is a new start with a new Minister for this portfolio.”

“However, DPA has also been alarmed by the targets to reduce the number of people receiving Jobseeker support and Minister Upston’s ‘if you can work, you should’ rhetoric.”

“We urge Minister Upston to take a holistic approach to investing in disabled people’s wellbeing across both disability support and welfare, especially as narrow eligibility criteria mean many disabled people can’t access disability support in the first place.

“We also know that the restrictive eligibility criteria for the supported Living Payment push a huge number of disabled people into poverty and onto the Jobseeker benefit where many are now facing sanctions and unfair work-ready obligations.”

The change of minister comes after a tumultuous month in which restrictions on disability funding impacting disabled people, whānau, support workers and providers were announced without meaningful consultation on 18 March, the day they came into force.

After considerable pressure from the disability community and sector, those restrictions have today been partially walked back.

Clarifications on purhcasing rules for flexible funding (Whaihaka)

The latest changes mean that funding will now again be available for using ride and driver services to access the community, purchasing of items that assist with self-management, arrangements that stop people ending up in residential care, and flexible support people were reliant upon for work or study.

“These changes are a partial but important win for our community.

“However, DPA urges Minister Upston to recognise the urgency of reversing the restrictions in full as a first step towards a disability support system that honours disabled people’s human rights and Te Tiriti o Waitangi.”

Disabled Persons Assembly (DPA) Information Exchange: 26 April

The D*List website is an online culture magazine that creates space for disabled people to tell their own stories through features, columns and news reporting.

Link to weekly update below.

The D*List Delivered (Substack)

Following is a link to have a browse of The D*List website or sign up to receive their weekly newsletter.

The D*List

Be Seen be Heard be Connected Weekly Update

Please note, access to our weekly be Seen Be Heard Be Connected emails is also available on our website via our events page, at the following link.

News and events (Deafblind Association New Zealand)

Ngā mihi mahana,
Warm regards,


Event reminders

Technology Network PhD scholarship: Accessible AR/VR technologies for d/Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Users – Application Closing Date: 23:59 on Tuesday 30th April 2024 for a start date of the 2nd September 2024. Details were provided in 19 April update.

19 April update

Expressions of Interest for new Chief Executive of Pacific Disability Forum (PDF) – Applications close Sunday 15 May. Details were provided in 19 April update.

19 April update

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

Deafblind International Co-Network Coordinator Expression of Interest closes 31 May

Details were provided in 22 March update.

Expression of Interest Form (DOCX 242 KB)

22 March update

World Federation of the Deafblind Youth Committee

Applications for young individuals with deafblindness (aged 18-35) to join WFDB’s newly established Youth Committee close 2 June. Information was provided in 22 March update, or for more information about the Youth Committee and application guidelines, please visit the website.

22 March update

Join WFDB’s Youth Committee: Call for Deafblind Representatives (World Federation of the Deafblind)

June 2024Deafblind Awareness month – Yarn bombing

#DbIYarnBombing2024 – information was provided in 21 January update.

21 January update

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.

Thursday 3 October Deafblind UK Online Conference 2024 Theme: “Standing out and fitting in”. The conference is free and all are welcome.



2024 Audio Described Nationwide Events Booklet

The events list with booklet page numbers was provided in the 23 February update.

23 February update

The full calendar is available as a word document via the following link.

2024 Events Information (DOCX 60 KB)

No Labels on Wellington Access Radio

You can listen to this edition of the show on Wellington Access Radio on Tuesday just after 1:00pm, or the following Tuesday at the same time.

If you miss the scheduled show, you can check it out later online at the link below.

No Labels (Wellington Access Radio)

Or you can subscribe to the show via your preferred podcast player to check out this episode or previous episodes of the show.

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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