Weekly update: 9 June 2023

Kia ora tatou,

Hello to all of us,

Every year since I lost my hearing combined with sight loss I get all passionate about Helen Keller Day, 27 June. For me it’s not that she was deafblind so much as that she was one of the strongest people for Social Justice. With just over two weeks to go your thoughts and ambitions and aspirations drive our work. It would be lovely and powerful to send something to Priyanka Radhakrishna, Minister for Disability Issues, on 27 June. Please let us know what change you most want and we will pass it on. A the saying goes, “If you don’t ask you don’t get!”


The following articles come to us from Pauline Melham (pronouns: she/her), Senior Advisor, Policy, Strategy and Partnership, Whaikaha I Ministry of Disabled People:

From the Ministry for Women (Manatū Wahine)

Over the past 12 months the Ministry for Women have been working on a producing a website, which contains information on governance training, what’s out there, what it costs, and how to access it. Whaikaha, and the other population agencies were involved in this project. The website officially launched on Tuesday night. Whilst it is primarily aimed at women, who want to get into governance, much of the information on the website will be applicable to anyone looking to get into governance or increase their knowledge of good governance. If you are interested, then check out the website at the following link

Leadership Learning Hub (Ministry for Women)


The Public Service Commission is about to Launch a Future Directors Programme

The Public Services Commission will soon launch the Future Directors® Diversity programme (pilot). The programme is supported by the Institute of Directors with the main difference from their substantive Future Directors® programme being that the candidates will be sought from the population agencies existing nomination services (Whaikaha, Ministry for Women, Ministry for Pacific Peoples, Ministry for Ethnic Communities and The Puni Kokiri). The aim of the pilot programme is to show that a targeted diversity programme will lift the capability and pool of diverse board-ready candidates to be considered for future appointments to Statutory boards. The final details of this programme are still being ironed out. However, it is likely that candidates would need to commit to being on a public sector board for twelve to eighteen months, attending all board meetings. Successful candidates would be a part of the board but would not have voting rights. You would be mentored by an existing member of the board. Taking up an opportunity like this would provide invaluable experience to those wishing to enter the public sector governance arena, it would provide you with some contacts within the sector and set you up to take on future board roles. As more information is released, I will let you know about it. However, please take some time to think about whether you are interested in these roles and if you are, start thinking about a CV and a covering letter, outlining what you would bring to this work and how you think you could benefit from it.


News from the Institute of Directors

Many of you will know that the Institute of Directors is a professional organisation for anyone involved in governance. Becoming a member of the Institute of Directors can be quite expensive. Recently, I’ve been talking about how the IoD might be able support the people on the Whaikaha database to undertake their governance journey. Discussions in this area continue, but in the meantime, if you visit their website you are welcome to sign up to their governance newsletter.

Home | The Institute of Directors New Zealand (iod.org.nz)


New seminar from the Population Agencies

The five population agencies are running a seminar later in June about the Nominations and Appointments Process. We are still finalising details and I’ll let you have the information once I receive it.

Pauline’s update ends


Call for Nominations for UNESCO International Literacy Prizes 2023

This item came to us via Martine Abel-Williamson.

UNESCO ispleased to announce the launch of the call for applications and nominations for the UNESCO International Literacy Prizes 2023.

Since 1967, UNESCO International Literacy Prizes have rewarded excellence and innovation in the field of literacy. More than 500 projects and programmes undertaken by governments, non-governmental organizations and individuals around the world have been awarded these prestigious Prizes, through which UNESCO seeks to support effective literacy practices and encourages the promotion of dynamic literate societies.

The theme for this year is ‘Promoting Literacy for a world in transition: Building the foundation for peaceful and sustainable societies’.

A link to the website follows, with information on the access process further below.

UNESCO International Literacy Prizes (UNESCO)

All applications will go through a nomination process by the National Commissions for UNESCO or an NGO maintaining official relations with UNESCO. An applicant can request the access to the online application form through the following link:

Access request to the 2023 UNESCO International Literacy Prizes application platform (UNESCO).

The deadline for candidates to submit applications to nominating entities is 28 June 2023 and the deadline for nominating entities to submit their nominations to UNESCO is 12 July 2023.

Any enquiries with regard to the application and nomination process should be addressed to the Secretariat of the UNESCO International Literacy Prizes, located within the Section of Youth, Literacy and Skills Development of the UNESCO Education Sector (phone: +33 1 45 68 08 59; e-mail the address below.



BLENNZ Youth Library: deselected resources available for rehousing

Information on the BLENNZ library resource deselection was provided in our update on 28 April. An update follows.

We are going through a process of deselecting resources that are no longer required in the BLENNZ Youth Library. We are planning to do this on a termly basis or as necessary.

We are aware that braille resources are a highly valuable commodity therefore we are making them available for rehousing. In the first instance we would like to offer these to our sector groups.

If you would like any of these items on this list, please contact us by Friday, 30 June 2023. Please email the library directly to arrange collection or delivery:


Following is a link to the BLENNZ Youth Library Deselection List number 2. This is a list of Braille resources currently being withdrawn from the BLENNZ Youth Library and this list contains children’s and young adult Braille books (non UEB).

BLENNZ Deselection List 2 (PDF 238 KB)


Accessible Books Consortium (ABC) now accepting Fellowship Applications

Another notice from Martine Abel-Williamson via Blind Citizens NZ.

Dear All,

The Accessible Books Consortium is calling for Fellowship Applications. More information, including Terms of Reference and application form, are available at the following link:

Accessible Books Consortium fellowship infomation

Interested candidates should complete the application form and send a cover letter and CV to ABC.Fellows@wipo.int by Monday, July 3, 2023.

Kind regards,

Martine Abel-Williamson – board member WIPO Accessible Books Consortium


Auckland Disability Law’s Draft 5-year Strategic Plan

While the opportunity to participate in the zoom discussion on 7th June has passed, the opportunity to provide feedback has not. This information from Geraldine Lewis, General Manager Auckland Disability Law Centre came to us via Blind Citizens NZ:

Auckland Disability Law is pleased to share our draft Strategic Plan with you, which you can access from the following browser links:

We would like to invite you to participate in a consultation on this draft Strategic Plan. We hope this will help us make decisions about the direction of ADL as a Disability Law Centre for the next five years.

I’m inviting all members and stakeholders of ADL to contribute to this conversation. It’s important that we work together to build a plan that will help us align with where you all think we should be going.

ADL wants your input so please take a look at the attached document and let me know whether you think it’s on track or not. In particular we would value your feedback on the following questions:

  • What are your views on our overall direction?
  • What are your views on ADL becoming a National Disability Community Law Centre?
  • Do you have any other comments that you want to make about our draft Strategic Plan?

You can also email your feedback to geraldine.lewis@adl.org.nz or phone 09 257 5140. Alternatively, for Deaf people, if you would like to give your feedback in NZSL, please record it directly intoFeedback in NZSL (Seeflow)

These questions are also available in the link below.

ADL strategic planning survey (Surveymonkey)


DPA’s Information Exchange

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

DPA Information Exchange 5 June


Disability Connect

Information and the opportunity to subscribe to the newsletter is available via the following browser link.

Information, events and support (Disability Connect)


Seniors newsletter for June

A link to the Office for Seniors Newsletter follows.

June 2023 Newsletter


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.

Thursday 15 June – The Haka Party Incident audio described event and touch tour in Wellington.

Disability Connect Webinars – bookings required.

Details in 12 May update

Thursday 15 June 6:30 – 9:30pm Planning for Adulthood. Further details are available at the following website link.

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

Saturday 17 June 2023 10.30am–12.00pm Auckland Art Gallery Free Audio Described Tour of Brent Harris: The Other Side.

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