Weekly update: 5 May 2023

Kia ora tatou,

Hello to all of us,

Well, it’s batten down the hatches time again this weekend against more rain so we are thinking of you across the motu and keeping your wellbeing in mind. Sarah has now booked a room at Braille House, Wellington for our Annual General Meeting and so the date is settled for Sunday, 27 August. Pop it in your diary in your preferred format and we hope to see you there. We will remind you closer to the date, however it is especially important you let us know soonest if you intend to come and need an interpreter.

A critical part of what we do is building relationships – Be Connected. Some of you will know I wrote a diary during my stay in Nelson and Wellington hospitals following my heart attack late last year. I sent the diary to the Health Quality and Safety Commission because I wanted someone to know what had happened but I just didn’t see a fit in the current surveys of the time. It was still a story that needed to go somewhere and the HQSC team found the place. That took a lot of searching and effort away from me. Recently I was told some excerpts from that diary were read out in the presence of the Chief Medical Officer (I had given permission). I feel like someone has listened and there may be some change. The story has meaning and the passing of it on did not cost me any energy so I am encouraging you all to say what your health experiences are for you that you would like changed for the future and for others. With my work at the Health Quality and Safety Commission I work with LJ Apopo (Consumer engagement advisor, Pacific | Kaitohutohu Pasifika, mahi kiritaki) and he is a direct link for those of you identifying in our Pasifika communities.

DDI: 04 886 3998
MOB: 021 768 743
He’s also a really nice guy to talk to!


Deafblind Awareness Week 26 June to 1 July

While 27 June is the anniversary of Helen Keller’s birthday, that whole week is now globally recognised for the complexity for those with dual sensory impairment. I ask you all for stories and there seems to be a bit of a barrier there so I have another idea. If you would like to complete the following sentence I will compile your experiences into one document we can put out in the 23 June mailout. (I tried this with NZ Vision Impaired Empowering Women for our Christmas mailout last year and got 20 great answers!). We could also pop it in the next newsletter. Here’s the sentence to complete:

“As a person with dual sensory impairment in the last year I am most pleased with achieving…”

All you have to do is reply to this email and your answer will come directly to me and not to everyone else. You can choose to put your name beside your statement or say you would like it not to appear. NZ VIEW members decided just to have their first names. I liked that because it still feels like a real person is writing. If you have any other ideas for that week please let me know soonest. It would also be a great time to launch a peer to peer group network in your area. Just let me know where you are and I can help:

  • source a suitable venue
  • support with transport where required
  • source volunteers if required.

Nelson Deafblind bring a shared lunch to my house once a month. We might be able to find a venue in your area close to a café that has a quiet room so you can source your own nibbles and still talk freely. Richmond library has a space like that. Te Tuhi Museum in Pakuranga has sofas in a room adjacent to their café with disability access in mind. Of course there are also Blind Low Vision NZ offices we can use and I can help facilitate access to those very easily if required. I also suspect there may be any number of cafés in botanical gardens with quiet rooms at no charge, Chamber of Commerce rooms, or council spaces. Set your imagination free, let me know what you want, and I’ll do the putting together until you are happy you want to do that easily.


Braille Authority of New Zealand Aotearoa Trust (BANZAT) welcomes expressions of interest from anyone in Aotearoa New Zealand who would be willing to serve as a BANZAT Trustee

  • Does literacy through Braille matter to you?
  • Are you able to read uncontracted Braille by touch or by sight?
  • Are you interested in Braille code standards, promotion, teaching, accreditation and production?
  • Are you able to attend usually four meetings per year with travel costs met.
  • Are you willing to commit some time outside meetings to further BANZAT’s work?
  • Have you served on a club or society committee, or a trust, or as a company director?

The Braille Authority of New Zealand Aotearoa Trust (BANZAT) welcomes expressions of interest from anyone in Aotearoa New Zealand who would be willing to serve as a BANZAT Trustee.

There are three vacancies, each for a three-year term concluding in 2026. Trustees in these current positions are eligible for reappointment.

If you answered yes to the questions above, then we encourage you to write explaining what you would bring to BANZAT to further the cause of Literacy Through Braille in New Zealand.

The closing date for expressions of interest is Friday 30 June 2023. Trustees aim to make their selection in July and advise the successful appointees in time for you to attend our next Annual General Meeting on Tuesday 19 September 2023.

For further inquiries or to send your expression of interest please contact Maria Stevens Chair, The Braille Authority of New Zealand Aotearoa Trust.

Email: chair@banzat.org.nz.

You can learn more about us from our website.

Braille Authority of New Zealand Aotearoa Trust (BANZAT)


Why climate change matters for women

UN Women have published a report by by Sara Duerto Valero and Sneha Kaul which has come to us via the Pacific Disability Forum.

Climate change is an urgent global challenge that is affecting communities worldwide. While the impacts are felt by all, underlying inequalities and uneven coping capacities leave some people more vulnerable. Women are at a heightened risk as they are overrepresented among the poor, are highly dependent on natural resources, and are often left out of environmental decision-making.

The report is available online at the following website link.

Report: Why climate change matters for women (UN Women)



For Aucklanders and visitors on Sunday 14 May: Audio described performance and touch tour of Witi’s Wāhine by Nancy Brunning

An uplifting love song to the wāhine toa of the East Coast who inhabit Witi Ihimaera’s celebrated writing. The phenomenal women of his writing, including The Parihaka Woman, The Matriarch and Pounamu Pounamu, take focus and lead us powerfully through the universe of Rongopai (the wharenui at Waituhi) to reveal that which lies deep behind the veil of a world we think we know and occupy.

Times are 2:30pm for touch tour and 4:00pm for audio described performance.

Show Run Time: 1 hour 20 minutes, no interval.

Where? ASB Waterfront Theatre, 138 Halsey Street, Wynyard Quarter, Auckland CBD, the Auckland Theatre Company.

Tickets: Access tickets are $20, plus a companion seat for $20.

To book tickets:

  • email boxoffice@atc.co.nz, or
  • phone or use NZ Relay Services to call the Auckland Theatre Company Box Office on 0800 282 849.

Two audio-described shows in New Plymouth this June!

For each of these shows, members of the blind and low vision community will be offered audio description provided by a trained audio describer through an earpiece and receiver as the performance takes place, a chance to join in a pre-show touch tour and discounted ticket prices

Event one: We Will Rock You

The New Plymouth Operatic Society is excited to announce an accessible performance of the G.J. Gardner Homes season of We Will Rock You on Sunday June 4 at 3pm at Taranaki’s TSB Showplace.

Since 2002 over 16 million theatregoers in 28 countries have been thrilled by this awe-inspiring production which is based on the songs of Queen with a book by Ben Elton (The Young Ones, Blackadder, Popcorn).

Elton fashioned this hilarious futurist comedy around more than 24 of Queen’s biggest hit songs including We Are The Champions, Radio Ga Ga, I Want To Break Free, Somebody To Love, Killer Queen, Don’t Stop Me Now, Under Pressure, Bohemian Rhapsody, Another One Bites The Dust and of course, We Will Rock You.

The musical takes place in a future age on a planet once called Earth that is now controlled by a mighty corporation. Rock music is unheard, and all musical instruments are banned. The hope of breaking free rests with an unlikely resistance-an alliance of rebel Bohemians.

Recommended for children ages 10+

When? Sunday 4 June 3pm show with a backstage touch tour available at 1.30pm.

Bookings: book in person at the TSB Showplace box office. The box office phone number is 06 759 6060.

Blind / low vision patrons and one companion each can receive 50% discount on the usual ticket price (normal booking fees & credit card fees apply).

Event Two: The Haka Party Incident by Katie Wolfe

Presented by Taranaki Arts Festival, TSB Showplace and PANNZ

The last NZ War took place in Auckland in 1979. It lasted three minutes.

The Haka Party Incident resurrects the eventful day when a group of the University of Auckland Engineering students rehearsing their annual tradition of a mock haka are confronted by the activist group, He Taua.

The incident sent ripples through the nation and changed race relations in NZ forever.

Brought to the stage by New Plymouth born writer / director Katie Wolfe, (Ngati Mutunga/Ngati Toa) the Haka Party Incident is verbatim theatre that innovatively combines documentary and kapa haka to thrilling effect.

Provocative, resonant and unforgettable – The Haka Party Incident is coming to the TSB Showplace this June.

When? Audio described performance: Wednesday 28 June at 7pm – Backstage touch Tour at 5.30-6pm.

Taranaki Arts Festival, TSB Showplace and PANNZ are pleased to offer free companion seating for accessible patrons attending this performance. Available with tickets purchased over the counter at the TSB Showplace or via the call centre on 0800 TICKETEK (0800 842 538).

Details of the Touch Tour and Audio Described Performance:

5.15pm – Meet at the TSB Showplace Foyer 5.30pm – Touch Tour 6.30pm – House Opens 6.45pm – Introductory Notes 7pm – Performance starts

If you would like 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.

For more information about audio description please contact us at the email address below.


Nicola Owen
Audio Described Aotearoa Ltd


DPA’s Information Exchange 30 April

The latest newsletter from Disabled Person’s Assembly (DPA) is available in your browser at the following link.

Information Exchange 29 April (DPA)

As usual, event reminders and TellMe phone numbers follow.

Ngā mihi mahana,
Warm regards,


Event reminders

College House Audio Described Tour, Christchurch

Saturday 6 May, 3pm to 4pm

An Open Christchurch free event but bookings required.

Booking link for the tour

Weekly update: 21 April

Accessible exhibition – Who can think, what can think

This Auckland Arts Festival Event runs from 18 February to 7 May at TeTuhi, 13 Reeves Road, Pakuranga, Auckland. Details were provided in 10 March update. Find out more at the link below.

Who can think, what can think (Te Ahurei Toi O Tāmaki / Auckland Arts Festival)

Round Table on Information Access for People with Print Disabilities In Person Conference

Sydney, Sunday, 7 May – Tuesday, 9 May 202

More information about the Round Table (Round Table)

September/October Training Programme for Public Sector Directors offered by Victoria University applications are open. Details were provided in 28 April update.

Weekly update: 28 April

Contact Girol and Tania at the following email addresses.




OngoingEntertainment 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 the 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 (Deafblind Association New Zealand)


End of report and this week’s update.
Amanda Stevens
Executive Officer
Taringa Turi Kāpō Rōpū
Deafblind Association New Zealand