Our people at a regional level

DPA members are scattered throughout the country. Most are affiliated to regional groups called regional assemblies. They include people with disabilities and others such as family, other disabled people's organisations and disability service providers.

To support regional assemblies a group of 19 disabled people, called  Kaituitui (or weavers who stitch together many threads of knowledge in their community) work throughout the country.

Our Kaituitui work around the country

Kaituitui are also the link between regional DPA members and the national governance and management arms of DPA. Kaituitui ensure there is a meaningful flow of communication between the two groups so policies can be formulated and initiatives launched.

They also liaise with local authorities to represent the interests and aspirations of local DPA members.

Ereatara Kokiri


To help others is my intention. And luckily the Kaituitui position has effectively utilised my skills as a past teacher. I’m currently a member of the Marlborough District Council Forum for Access and Mobility. In this position the fine art of social engineering has become more real to me. “Bring it on”, I say.

Read Ereatara Kokiri's bio

Poihaere Morris


I am a very active member of DPA Whakatane.

I am particularly interested in marae being accessible for disabled people and the importance of communications. For example, I keep our regional committee here up-to-date with news from the DPA Secretariat in Wellington.

If you have issues around disability in the Whakatane area please email me:


Read Poihaere Morris's bio

Sue Emirali


Being a Kaituitui has given me the opportunity to interact more with disabled people in my community.

I’m the Chairperson of the Kapiti Accessibility Advisory Group and member of Greater Wellington Regional Council Accessibility Advisory Group.

If you have issues around disability in the Kapiti area please email me: sue.emirali@clear.net.nz 

Read Sue Emirali's bio

Trudel McKeown


Trudel says, “What appeals to me about DPA is that everyone is included, everyone is accepted, and there are no barriers.

“As a Kaituitui I’m involved in many groups in the community. For example I work with the Gisborne District Council advocating for transport mobility and access in the region.” Trudel is also the Chairperson of the DPA Tairawhiti region.

Read Trudel McKeown's bio

Robert Martin


I became involved with the Kaituitui Network because it is important to me that people with disabilities are seen as the same as everyone else in the community.

I was in Kimberley and Lake Alice and this experience made me really passionate about disability issues. I like being able to use the skills I learnt from being involved with UN Convention and working with other disability sectors.

Read Robert Martin's bio

Peter Barker

Palmerston North

Peter says in his role as Kaituitui he takes an education focus.

He works especially to raise community awareness of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Disabled Persons.

Peter says disabled people need to speak up otherwise able bodied people aren’t aware of the issues that affect them.

Read Peter Barker's bio

Maxine Hooper


Karim Baradi


Karim is the Office Co-ordinator and Kaituitui for DPA Christchurch and Districts. He is Deaf and NZ Sign Language is his second language, after English.

He says in both his roles he is fortunate to be working with a great team.

Read Karim Baradi's bio

Chris Ford


I have been involved with DPA for 22 years. My passion is to see a more just community where all disabled people can participate and feel included.

As part of his Kaituitui role Chris is a member of the Dunedin City Council’s Disability Issues Advisory Group (DIAG).

Read Chris Ford's bio

Peter Knighton


If you want to contact a Kaituitui call us on (04) 801 9100 or email gen@dpa.org.nz and we will give you their details.