President’s and Kaituitui’s Report
Kia ora DPA Dunedin members and supporters,
Paula and I are writing a joint column this month to mark the terrible terrorist attacks against the two mosques in Christchurch.
Firstly, we wish on behalf of DPA Dunedin to extend to the local, Canterbury and New Zealand Muslim communities our deepest sympathies, sorrow and outrage at the atrocities committed on March 15th.
Secondly, we want the Muslim community to know that you are part of New Zealand society and that indeed all peoples should feel welcome in Aotearoa and continue to be.
Thirdly, these attacks should commit us anew to seeking and advancing the rights of all marginalized communities in Aotearoa and globally and that includes of Muslims and other peoples of faith and no faith, Maori, Pacific, ethnic communities, GLBTI plus, beneficiaries/low income people, women, children, youth, older people and, of course, our own disability community.
In fact, disabled people are present in all of the abovementioned communities and often experience intersectional prejudice and discrimination because of their multiple identities, whatever they may be.
What March 15th should reinforce is that hatred and prejudice should be faced down, through peaceful actions and discussions within our communities as well as social and mainstream media.
And DPA is needed now more than ever to advance the cause of disability rights which are part of the greater human rights picture, especially at a time when the forces of the Alt-Right and Neo-Fascism and Neo-Nazism are trying to reassert themselves.
Now, turning briefly to the content in this edition, we will talk about the issues we have been involved in over the last few months including Lime scooters, another reminder about the Government’s Health and Disability System review, the Dunedin City Council’s central city re-development and Disability Issues Advisory Group meetings and our appearance at the Mayor’s Taskforce for Housing meeting and DCC Housing summit.
Also, we have secured guest speakers for future meetings in the form of Pete Hodgson, Chair of the Dunedin Hospital Redevelopment Group, on Wednesday, June 12 and Human Rights Commissioner (Disability) Paula Tesoriero on Wednesday, September 11. We have a pending invite to Disability Issues Minister Carmel Sepuloni and we have received an indication from her office that will be fulfilled sometime this year.
Clearly, though, our thoughts at the moment are with our fellow New Zealanders who have been tragically bereaved and/or had their lives upended in unimaginable ways in Christchurch. In saying that, our thoughts are also with our DPA colleagues in that city.
Please take care and we will see you soon.
DPA Dunedin meeting dates 2019
Scheduled meetings for 2019 will continue to be held on the second Wednesday of every month between February and November (except for February which will be on a different week of the month). This year’s confirmed dates are:
10 April (Cancelled)
13 November (AGM)
The next DPA Dunedin and Districts meeting will be held on:
Wednesday, May 8 (please note April meeting cancelled)
11.30am – 1pm (please note new times for monthly meetings beginning with this meeting)
McNab Seminar Room
Dunedin City Library
New Zealand Sign Language interpreter available.
The time and venue will remain the same for all meetings throughout the year. If this changes, we will advise as soon as possible.
Any apologies to me or President Paula Waby email@example.com before each meeting day.
New Zealand Sign Language interpreters available. We are able to reimburse people’s travel costs to and from meetings (with the right paperwork – please keep your taxi or bus fare receipts).
Dunedin City Council Draft Annual Plan 2019-2020
The Dunedin City Council are currently consulting on their Draft Annual Plan 2019-2020.
You may have seen the flyer which came into mailboxes recently.
The current plan talks about a rates increase of five percent. In return, it is proposed that Dunedinites will get improve water, rubbish and recycling and development services, transport and project management.
One of the key ideas put forward in this year’s annual plan is the idea of a Central City bus loop and even lower bus fares (which will benefit many disabled people).
You can feedback (as DPA Dunedin will be) to this plan or fill in the form you received in your mailbox.
You can also go online to find out more at https://www.dunedin.govt.nz/council/annual-and-long-term-plans/annual-plan-201920.
Consultation closes on Monday, April 15.
Here’s an opportunity to tell the Dunedin City Council about access problems
The Dunedin City Council is planning some footpath upgrades to be done in the near future. To help with this they would like information about areas where people find it difficult or cannot get along or across the street.
They would like feedback ASAP.
If you have any feedback for the council please contact:
Dunedin City Council
Lime Scooters issue update
Lime scooters have caused much discussion and controversy since they were launched in Dunedin in January.
DPA member, Vision Impaired Aotearoa Charitable Trust (VICTA) Trustee and Dunedin Pedestrian Action Network (PAN) Co-Convenor Lynley Hood, working alongside DPA Kaituitui and PAN Co-Convenor Chris Ford have been calling upon Government to re-call Lime scooters following incidents involving scooters on the basis that they are a health and safety risk.
They have also called upon Government to rein in the New Zealand Transport Authority (NZTA) which abused the process around granting Lime scooters the right to operate in New Zealand in the first place, on the basis that NZTA was able to put out a legal notice in the New Zealand Gazette to the effect that Lime (and other similar scooters) were not motor vehicles and, therefore, that Lime riders were able to use footpaths. PAN and other allied groups contend that Limes should be re-classified as motor scooters and required to use roadsides or cycle lanes to get around.
At one stage in mid-February, Lime scooters were voluntary withdrawn from Dunedin streets following the Auckland City Council’s decision to suspend the company’s activities there until identified safety issues were fixed. After a fortnight, Lime reported to the Auckland City authorities that the safety issues had been fixed and after receiving further assurances, they were let back onto the streets of Auckland and the DCC then followed suit here.
At the time of this newsletter being published, Lime is now facing competition from a number of new e-scooter providers. This is likely to produce the prospect of even more e-scooters being on our streets, not less, unless regulations are changed to re-classify them as motor vehicles (amongst other measures).
In the meantime, Lynley has prepared a letter which will be sent to a number of Cabinet ministers outlining the need for pedestrian areas, such as footpaths, to be solely for people who travel by foot or disabled people who use mobility aids with parallel spaces for cyclists and other motorised devices (such as e-scooters) and motor vehicles (such as cars, buses, trucks, etc). This letter has been signed by representatives of DPA New Zealand, PAN, Living Streets Aotearoa, VICTA and other organisations.
Government Health and Disability System Review
The Government has begun a Health and Disability System Review to look at how we can future-proof the health and disability system by identifying areas where improvements need to be made.
The review is led by a seven member Expert Review Panel, chaired by Ms Heather Simpson (who formerly headed the Prime Minister’s Office during Helen Clark’s time as prime minister).
The panel have stated that the review will consult with health and disability stakeholders and this includes the general public.
It would be great to see as many disabled people and our families/whanau and support people as possible contributing to this review. If you want to give your feedback, you can do so at the website link: https://systemreview.health.govt.nz/overview/give-us-your-views/. The questions asked by the review include those around how the health and disability system can better assist disabled people to achieve our goals and aspirations. More public consultation (in the form of meetings) is also planned for later this year.
The review is due to issue an interim report to Government in mid-2019 and a final report by March 31, 2020.
Kaituitui appearance before Mayor’s Housing Taskforce and DCC Housing Forum – February 2019
DPA Dunedin Kaituitui Chris Ford appeared before the Dunedin City Council’s Mayoral Housing Taskforce on February 18.
Kaituitui Chris raised a number of issues around the need for more accessible, inclusive Universal Design housing in Dunedin. This followed the news that Dunedin’s population had grown to an estimated 130,000 people as of mid-2018.
This extra population, plus the trend towards higher housing prices, has created an increased demand for housing in the city, just as it has in other parts of Aotearoa/New Zealand.
In particular, rent increases have also driven many people to seek cheaper housing as the crisis has been putting greater pressure on social (subsidised rental) housing in the city as much as it has elsewhere in the country.
Also more workers are forecast to move to Dunedin to meet the needs of the Dunedin Hospital rebuild which is scheduled to start from next year.
Bearing all these factors in mind, the needs of housing disadvantaged groups - which include disabled people and their families/whanau - must not be overlooked. That’s why Chris felt it was important that the voice of disabled people be heard at the table.
Chris presented on the need to build all new future housing using Universal Design principles. He particularly pointed out the need for the DCC and housing stakeholders to undertake to do the following:
- 1.)That DCC, Housing New Zealand and community housing providers should take the lead and build all their housing units according to Lifemark design principles. Lifemark Design is a company owned by CCS Disability Action and promotes the principles of Universal Design housing where homes are designed to take into account the needs of all the people who may live within it over the course of the dwelling’s lifespan. It’s already happening in Dunedin and I wish to note that the High Street Cohousing Project is utilising these principles already. I also note that the DCC have said that they will do the same for its new builds but we need a firmer pledge on this. Housing NZ should undertake to do the same and take the lead in its areas of responsibility. Private sector developers should also be encouraged to do the same.
- 2.)If anyone wants more information on Lifemark Housing design, then go to https://www.lifemark.co.nz/ for more information.
- 3.)That the DCC and other stakeholders on this Mayoral Taskforce should firmly support the Access Alliance’s call for the Government to pass an Accessibility for New Zealanders Act to ensure much clearer, standardised access laws, and this includes around housing and building design. The DCC should pass a motion to support the campaign.
- 4.)That DCC, Housing New Zealand, community housing networks, and private developers engage with disabled people, disabled person’s organisations and our representative stakeholder groups, such as Access for All, around the planning, design and construction of accessible housing and dwellings in the Dunedin area.
- 5.)That DCC and Government, working with disabled people, community agencies and other stakeholders, should act to ensure a greater supply of affordable, accessible permanent and emergency housing, to ensure that everyone’s needs can be met so that all people (including disabled people and their families/whanau and support networks) have access to safe, adequate, warm, dry, affordable and accessible, universally designed housing.
We hope that the DCC took all this on board. Following on from this, Chris Ford and DPA and People First member David King attended the DCC’s Housing Forum on February 28 where a number of contacts were made which will be followed up on.
DPA Noteable aims to keep a watching brief on this issue.
Dunedin Central City upgrade meeting – March 13
The Dunedin City Council’s Urban Planning and Design team hosted a meeting (organised with Mary O’Brien from CCS Disability Action and the Access for All Group) with Dunedin’s disability community on the proposed upgrade to the Central City area, beginning with George Street, which will begin in 2020.
Principal Urban Designer Kathryn Ward took the meeting through the various options being considered. These included fully pedestrianizing George Street, thereby making it only usable by people walking on foot or using mobility aids only, partially-pedestrianizing the area or creating a shared space where motor vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians would only be permitted at slow speeds with space for pedestrians included.
It seems that Council is leaning towards creating either a pedestrianized or shared space option.
The main discussion and feedback at the meeting came from a range of disability groups ranging representing mobility impaired through to psychosocial disability (mental health) networks. Various ideas raised included the need for mobility parking and drop off zones for disabled people needing them, sensory spaces in pop up gardens, variable seating heights, spaces where people could retreat and ‘chill out’ and other features which would make George Street user-friendly and inclusive for everyone.
DPA still encourages disabled people and support networks to feedback to the DCC on George Street re-development options with all comment due by April 7. Go to the link at https://www.dunedin.govt.nz/council/policies,-plans-and-strategies/plans/plans-documents/central-city-plan/have-your-say-retail-quarter or visit the Central City Re-development displays in various parts of the city for more information.
Dunedin City Council Disability Issues Advisory Group meeting March 8, 2019
The Dunedin City Council’s Disability Issues Advisory Group (DIAG) met on Friday, March 8.
Key topics discussed included:
- How the Dunedin City Council DIAG both interacts and differs from the Access for All Group which is currently forming on access issues.
- The need to update the terms of reference for DIAG and refresh its membership to ensure a greater representation of disability/impairment groups.
- How information about DIAG discussions is being shared with the disability community and wider community. To this end, it was proposed that a summary of DIAG’s discussions be sent out following each meeting.
- Group members heard about the Central City Upgrade plans from Kathryn Ward, Principal Urban Designer.
- A lively discussion was again held on Lime scooters and the need to create more pedestrian spaces.
- The Policy Team updated the group on their work programme and this included the DCC’s Annual Plan 2019-2020 consultations which were then about to open.
- The Parks Team updated DIAG on their plans to upgrade some key Dunedin walking tracks to make them accessible and user friendly for everyone and major playgrounds to ensure that play equipment and spaces are accessible and inclusive as well.
The group is next scheduled to meet on May 31.
If you have any issues you would like to see raised through the Disability Issues Advisory Group, then please let Chris Ford, Paula Waby, Lynley Hood or William Luskie (who are all group members) know.
Community Health Council – Latest Updates
The recent Dunedin Hospital upgrade information meeting was held on Monday, March 18 hosted by the Southern DHB and WellSouth. The video of that meeting is now available at this link https://www.newdunedinhospital.nz/latest-news/video-new-dunedin-hospital-public-forum/.
The video features NZ Sign Language (NZSL) interpretation of all presentations made. There was also a good turnout of disabled people at the meeting.
On that note, DPA has secured Pete Hodgson as a speaker on the Dunedin Hospital rebuild at its June meeting. More details will come closer to the time.
Meanwhile, you can check out the main points of the January 2019 CHC meeting here:
1. The Community Health Council farewelled establishment Chair Professor Sarah Derrett, who has been instrumental in the establishment of this new Council to function effectively within the Southern health system. Professor Derrett who is on sabbatical for a number of months will continue to follow the progress of the Council from afar and will reconnect when she is back in Dunedin. A new Chair is to be announced in the coming weeks.
2. The Council heard from Nicola Mutch (Executive Director of Communications) and Claire Gillies (Project manager – IT systems) on the progress of the new Southern health website. The new website is expected to be launched at the end of April / early May. User testing on the site will occur towards the end of March.
3. The work around the Community, Whānau and Patient Engagement Roadmap of involving patients and whānau in decision-making continues to grow. The next step in the process is to ensure that this is adding value to projects and that patients and whānau are genuinely being heard and acted on. The process of collecting feedback from patients, whānau and staff involved in projects is commencing. This information will help to assess what needs to be focussed on going forward.
DPA Notable Radio
DPA Dunedin’s award winning Notable Radio is now on the airwaves. Our shows air on fortnightly Fridays at 1.30pm. Meanwhile, you can still listen to the podcasts of this year’s shows that are downloadable from this link: http://accessradio.org/ProgrammePage.aspx?PID=71e3a91e-b09f-4cdb-982c-8dc5425c1d19.
Broadcast dates for the next few months are:
Fridays, April 5 and April 19 (Good Friday)
May 3 and 17
DPA Information Exchange – do you get this e-newsletter? If not here’s how!
Does everyone get the Information Exchange?
This is DPA New Zealand’s weekly national e-newsletter to which anyone (either members or non-members) can subscribe to. If you are a paid up member, you should get this automatically sent to you if you have an email address.
However, for those who aren’t, you can subscribe via clicking on this link http://www.dpa.org.nz/page/142/InformationExchange.html
The Info Exchange is very informative and is read by not only DPA members but supporters and funders within the wider community.
DPA Dunedin Facebook page
DPA Facebookers, check out our DPA Facebook page for the latest views and news from DPA Dunedin and Districts at https://www.facebook.com/groups/dpadunedin/. So if you haven’t joined yet, sign up!
That’s all for this month …
As ever, we’d like to thank our funders at the end of each newsletter. We couldn’t do what we do without you!:
-Dunedin City Council Community Grants Scheme
-Ministry of Health
Contact details for DPA Dunedin:
Mobile: 021 2299 760.
Ph: 476 7579
Mobile: 027 696 0872
Email: See DPA email address below
DPA Dunedin Email Address
DPA New Zealand Inc.
Gerri Pomeroy – President
Lynne Edmonson - National Operations Manager
Chris Ford – Senior Kaituitui (Dunedin-based)
Henrietta Bollinger – Analyst - Policy and Relationships
Emily Tilley - Communications
Sharyn McCann – Finance Officer
173-175 Victoria Street
PO Box 27-524
Phone: 04 801 9100
Next newsletter will appear in June-July 2019