Our people at a regional level

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

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

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

Our Kaituitui work around the country


Martine Abel-Williamson


I live in South Auckland with my husband and guide dog.

I was born in Windhoek, Namibia, and when my family found out that there was no education opportunity for me in Namibia, we moved to neighbouring South Africa. I immigrated to New Zealand 24 years ago after acquiring qualifications in the fields of counselling and teaching.

I worked in the areas of vision rehabilitation and vocational advice at the Royal NZ Foundation of the Blind, as well as in the mental health sector. I then worked as a Disability Advisor at Manukau City and Auckland Councils .

I am the Vice-President of Blind Citizens NZ and the Chair of Auckland Disability Law. I also serve on the boards of Blind Low Vision NZ and Disability Connect.

Outside of work you will find me enjoying reading murder mysteries, relaxing with family and friends and dabbling in creative writing.
Read Martine Abel-Williamson'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

Joy Ho



Since I cannot drive and rely on buses to travel around independently, I initiated a petition calling for free bus fares for people with disabilities in the Waikato Region. The petition gained over 2500 signatures and led to the council introducing free buses for disabled people in July 2019.


The petition led me to visit many disability service organisations to obtain their support. It is this self-inflicted project that has further influenced my passion to work in the disability sector.


Joy graduated with an accounting degree from Waikato University in 2015 and has since worked bookkeeping roles.
Read Joy Ho's bio

Ollie Goulden


I have lived in the area for 20 years. I love Wellington and its people.

I have been involved with disability issues for many years, sitting on several boards and advisory groups. I have a background in administration, but I particularly enjoy the people facing part of that role.

I love music, food and hanging out with my cat.

Read Ollie Goulden's bio

Ingrid Robertson


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

Peter Knighton


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