Annual Report 2022-2023

Policy and Advocacy Report

The Policy and Advocacy function has been well and truly tested this year! Our Policy and Advocacy Manager, Rachel Hargreaves, has been focused on providing information and advice at four different levels:

  1. Responding to requests that are ‘one-off’ or take a relatively short amount of time to reply to, for example, the Ministry of Justice asked us for our views on a new document they had prepared on Court-approved interpreter services.
  2. Responding to requests that take longer to reply to, or requires multiple feedback and/or meetings, for example, we worked with FIFA’s Accessibility Manager for several months on how to make the event accessible for Deaf people including connecting them with interpreters for the Opening Ceremony.
  3. Providing Deaf Aotearoa’s position on legislative change and making formal submissions on Government policy, including presenting our views at Select Committee. This year, we made submissions on the:
    • policy proposals on the amendments to the New Zealand Sign Language Act 2006
    • Aotearoa New Zealand Public Media Bill
    • Accessibility for New Zealanders Bill
    • Electoral Review
    • Adult decision-making capacity law
    • UNCRPD’s Article 11 – Situations of risk and humanitarian emergencies.
  4. Proactively contacting agencies when we see an issue that needs attention, for example, we wrote to Oranga Tamariki to alert them to ongoing, concerning issues with respect to the lack of interpreter provision for Deaf clients. They agreed that this needed to be rectified and after several months we received the following correspondence:

    “I wanted to write to you to let you know that we have progressed the establishment of centralised interpreter support for NZSL users and it will be available in November. There were many issues that we had to work through including privacy, wellbeing support for interpreters, broadening the advice to include all languages, and development of guidance. But we are here now, and I wanted to thank you for bringing it to my attention. It’s because of your initial email that we have made this progress, and I know the policy and practice will have a positive impact on so many tamariki, rangatahi and whānau we work with.”

The Executive Board has developed and published six Position Statements:

“IT IS REWARDING TO KNOW THAT OUR POLICY AND ADVOCACY EFFORTS ARE MAKING A REAL DIFFERENCE.”

RACHEL HARGREAVES
Send this to a friend