Democracy

Access to democracy, including a truly secret vote in national and local elections and access to proper information on which to make an informed choice.

Listen in to Blind Citizens NZ's Meet the Blind Foundation Candidates

Each of the six candidates standing for election to the Blind Foundation’s Board of Directors General Seats of which there are two this year (these candidates are elected by governing members), agreed to participate in a “meet the candidates” session, hosted by Blind Citizens NZ the morning of Sunday 9 October, during our AGM and Conference. In alphabetic order, the six candidates and the means by which they participated are: Garth Clarricoats (phone); Clive Lansink, Pam MacNeill (in person); Peter Ruddenklau (phone); Judy Small (in person); Allan Webster (phone).

Putting the Past Behind Us, by Geraldine Glanville

Putting the Past Behind Us

An account of governance reform within the Blind Foundation from 1995 to 2003

Compiled and edited from records of the time by Geraldine Glanville

How Secret Is Our Secret Vote?

This briefing document is a supplement to "The Great Barrier Brief". In this, Blind Citizens NZ addresses Accessible Independent Voting from the perspective of blind and vision impaired voters, many of whom are unable to vote without sighted assistance, whether at the polling booth, in a postal ballot and telephone dictation voting. Hence the ability to independently cast a truly secret vote is denied to us.

While our brief identifies the challenges and barriers we face, we also offer solutions.

Electoral Commission introduces that Extra Touch for Blind New Zealanders

Media release celebrating the Electoral Commission being presented with the Extra Touch Award by the Association of Blind Citizens of New Zealand (Blind Citizens NZ), in recognition of its successful implementation of Telephone Dictation Voting ahead of its commitment to do so by 2020 and, its enthusiasm to receive and act on all feedback from blind and vision impaired voters..

Rights, Responsibilities, Results - AGM and Conference 2014

Blind Citizens NZ's 2014 Annual General Meeting and Conference will soon be under way. We start at 2pm Friday 10 October and go through to 2pm Sunday 12 October.

We have an action-packed three days ahead of us. To find out exactly what is in store for you, our schedule, speakers and business, check out our programme.

Anyone unable to be with us over the three days can you can link to the stream from a website. The direct link for that is:
http://50.7.77.178:8108/listen.pls

A New Way to Vote in This Year's Election

Blind Citizens NZ has over several years invested time and energy advocating to Government and the Electoral Commission for blind people to be able to cast a fully accessible, independent and confidential vote in national and local elections. The Electoral Commission recently issued a media release announcing that telephone dictation voting will be available for blind people to use in this year's general election.

Making Parliament More Accessible

Our Executive Officer and I recently spoke to Parliament's Government Administration Committee as it was conducting an inquiry into the accessibility of services to Parliament. Blind Citizens NZ made a written submission and we appeared in person to support our submission and answer questions.

2013 Conference / Annual General Meeting

Time has very quickly rolled around and we’re about to launch into our one day 2013 Conference / Annual General Meeting. This year’s event will be a marathon effort for the business we would normally achieve over three days, has been consolidated into one. Saturday 5 October New Zealand time is the day – we start at 10.15 am and conclude at 3.30pm. Aside from stopping for a bite to each for lunch, there will be very little time for our attendees to socialise this year. We’re meeting at the Grand Chancellor Hotel, Corner of Kirkbride Road and Ascot Roads, Mangere, Auckland.

Perhaps a Step Closer to a Fully Confidential Vote

In July the Electoral Commission convened a workshop entitled “Promoting Participation in General Elections for Disabled People”. This was attended by representatives from the disability community including Blind Citizens NZ.
The workshop discussed the Electoral Commission’s Voter Participation Strategy which promotes the introduction of Telephone Dictation Voting. Blind Citizens NZ sees this as a positive step forward, but we have requested more information to ascertain how security and confidentiality will be assured.

Submission to Discussion Paper "The Wider Journey: The Rights of Disabled People", Human Rights Commission, March 2012

This is a submission to the Human Rights Commission in response to their discussion paper “The Wider Journey: The Rights of Disabled People”. Our comments correspond to areas that impact upon the ability of blind, deafblind and vision impaired people living in New Zealand to access the built environment safely and independently, to have access to information and to independently vote in local and general elections.

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