This summer our Firstport team worked hard to pull together a comprehensive list of events from across the motu to celebrate International Day of Disabled People.
“With so much going on, Firstport is a great place fantastic to bring all the activity into one place.” said Communications Manager Victoria Rose. “It meant that no matter where our community was in the country, they could join in the celebrations.”
As the balloons pop and the face-paint fades, our Firstport team took a look back at how New Zealanders came together to honour and appreciate the talents, contributions and rights for International Day of People with a Disabilities.
Auckland Tamaki Makaurau
Shining the light on community members, CSS Disability played a part in hosting four events across the North Island. Tamaki Makaurau, Auckland saw community members digging up new skills at Royal Oak Community Garden.
New Plymouth electrified the town with live music, face paints and photo booths to capture the day. And Hawera took Hawaiian theme to another level with the “Tiki Time” event where visitors broke out floral tops with flip flops, pairing them with games, music and mocktails.
Bay of Plenty
Embracing the incredible voices of Tauranga Moana, whānau were treated to amazing performances from the kapa haka rōpu from Idea Services and local live performances like Sophie Maude. With the local council's support, ParaFed and CCS Disability Action locals had a blast with a day full of exciting activities! From thrilling trips up Mount Drury using TrailRider Beach wheelchairs, to adaptive yoga workshops the day was full of activity. They topped these adventures off with face painting, a photobooth, and a delicious sausage sizzle.
Hawke's Bay Star Jam burst out a 'Wonders of Summer' Disco. The community dressed up in swimming, BBQ Camping and kiwi Christmas gears the mark the day. The community didn’t stop there! Napier organised a afternoon tea with a Christmas Talent Spectacular show to celebrate inclusivity.
A sports extravaganza took center stage in Levin, orchestrated by the collaboration of Enabling Good Lives (EGL) MidCentral, Sport Manawatū (external link), CCS Disability, and MASH Trust. With sensory sessions and snags on the BBQ, the event infused the town with fun and laughter.
On the sunny side in Kāpiti, they combined Christmas and IDOPWD celebrations into one with a low-sensory Christmas celebration for our whānau with sensory needs.
The Kāpiti council team said “We know Christmas can be a bit of a sensory overload for some of our tamariki. That’s why our Place and Space team, with support from our Disability Advisory Group, have organised a low-sensory Christmas celebration.”
Disability Rights Commissioner Prudence Walker joined the Disabled Persons Assembly (DPA) Disability Leadership Canterbury and Hei Whakapiki in Christchurch for a morning picnic. Celebrating the remarkable achievements in Canterbury this year, the day reflected the incredible accomplishments of the disabled community and looked to 2024.
Further south in Dunedin, the Otago Deaf Society marked IDOPWD alongside the local Santa Parade. Whānau families and friends met the Woodhaugh garden pool and shared kai (picnic food) amongst one another.
Events that were postponed - Hamilton and Wellington
While there were cancellations in Hamilton, Wellington, and a few other locations, fortunately IDOPWD isn’t just a one-day affair. It’s a continuation of our ongoing efforts to create a society where everyone, no matter their abilities, can flourish and make valuable contributions.
We hope you got a few ideas and inspiration from these groups and we hope to celebrate with you on IDOPWD 2024.
Looking for more events to join? Take a look at the Firstport events hub that spotlights disability-focused activities. You'll find plenty of opportunities to be a part of these inclusive gatherings. Firstport.co.nz/events