Been another interesting week
On Friday the 3rd of March I went and checked out the Show Your Ability expo. It was really good to see the advances in technology and equipment available and if I had the money I’d  invest in one of the handcrank mountain bikes. I did a bit of filming and when we edited it together I discovered that the sound quality was a bit crap, so I have since ordered an external mic for my phone for future recording. I’ve also learnt to slow down when I pan around an area etc.  We still edited together what we had, I transcribed the audio and posted it here: on Sunday evening.

On Tuesday I was scheduled to have a mole removed from my hand and then a Disabled People’s Core Group meeting.
I was pretty anxious about the “minor” surgery, I have a high tolerance to local anesthetic and in the past some doctors have not listened when I’ve told them this. I also don’t like needles, so by the time they stick me once and the local doesn’t work, they then have to stick me again and I get really stressed.
This time it was a different story, I was actually listened to and the doctor told me “Well, we’ll stick you once and we’ll stick you right the first time”. He did just that, he piled in the anesthetic and I certainly didn’t feel anything but a little pressure. It was slightly odd to feel that he was cutting at the same beat of the music I was listening to, to distract myself. As we were leaving it was slightly challenging to use my crutches with half a numb hand.
Myself and Rachel Kenny from People First
The Disabled People’s Core Group meeting this month was pretty important as we had been asked by the National Leadership Group to appoint a Mid-Central representative. Unfortunately I didn’t make it to the meeting due to how I was feeling after my minor surgery. I had put my name forward for the representative role and the group endorsed putting my name forward to the Mid-Central Regional Leadership Group meeting on the Wednesday.
The Regional Leadership Group meeting was pretty full on and I was feeling a little “rough around the edges” due to my hand. We discussed how the group was working, we got an update from Sacha O’Dea on where things were at for the Cabinet Paper, Pete Wilson wanted some input on criteria for some capacity & capability funding, we had a discussion on a group working with Ministry of Education and my appointment to the National group was endorsed. It was a humbling experience to have the support of the entire group for my appointment.
Yup, I’m feeling a little “rough around the edges”
It’s been a bit of a whirlwind in the past 9 months or so; from turning up at the first public forum very cynical about the entire process, asking a few questions, meeting with a member of the Co-design team to discuss some of the scope of the System Transformation, then into the Regional Leadership Group, some of the working groups and now the National Leadership Group. I’d never really seen myself as a “disability advocate” as most of what I’ve done in the past has been self advocacy. I just tend to say things as I see it, ask the questions that people are thinking but don’t voice and just try to look at the bigger picture. I’ve realized recently that I have stepped into the “disability advocate” role purely by being myself and bringing the skills I’ve learnt in other areas to the table. I originally put my hand up for the Regional Leadership Group because I’m not afraid to use both my voice and my skills and I will continue to do this as things progress. At times it feels like a huge responsibility to be representing the community at such a level but I believe the conversations we are having are important, they need to happen and I will do my best to convey the messages from a very diverse group of people. Everybody deserves to have their voices heard and I will do my best to ensure that happens.
My hand is slowly healing and I’m finding it a little frustrating as I can’t place full pressure on my crutch or wheel on that side and I keep banging it on things. It’s also hindering my typing. I will get biopsy results and stiches out over the next week.
We’re still working on the next video and blog from our February and I’ll post them as soon as they are ready. The “Part One” video can be found here:, I haven’t written a blog about it because it was literally just a drive from Palmerston North to the western side of Lake Taupo.
I’ve got a pretty full week this week; I’ve done a pre-recorded radio interview, I’ll be traveling to Wellington for my first National group meeting and unfortunately ADNZ Ben has sustained an injury to one of his feet so I’ll be going solo, I’ve got a follow up Disabled People’s Core Group meeting and a Leading Life Conversations workshop. In some ways I’m glad the workload is a bit lighter next week so I can catch my breath, although I have more blogs to write, videos to finish and more “behind the scenes” things to get done so we will just have to see how much rest I actually get!
At least someone is getting some rest!


Take care all and remember, thrive not survive!


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