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August 2022 Edition
Kia ora koutou

The days are getting lighter and Spring has Sprung. It's a welcome relief in our household where we've been battered by a whole heap of winter illnesses - we're excited that summer's on its way!

We're a little late for an August edition but we've been firming up the details for our AGM and wanted to share them with you. It will be held next week on Sunday 11 September in Lower Hutt. There are more details below but we've secured an excellent guest speaker, Gerri Pomeroy from Whaikaha - the Ministry of Disabled People and would urge you all to come along to hear her speak.

In other Whaikaha news, we are delighted to see Paula Tesoriero MNZM appointed as Chief Executive to lead the new ministry. The 2008 gold and bronze medal-winning paralympic cyclist has been the Disability Rights Commissioner since 2017 as well as Acting Chief Human Rights Commissioner from 2018 to 2019. You can read all about her appointment here.

Also this month: 
Please drop us a line,, if you have suggestions for this newsletter or ideas that might enable us to better support you as a community.

Ngā mihi
Selena and the WDSA Committee

Come along for a beverage and a nibble and hear from Gerri Pomeroy, disabled person, Co-Chair of the community establishment group for Whaikaha - Ministry of Disabled People and Co-Chair of the Enabling Good Lives Governance Group.

Gerri has a wealth of experience as an advocate for disabled people. She's currently Co-Chair and Trustee of My Life My Voice, a member of the National Enabling Good Lives Leadership Group, and has held roles as the National President for the Disabled Person's Assembly (NZ) and Access Coordinator for CCS Disability Action. Gerri will speak to us about her involvement in setting up Whaikaha and give an overview of some of the functions of the new ministry. There will be an opportunity to ask any burning questions you might have about how the new ministry will work. We know you will enjoy hearing Gerri speak about her experiences.

Blair Griffiths will be sharing his report as Chair of WDSA, and we'll have an overview - financial and otherwise - of the various activities we've undertaken and been involved in this year. We'll also be on the look out for new members to help us support this wonderful community we're all a proud part of, so come along to find out what it's all about.

3.00-5.30pm, Sunday 11 September
Wellington Early Intervention Trust
79a Copeland Street
Lower Hutt
Little Annie Family Portrait Fundraiser

Support your community and book your mini family portrait shoot with Anna Munro Photography, for up to 5 family members (2 adults max). 50% of your booking fee will be donated to WDSA. Check out our Facebook page for more details.

9am-12pm, Sunday 25 September
501 Hutt Road
Lower Hutt
The Great Kiwi Circus

A fun-packed, 90-minute show to suit special needs and disadvantaged children in the community - bringing the thrill and excitement of the circus to stages all over New Zealand.

Parent-to-Parent Wellington are offering up free tickets to this event in Wellington. If you would like to find out more, email

6pm, Wednesday 7 September
Sacred Heart College
65 Laings Road
Lower Hutt
Special Children's Christmas Party

With Christmas just around the corner (what?!), we're putting the call out to see who would like tickets to the Special Children's Christmas Party. Email to secure yours. Limit one per special child with one accompanying adult. Unfortunately, we're not able to cater for siblings.

Sunday 27 November
Te Rauparaha Arena
17 Parumoana Street

Virtual Conference to Mark Down Syndrome Awareness Month

This October, NZDSA will once again be hosting a Virtual Down Syndrome Conference to commemorate World Down Syndrome Month. The conference commences on 3 October and will end on the 21st with a virtual cocktail party. Registration is free - to find out how to register and to read more about the conference click here.

Youth Development Camp Opportunity - Calling for Expressions of Interest

This camp is always a lot of fun for our teens! It will be held 25-27 November 2022 at Vaughan Park Retreat Centre, Long Bay, Auckland. Spaces are limited so apply early! Expressions of Interest must be registered by 10am on 14 September 2022. Completed registration forms need to be received by NZDSA by the 23rd of September. Email Linda te Kaat for more.
We're updating our website and would like to use imagery representative of our community to make sure it looks slick and engaging. If you have any high quality photos (professionally shot or otherwise) that you would allow us to use for this, please email us. We're looking for candid shots of people with Down syndrome of all ages, genders and cultures - by themselves, with their siblings, other family members, pets, friends or just doing the things they enjoy.
Belynda Bird is reaching out to see if there are any families locally with kids with Down syndrome that may like some help. Belynda has worked with children of various ages and cultures with diverse needs for a long time. She can be contacted via email.

Sam, director of Top Tech Plumbing, is looking to employ someone with Down syndrome for a day a week. The role is a paid position and comes with training. Contact Sam for more.

Down for Love Season 2 - CASTING CALL

Attitude Pictures is currently casting Down For Love Season 2, a primetime television series for TVNZ 2.
Made in consultation with NZDSA, Down for Love focuses on people living with Down Syndrome who are on a quest for romance. Email if you'd like to know more about this opportunity.
IHC Library - Puberty

Check out this video from the IHC Library. Phil Clarke, Head of Library and Information Resourcing, talks about some of the resources the Library has around puberty. These are designed to help parents understand what's going on and to help them to have really useful and clear conversations with their children.

You can email the library to access these or give the IHC Library team a ring on 0800 442 442 (ext 42492 - leave a message and they'll get back to you).
Sexuality & Intellectual Disability

Family Planning are offering this free workshop for whānau and caregivers that focuses on what whānau and guardians can do to support their loved ones in their sexual and reproductive wellbeing. 
The workshop will be 1.5 hours long and will be held across multiple dates:

7pm, Monday 5 September
6pm, Thursday 3 November

Register at


Network of Expertise - Making Sense of Literacy Workshop

The Network of Expertise aim is to develop a network to connect teachers and kaiako, to build a shared collective identity for ongoing mutual learning to build capability and is led by Dr Maree Kirk. To find out more visit

9.00am-3.15pm, Wednesday 7 September
Level 2/19 Market Grove
Lower Hutt
  • Thanks to all those that made it along to our Mid Winter Christmas Party - it was so nice to see so many of your faces after such a long time. You can view the photos on Facebook.
  • Did you know Outward Bound run adapted programmes for kids with diverse needs aged 13 and over? Check out these incredible programmes.
The WDSA Committee is made up entirely of volunteers.
We'd love to connect with members of the community who can spare a few hours to help here and there. If that sounds like you, sign up to our Friends of the Committee Facebook group.
Copyright © 2022 Wellington Down Syndrome Association, All rights reserved.

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