P1000799

A short film has been produced as a joint project by the Health and Disability Commissioner and People First New Zealand Ngā Tāngata Tuatahi.

Click here to see the film.

The film was filmed over 1 day in Nelson in April of this year and was launched this week in Wellington. The launch was well attended, with Health and Disability Commissioner Anthony Hill, Deputy Commissioner for Disability Rose Wall and Ministry of Health representatives joining the celebrations.

The Health and Disability Commissioner works to independently uphold the rights of consumers when they access health or disability services. In the film, actors with learning disability explore a variety of scenarios where people’s rights are affected, asking questions such as “Why should I complain?” and teaching the audience through role play about the Code of Health and Disability Rights and the Nationwide Health and Disability Advocacy Service. The film also features staff from the Commissioner’s office, People First New Zealand and Nelson-based Advocate, Laschelle Walker.

The aim of the film – to increase the accessibility of the Health and Disability Commissioner– is backed by the method with which it was filmed. Each scene was broken down and filmed one sentence at a time, with the actors practicing their lines again and again, and script prompts in large font held beside the camera. Filming in this way enabled the full participation of the People First Members, for whom remembering an entire script ahead of time would have proven difficult. It also allowed them to represent the real voice of people who use health and disability services across New Zealand.

Ben Leslie, Secretary of the People First Top of the South Region and one of the actors in the film, had this to say about the experience “It was a lot of fun actually, I enjoyed it. I did quite well – in quite a few of those videos I only needed to do one shot – I nailed it!”

People First Communications Manager Alexia Garbutt said “Nelson was chosen as the location for the film in order to build on the learning of local People First Members. In 2014, the Blenheim and Nelson groups had focussed on ‘The right to make a complaint when people are not happy with a service’ for their annual leadership project. This tied in nicely with the purpose of the film and meant actors were perfectly placed to talk about these topics and help others to understand them.”

“The film will be another tool available to make sure disabled people in New Zealand know about their rights. We want this to be something that is used and talked about in self advocacy groups around the country”, says People First National Manager, Cindy Johns.