On the 16th October 2013 People First members, staff, volunteers, friends, funders, colleagues and supporters came together at Parliament to celebrate the 10 year milestone of People First New Zealand being an independent Disabled Person’s Organisation.

People First Local Assistant Lee Rutene opened proceedings for People First with a mihi whakatau and the Te Reo verse of the People First song was sung by members for the first time . Lee says “I was honoured to speak for People First. I am interested in doing more work like this for People First in the future.”

Disability Rights Commissioner Paul Gibson was a co-MC alongside Lyle Whitehouse, a past People First National Committee member.

Current National Chairperson Hamish Taverner opened the celebrations.  Robert Martin, Life Member of People First, spoke about how People First came to New Zealand and developed over the last 20 years. Hamish says “It was lovely to be supported by Minister Turia and the atmosphere felt really good. العاب اندرويد There were no hiccups and everyone was so friendly”.

The Honourable Tariana Turia, Minister of Disability Issues, hosted the event at Parliament and gave a speech. She then presented the Leona Gitmans Te Aranga Self Advocacy Award to People First member Josie Khoury. Click here to read about Josie’s award.


People First National Committee members launched the new People First:


Cheryl Wallace, People First National Committee member, said of the event:

“It felt really good to show others that us guys can go out and do it when we are given the chance. It is good for the public to see what we can do”.


Ruth Gerzon from Inclusion Aotearoa, who worked for People First in the early days of independence, said:

“It was so well organised – you are a wonderful planning team – everything went like clockwork (or so it seemed to us!). It was inspiring to meet again so many of the past leaders, movers and shakers. And to see that many of them are still involved and passionate about the organisation and it’s strong focus on rights and advocacy. But best of all was to see new strong voices too. We know now that People First is a strong and vibrant organisation, full of plans for the future. قواعد لعبة البولينج It is more than we could have hoped or dreamt for ten years ago. تعلم كيف تلعب الروليت


Rachel Noble, CEO of Disabled Persons Assembly said:

“You really get a sense that People First has that sense of self, it is really here now”.


Well done People First! Here’s to another 10 years and more!


Thanks to the following for giving funding towards the 10 year celebrations:

The JR McKenzie Trust

Positively Wellington Venues

IHC Foundation

Progressive Enterprises

Tahi Design

The Donald Beasley Institute

IHC Wellington Association

Pam Shanks

Alexia Garbutt

The late Joanna Curzon