We make regular visits to the regions to meet people, discuss our work and find out how we can help. It is part of our public affairs and education outreach programme.
What’s the aim?
Wherever we go, we try and make use of the opportunity to meet local influencers including elected local body representatives, media people, non-governmental groups and health professionals. These are valuable engagements for us that enable us to hear the concerns of communities and allow us to reach audiences that we would not otherwise.
We often coordinate with a partner organisation, such as a chamber of commerce, or a community law centre, in setting up public presentations or clinics in the centres. During the year, the Commissioner will be in Tauranga, Rotorua, Whangarei, Gisborne, Invercargill, Queenstown, Christchurch and New Plymouth.
Where have we been
A visit to Hawke’s Bay in 2014 was a stage for us to launch our new guidance on sharing personal information about families and vulnerable children at a Paediatrics Society of New Zealand conference.
Apart from talking to a big group of paediatricians and other professionals working in the child health and safety area, that Napier visit gave the Commissioner a chance to meet with civic leaders and the editor of Hawkes Bay Today.
Last year, the Commissioner and staff visited Dunedin, Nelson, and Hamilton.
In Dunedin, the Commissioner talked to lawyers, gave a presentation at the Chamber of Commerce and met with editorial staff at the Otago Daily Times. On a visit to Hamilton, he gave a presentation at the Waikato Community Law Centre on understanding privacy and the Privacy Act
The Commissioner also met with DHB representatives in Nelson to discuss privacy issues including the use of smartphones by patients and family members to film in hospitals.
What’s coming up
Here’s where you can find out about the regional visits we have scheduled later this year. If you can see that we’re due to visit your town, let us know if we can come to a centre near you by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image credit: Great marbled godwit via James J Audobon Birds of America.