DPA congratulates Prudence Walker on her appointment as the new Kaihautū Tika Hauātanga Disability Rights Commissioner.

While unfortunately this means that Prudence will be leaving her role as CE at Disabled Persons Assembly after almost four years, we are excited for her appointment and are confident that she will bring strength to the position as she has done to DPA.  
– Joanne Dacombe, DPA National President

A message from Prudence:

Kia ora koutou,

It is with a heavy heart as well as excitement for the future of DPA that I write to you tendering my resignation as Chief Executive.

Since beginning with DPA in July 2019, I have felt privileged to lead an organisation of disabled people rooted deeply in the disability rights movement in Aotearoa.

When I started, I could not have foreseen the significant events that would impact our community and organisation, including the Health and Disability system review, the COVID pandemic, and the establishment of Whaikaha Ministry of Disabled People.

Over that time, the organisation has been through much growth, gaining in membership numbers, submissions, and finances.

There’s been some really hard stuff to deal with, the COVID response highlighted what a long way we have to go in the realisation of disabled people’s rights. Staff went over and above during this time to ensure that disabled people were considered in every aspect of the response.

There has also been a lot to celebrate, some highlights of the past nearly 4 years being: seeing the Election Access Fund bill passed – a bill first introduced by now DPA Policy Coordinator Mojo Mathers; the launch of Mahi Tika – Equity in Employment, modelling disabled leadership; DPA’s profile being raised;  and collaborations we have worked on such as the International Day of Disabled People 2022 with Disability Leadership Canterbury, Hei Whakapiki Mauri, and Whānau Whanake, as well as with the research around Disabled People’s Experiences of Transport for Waka Kotahi with MRCagney.

There is still plenty of work to do, and my departure is a fantastic opportunity for new leadership build on the momentum of the last few years.

I have been appointed to the position of Kaihautū Tika Hauātanga Disability Rights Commissioner for Te Kāhui Tika Tangata the Human Rights Commission. I would not have been thinking of moving on from DPA at this time, but I could not let this opportunity to further contribute to human rights pass by.

My sincere thanks and acknowledgement goes to all those who have supported my work with DPA and me personally; within DPA, my colleagues in the DPO Coalition, and our wider disabled community. In particular I must recognise those of you who have been at this work for much longer than I have who have paved the way.

Specifically, I give thanks to the National Executive Committee (NEC) I have worked with in my time and to Presidents Gerri Pomeroy, Nathan Bond, and Joanne Dacombe. I cannot thank enough the strong staff team that we now have, a team that I have confidence will support members to lead the organisation in to the future.

During my time left with DPA, I will be concentrating on finishing off bits of work I have started, ensuring that staff are equipped for a smooth transition, and that the NEC are supported well in recruiting a new CE. My final day with DPA will be Friday, June 2.

Mā te wā,


  • Due to the appointment of Prudence Walker as Kaihautū Tika Hauātanga Disability Rights Commissioner, we are now seeking a new Chief Executive - see Vacancy - DPA Chief Executive.