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Reserve Bank Of NZ Has That Extra Touch

10 October 2006

Reserve Bank Of NZ Has That Extra Touch

The Reserve Bank of NZ was presented with the Extra Touch Award by the Association of Blind Citizens of New Zealand (Association) in recognition of its commitment to ensure the new 10, 20 and 50 cent coins are easily identifiable by blind and vision impaired people.

Mr Alan Boaden, Silver Coin Project Manager received the award on behalf of the Reserve Bank of NZ at a presentation which occurred during the Association’s annual Conference in Christchurch on Saturday 7 October.

Clive Lansink, Vice President of the ABC NZ said “the Extra Touch Award is one of the Association’s most prestigious awards, and I am proud to be presenting this to the Reserve Bank of NZ. He went on to say “Alan Boaden has overseen a project which resulted in the Reserve Bank consulting extensively with this Association and the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind to ensure the new coins are accessible by blind and vision impaired citizens.”

The Extra Touch Award is aimed at recognising an outstanding contribution by an individual or organisation towards improvement in access or service to blind and vision impaired people living in New Zealand.

“From late 2004 through until early this year, the Reserve Bank of NZ has ensured that meeting the needs of New Zealand’s blind community remained at the fore of the issues it needed to resolve as it strove to finalise the new coinage” said Clive Lansink. He went on to say “this was consultation at its very best; not only was the Association in a position to influence the outcome, but in November 2005 Alan Boaden gave up an entire Sunday morning and met with the Association’s governing body.”

That discussion influenced the Reserve Bank to reassess the tactile nature of the 20 cent coin. It had its scientists analyse the tactile design and improved markedly upon the final sample. Because the tactile nature of the 20 cent coin is the benchmark for enabling a blind or vision impaired person to distinguish between the different denominations of new and existing coins, this last piece of work was, from the Association’s perspective, critical.

Clive concluded by saying “The Association applauds the Reserve Bank of NZ for its consultative approach, and for championing the rights of New Zealand’s blind and vision impaired population.”

Founded in 1945, the Association of Blind Citizens of New Zealand is New Zealand's oldest advocacy organisation in the disability sector and the largest, generic, blindness consumer organisation. The ABC NZ’s philosophy is "blind people speaking for ourselves". Its role is to advocate on behalf of its members to Government, providers of blindness and disability-specific services (including the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind) and providers of services where blind people have particular requirements that should be taken into account.

ENDS

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