Current News

Conference: Early Bird Rate Ending 11 August 2019

Reminder: The early bird rate to attend the 2019 Conference ends on the 11 August 2019

We appreciate that some OT’s may be waiting for funding from their respective DHB’s to attend, and would like to let them know that they can book now and pay up to two weeks from the conference which is from the 23-25 September 2019 at the Waipuna hotel in Auckland. In this way they can secure the early bird rate.

To register, and to find out more about accommodation and the agenda for the conference, head to:

We look forward to welcoming you to the unique experience that an OTNZ-WNA conference offers!

Updates/Reminders July 2019


Here are some exciting updates/reminders we would like to share:


Book now and pay later and secure the early bird rate for the OTNZ-WNA Conference and Tangata Whenua Hui

– To secure your early bird rate, and dinner ticket for the conference simply book at and place a $100 deposit with the balance to pay by 6 September 2019. (Early Bird ends 11 August 2019).
– To find more information about the tangata whenua hui, click here, or click here to register.


OTNZ-WNA membership

Renewal for 2019/20 expires 31 July 2019. Your ongoing support is vital to help us with the work we are doing to raise the profession’s profile and secure your future. Click here to renew now. E-mail us at [email protected] for enquiries.

Need insurance?

Click here for more information. Please note, the new indemnity insurance period began 1 July 2019.

“Free June edition of OT Insight. One of the many benefits in belonging to your professional association”

We warmly invite non-member practitioners to consider joining your professional association and to support the work we are doing to raise the professions profile. Click here to access just one of the many benefits  – a free version of the June edition of OT Insight.
For a full list of benefits click here.
We also encourage members to inform non- members and to extend an invitation to access this offer.  Furthermore, we take this opportunity to thank you for engaging with and being responsible for your profession through your membership support.

Membership renewal

Time flies! Don’t forget to renew your membership. Early Bird closes 30 June


Conference 2019 Super Early Bird ends 30 June 2019 – Book now!

Exciting News!: Congratulations to Gilbert Azuela

Exciting News!
We are proud to extend our congratulations to Gilbert Azuela, OTNZ-WNA council member tangata tiriti, who has landed a role with Te Pou as ‘Project Lead – Practice’.
This is a national role that will see Gilbert lead the successful delivery of a range of projects within the mental health and addiction Practice. The portfolio includes least restrictive practice initiatives, six core strategies in reducing seclusion and restraint, sensory modulation and the talking therapies.
Gilbert starts with Te Pou on 12th June which will allow him time to prepare for his PhD oral examination the following week – which will be another exciting milestone for our council member.

Exciting News!: Dr. Hinemoa Elder, one of our awesome 2019 Conference Keynote speakers, to receive MNZM (NZ Order of Merit)

Dr. Hinemoa Elder, one of our awesome 2019 Conference Keynote speakers,

to receive MNZM (NZ Order of Merit)


We would like to share in congratulating Dr. Hinemoa Elder, who among her many accolades is now a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit. Specialising in youth forensic psychiatry, neuropsychiatric assessment and treatment for Māori with traumatic brain injuries, Dr. Elder has also been involved in the development of mental health services, and has been the Māori strategic adviser for Brain Research New Zealand since 2016. She is a strong advocate for the use of Te Reo Māori across all fields, and we are very honoured that she will be one of the keynote speakers at our OTNZ-WNA 2019 Conference this September. Congratulations again on this recognition of your services.

He korero whakamihi tēnei ki a koe e Tākuta Hinemoa Elder mo tō whiwhingā o Te Tohu Tā, he korero whakamihi hoki tēnei ki a koe mo ō mahi.

(Congratulations Dr. Hinemoa Elder on your MNZM, and many thanks to you for your work).



Ref. NZ Herald:

Weekend Reading: May 2019 OTInsight Available!

Looking for something great to read this weekend?

Our May OTInsight is now available (free access for members). Click here to read it online.

(If you are not yet a member, join now to receive free access to all editions of the OTInsight  – get started by clicking here.)

(For current members: Please ensure you physical and e-mail addresses are up-to-date, as well as your OTInsight preferences, to ensure you receive a copy.)


Early bird membership for 2019-2020 has begun

OTNZ-WNA membership subscriptions are essential to enable your association to lobby and raise the profile of the profession, offer super competitive insurance, provide an annual PD event, connect you to communities of common interest, produce both scientific and social publications and keep you informed and up-to-date.

We’re pleased to announce that the early bird membership renewal stage has now started and that there are no price increases this year. To renew your membership, click here (you will need to log in first). If you would like to join OTNZ-WNA for the first time or rejoin after a break, you can still take advantage of the early bird pricing by clicking here.

We look forward to your support so that we can achieve even more in these opportune, challenging and exciting times for Occupational Therapists.

Ngā Mihi

Peter Anderson
Executive Director – OTNZ-WNA

Exciting Learning Opportunity: Watch the PERFORM Pilot Online Seminar (HASANZ with PhysioScholar)

PERFORM – Pilot Seminar (HASANZ, with PhysioScholar – Online Seminar)
We have an exciting opportunity for OT’s who missed out to watch the pilot PERFORM online seminar (held on the 18th of March 2019) through the link provided below by HASANZ, to watch and bring themselves up to speed in their own time.
To watch, go to this link:
For all non-PhysioScholar attendees, use the following log-in details:
Username: HASANZ-webinar
Password: G%9b%77BKu

Dr Mary Butler Promoted to Professor at Otago Polytechnic

Wonderful news

We are delighted to learn that Dr Mary Butler from Otago Polytechnic has been promoted to the role of Professor.
Our heartfelt congratulations Mary, we are all very proud of you.

Dr Mary Butler

Choosing Wisely Forum 10 May 2019

We are pleased to share that our president tangata tiriti Harsh Vardhan will be leading the allied health and pharmacy group to this forum.

The association supports choosing wisely and encourages member participation. To learn more see draft agenda.

Click here to attend.

Vacancy Assistant Manager – Business development

We have a unique opportunity for an Occupational Therapist – Kaiwhakaora Ngangahau to join our team at Occupational Therapy Whakaora Ngangahau Aotearoa (OTNZ-WNA).

The role initially will be for a fixed term role of 9 months, with hours of work being 15 – 20 hours.

For more information click here

Abstract Submissions for the 2019 Occupational Therapy Whakaora Ngangahau Conference is now open

The Permanent Scientific Programme Committee warmly invite you to submit an abstract for the 22- 25 September 2019 Conference at the Waipuna Conference Centre Auckland
The overarching vision for the 2019 Conference is Tu mai e nga rangatira, tu mai hei mataariki, tu tei tirohanga mo te ao / Leaders: Stand, be seen & shine.

The following Conference themes have been developed to showcase this vision and we welcome abstracts to reflect:
Leading others / Te ārahi i te tangata kē
Leading practice / Te ārahi i ngā mahi tiaki
Leading research / Te ārahi rangahau
Leading innovation / Te ārahi auahatanga
Occupational therapists as leaders / Ngā kaiwhakaora ngangahau hei kaihautū
Leading in partnership / Te ārahi i roto i te mahi kōtui
Pathways to the present / Ngā ara o mua iho ki nāianei
Leaders leading leaders / Te kaihautū hei ārahi i te kaihautū
Leadership and equity / Te hautū me te ōritetanga

Education / Te Mātauranga
Children & families / Ngā tamariki & ngā whānau
Adults / Ngā Pakeke
Mental health / Te hauora hinengaro
Physical health / Te hauora tinana
Kaupapa Māori / Ngā Kaupapa Māori
Indigenous services / Ngā ratonga iwi taketake
Older adults / Ngā pakeke kaumātua ake
Community / Te Hapori
Consumer engagement / Te tūhono ki te kiritaki
Health and societal systems / Ngā pūnaha hauora, pāpori hoki
Occupational therapy profession / Te tira ngaio o ngā kaiwhakaora ngangahau
Aoteaora New Zealand society / Te pāpori o Aotearoa New Zealand
The Association’s Te Tiriti relationship model of weaving tangata whenua and tangata tiriti in true partnership under which Te Tiriti o Waitangi was intended. We therefore, invite abstracts that incorporate leadership from a tangata whenua perspective revealing the authentic aspects of being leaders/rangatira.

Abstracts close on 5 April 2019. For full information on submission types, tips and abstract templates and how to apply for funding to attend the 2019 Conference follow this link –

To submit an abstract go to


Congratulations Dr Mary Silcock on being invited to the WHO Rehab Competency Framework working group

As part of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Rehabilitation 2030 initiative and a global ‘Call for Action’, to support low- and middle-income countries develop effective, sustainable approaches to strengthening their rehabilitation workforce, the World Federation of Occupational Therapy (WFOT) were approached to join a working committee to develop a comprehensive rehabilitation competency framework.  The working committee is made up of delegates from international associations representing occupational therapy, physiotherapy, rehabilitative medicine, logopedics and phoniatrics (communication, hearing and swallowing/eating), nursing, and prosthetics/orthotics. 


With support from OTNZ-WNA and OTBNZ Dr Mary Silcock applied to be considered as the WFOT delegate and we are delighted to advise that Mary has recently received an invitation to be part of the working group.  Work will commence early 2019 and Mary will keep us updated on its progress.

Congratulations to Georgina Davis president tangata whenua for winning the Kete Aronui Award

Congratulations to Georgina Davis president tangata whenua who won the Kete Aronui Award at the recent Nga Pou Mana Huia a Tau.

“The Ngā Pou Mana Postgraduate award winner was Georgina. Her passion for her work as an Occupational Therapist is why she is hoping to learn more in her field. Georgina’s perspective on health, that it is health holistic; that there are many components to a person’s health and spirituality is just as important as any other area. Georgina feels that for her to best support Māori, there has to be a merging of the western world and Te Āo Māori in practice”  

Innovative Clinical Reasoning in an Evidence Based World – free seminar

Otago Polytechnic are excited to have Dr Angela Benfield at the school for one  week in January.

You are invited to join a workshop on Innovative Clinical Reasoning in an Evidence Based World

For full details follow this link


Media coverage of Hazel Skilton Founder’s award winner Jane Wilson

We are delighted to share the following  press coverage of Jane Wilson our Hazel Skilton Founder’s award winner.

Invitation to participate in a Steering Group led by the World Health Organisation

Message from Tracey Partridge WFOT Delegate


Please read the following important message sent by Marilyn Pattison, President of  WFOT which invites those interested in participating in a Steering Group about a Competency Rehabilitation Framework led by the World Health Organisation to send their CV to the WFOT.

Dear Colleagues,


WHO has informed us that the work towards the development of the WHO Rehabilitation Competency Framework is progressing well. Thanks to an enthusiastic response to the ‘Call for Frameworks’, which was complemented through database and internet searches, WHO now have a wide variety of frameworks from which information is being extracted. At the next stage, decisions regarding the structure and content of the framework will need to be made and it is critical that key rehabilitation workforce stakeholders are engaged. To ensure that this occurs through a systematic and robust process, WHO is establishing a dedicated Steering Group who will:


  • provide expert opinion on the competency framework structure, language, scope and content to ensure that it achieves its intended aims;
  • help coordinate the dissemination of drafts for peer review by relevant organizations; and
  • support the translation of feedback into concrete and meaningful recommendations.


Further details of the Steering Group’s role and mandate can be found in the attached ToR Steering Group Rehabilitation Competency Framework document. We would be most grateful if you could nominate members to participate in the group. Nominated members should be familiar with competency frameworks (or competency models/standards) and their applications and ideally have been engaged in competency-based approaches in a professional capacity. Please note that while we are asked to put forward several nominees, it is likely that only one nominee from WFOT will be invited to participate in the group.


Respecting that members’ time is valuable, the need for travel will be limited and online platforms including email and Web-Ex will be used to communicate (although one face-to-face meeting will be held in Geneva, Switzerland mid-2019 in conjunction with the next Rehabilitation 2030 meeting). Given ‘face time’ will be limited, it is particularly important that members are engaged with the process and are able to dedicate time to reviewing materials and participating in discussions.


WHO would like to convene the Steering Group for its first online meeting in early December, we would therefore request that the CVs of nominated candidates are sent to [email protected] by 15 November 2018.


Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. I look forward to receiving your nominations.


Kind regards,



Marilyn Pattison, Dip.COT(UK), B.App.Sc(OT), MBA, WFOT
World Federation of Occupational Therapists
[email protected]


Congratulations to Professor Valerie Wright St. Clair

On behalf of the council and staff of the New Zealand Association of Occupational Therapy Whakaora Ngangahau Aotearoa and all its members, we send warm congratulations to Valerie Wright St. Clair who was recently promoted to the position of full professor. Valerie has worked hard for the profession, and we are so very proud of her wonderful, and well deserved achievement. Valerie we wish you every success and fulfilment in your new role.

Taking Occupational Therapy Whakaora Ngangahau to another level with stroke patients

Tēnā koe Lynn Faulkner for sending us the 7Sharp video clip of ‘Fur mum Occupational Therapist Kerry McKiernan and Olle who are taking Occupational Therapy to another level with stroke patients’ at Hutt Hospital. “He aha tīma”

World OT Day message from Tracey Partridge

Kia ora koutou,

I hope you have all had a great week celebrating our “doing profession” for OT Week and that you have incorporated the World Occupational Therapy Day theme “Celebrating our Global Community” into your week – both great themes which recognise our work.

My main message is to remind you of the WFOT Virtual Exchange online interactive event tomorrow.

The #WFOTVX will be a series of one hour webinars hosted in different time zones throughout 2018 and 2019. They will also be available to download as a podcast.

Schedule (more dates and links will be added)

Date: 27th October

Title: Launch of World Occupational Therapy Day 2018

Overview: Join Marilyn Pattison, WFOT President on the 27 October for a dedicated online session to launch World Occupational Therapy Day 2018. Learn more about the World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT) and its role in promoting and representing the professional globally. This is interactive webinar that will be hosted live from Kazakhstan (ALMT) at 17.00hrs

For local time visit   Location 1) Select your city Location 2) Select “Astana”

Access the event via this link:

I hope you enjoy it!
Ngā mihi

Tracey Partridge| WFOT Delegate

Occupational Therapy New Zealand | Whakaora Ngangahau Aotearoa

Doing therapy – published article

It has been a busy week being OT week. Harsh Vardhan president tangata tiriti was interviewed by a journalist from who was very interested to hear about what makes us unique, especially in terms of ‘doing’ therapy. The published interview can be found at:


Media release – Occupational Therapy Week / Te Wiki o Te Whakaora Ngangahau

Occupational Therapy Week / Te Wiki o Te Whakaora Ngangahau

22-26 October 2018

Every year in October, New Zealand Occupational Therapists celebrate Occupational Therapy Week and World Occupational Therapy Day.

We are proud to announce that Te Wiki o Te Whakaora Ngangahau 2018 (Occupational Therapy Week 2018) is Whakaora Ngangahau “Te Umanga Mahi” / Occupational Therapy “the doing profession”

To help celebrate Occupational Therapy Week, 22-26th October 2018, and World Occupational Therapy day on 27th October 2018, a toolkit and resources has been developed by Occupational Therapy New Zealand Whakaora Ngangahau Aotearoa (OTNZ-WNA), to equip our Occupational Therapists from around the country to reach out to colleagues, communities, and the general public to help showcase some of the wonderful work they do.

On a daily basis, occupational therapists assist people to improve their well-being and quality of life. They treat injured, ill or disabled patients through the therapeutic use of everyday activities and help these patients develop, recover and improve the skills needed for daily living and working. Most people are unaware just how diverse occupational therapists are.

OTNZ-WNA: OTNZ-WNA is the professional association for occupational therapists in New Zealand.


For more information visit or contact Peter Anderson – Executive Director: [email protected] nz  phone 04 473 6510

Important announcement from TE RAU MATATINI


Are you Māori  and work in the health sector?

Do you know that by completing the Māori Health Workforce Survey: Te Iti me te Rahi, 

will help us grow the Māori health workforce?

Please complete Te Iti me te Rahi and share amongst your friends and Whānau

Ministry second-tier changes update takes effect 15 Oct 2018

News article

11 October 2018

Director-General of Health, Dr Ashley Bloomfield has recently reviewed the way the Ministry business units or directorates are organised at the second-tier level and, following a three week consultation period with Ministry staff, he has made some changes to the structure that affect some roles at tier two.

“The new structure, along with the changes to the way the Ministry works, is intended to ensure we can successfully deliver on the Government’s priorities for health and disability support services and our sector leadership role,” says Dr Bloomfield.

“Both the structure and the operating model will help to ensure that the Ministry’s work programme is well led and governed.

I have confirmed some people into Executive Leadership Team roles and announced some acting appointments, which take effect from 15 October:

  • Chief Medical Officer, Dr Andy Simpson
  • Acting Chief Nursing Officer, Dr Jill Clendon
  • Acting DDG Corporate Services, Tina Wakefield
  • Acting DDG System Strategy and Policy, Todd Krieble
  • Acting DDG Mental Health and Addiction, Maree Roberts
  • Acting DDG Māori Health, Alison Thom
  • Acting DDG Population Health and Prevention, Dr William Rainger
  • Acting DDG Health System Improvement and Innovation, Keriana Brooking
  • Acting DDG Disability, Mat Parr
  • Acting DDG DHB Performance, Support and Infrastructure, Stephen O’Keefe
  • Acting DDG Data and Digital, Ann-Marie Cavanagh
  • Acting DDG Health Workforce, Helen Wood
  • Acting Director, Office of the Director-General, Monique Burrows
  • Chief Allied Health Professions Officer position remains vacant
  • Director Auckland Health Services Planning and Support position remains vacant

A recruitment process to fill any remaining new or vacant roles has commenced this week.”

Find out more about the second-tier changes in the decision document.

View the new Executive Leadership Team.


OT Week Online Toolkit 23-26 October 2018

Please join us in celebrating OT Week worldwide!

Occupational therapy week is our annual week-long celebration of occupational therapy. This year our theme for Occupational Therapy Week is “the doing profession

We would like to acknowledge and thank our sponsors ‘Permobil NZ’ for their great support of our industry.

This toolkit has been developed to encourage activities amongst colleagues and the general public and of course to have fun on Occupational Therapy Week!

Stay connected with us via Social media  – share your awesome images with us.  Follow your colleagues across the country on Facebook –

Connect in to – Online interactive events 27 October WFOT Virtual Exchange –

See here also a link to the WFOT presentation –

Share your Occupational Therapy stories and successes with friends, family and colleagues

Please remember to email us photos, articles, links, videos of interest to:  [email protected]

We look forward to hearing from you!

Ngaa mihi the OTNZ-WNA team:)

OT Week 2018 Poster

Occupational Therapy Week 2018 PowerPoint final

Bunting final



Mental Health on global agenda & extension for Mental Health and Addictions Inquiry Report

Summit puts mental health on global agenda

  • Dr David Clark

Health Minister Dr David Clark says the first ever Global Ministerial Mental Health Summit has ended with a commitment to improve mental health worldwide and challenge stigma and discrimination.

Overnight New Zealand endorsed the Global Declaration on Achieving Equality for Mental Health in the 21st Century, which acknowledges that everyone has the right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.

“Over the course of the two day summit in London it was clear that New Zealand is far from alone in grappling with its response to mental health issues,” David Clark says.

“Mental health is a global challenge. It affects every country, every community and every family. The Declaration is a line in the sand – an acknowledgement that we can and must do better in protecting and promoting mental health and wellbeing.

“One key theme that emerged at the Summit was the importance of looking beyond mental health services and systems to community led responses. We need to listen to local communities about their needs and about their solutions.

“We need to enable and support conversations about mental health at every level of our society. And we need to build on efforts such as our own current Mental Health Awareness Week and the  “Like Minds, Like Mine” campaign that promote a healthy and respectful discussion about mental health.

“The Summit highlighted for me the importance of the work of the independent Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction (which is due to report back next month).

“The Inquiry received more than 5500 submissions and held 400 meetings – we need to listen to those voices as we prepare the Government’s response,” says David Clark.

Short extension for delivery of Mental Health and Addictions Inquiry Report

Dr David Clark


The Health Minister Dr David Clark says Cabinet has agreed to grant a short extension of time for the independent Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction to report back to Government.

David Clark said the Inquiry Panel Chair Ron Paterson asked for a one-month extension to ensure proper consideration of the more than 5500 submissions received and the information gathered at 400 meetings and public forums.

“This is a hugely important piece of work in a priority area for this Government and it will inform policy for many years to come. Cabinet agreed that we need to give the panel the time to properly consider what New Zealanders have told them and to do the job right,” David Clark said.

The Inquiry was to have reported back by October 31 but will now report back by November 30.


Congratulations! Hutt DHB OT Kerry McKiernan ‘animal-assistance pilot a success for stroke patients’

CONGRATULATIONS! Hutt DHB OT Kerry McKiernan and her dog Ollie after extensive training are taking stroke therapy to new levels.

Like many occupational therapists, Kerry McKiernan works with stroke patients but it’s her different – and animal-centric – approach that is helping set her apart.

For the past few months, she’s been joined on the ward by her chocolate labrador Ollie, an animal-assistance dog trained to work with those recovering from a stroke.

“When someone’s had a stroke it can affect many different things, the physical and the cognitive, so as an occupational therapist I look at how those things impact someone’s functional tasks like getting dressed and going to work. McKiernan said.

“With Ollie, what we do is we’ll work on a particular thing that has been caused by the stroke, something like poor coordination.”

One of McKiernan’s patients at Hutt Hospital, Hapeti Pringle, was a swift convert to the therapy, having had experience with dogs as well as a desire to give her all to rehabilitation.

“I don’t even realise I’m doing it … it goes so fast and you fall in love with him [Ollie] so quickly,” Pringle said.  “He makes my day when he comes in.”

During a typical session with Pringle, McKiernan would outline a specific goal, or goals, to work on, using Ollie to help facilitate the necessary movements.

“What we get her to do is lean over and stroke Ollie, brush him and put treats down. What that is doing is building up that confidence … and from there we are able to move on to tasks like putting shoes on.

“With Ollie, it’s purposeful movement so if you’re throwing a ball you’re still getting the same movement but it’s through something meaningful.

She said being able to play with Ollie, while also getting therapeutic benefits, meant patients were more likely to stick with the necessary tasks.

“It motivates people to do a lot more and I think people aren’t concentrating on having to do a certain number of exercise or else my arm won’t work.”

The pilot scheme at Hutt Hospital is one of the first to have been undertaken in New Zealand, with McKiernan’s aim to see similar programmes established elsewhere.

“We’re not advocating for people to bring their own dogs into work to do this … but at the end of this, I want to put together some guidelines around animal-assisted therapy and stroke rehab and eventually put out an educational tool for therapists in New Zealand.

Stoke Foundation chief executive Mark Vivian was supportive of her work and said it was “awesome” to hear how well it was going.

“We’re finding that stroke is on the public radar a lot more now, and people are thinking up new ways to spread the messages and help stroke survivors.”

With this week being Stroke Week, he said it was a good time for Kiwis to think about their risk of stroke and be proactive in easy health checks.

“One of the best things you can do to lower your risk of stroke is to get a blood pressure check – high blood pressure is the number one cause of stroke. Takes a couple of minutes but could make a lifetime of difference.”

The Stroke Foundation is holding its annual Big Blood Pressure Check on Saturday, where you can get a free blood pressure check at participating Pak’N Save and New World supermarkets.


Disability grants round opening! Workforce Development Grant & Community Leadership Grants open 1 Oct! !

Disability grants round opening! Workforce Development Grant & Community Leadership Grants open today!

Te Pou o te Whakaaro Nui offers grant funding for disability services, disabled people and family/whānau to take part in workforce and leadership development activities. Applications for the workforce development grant and the consumer leadership development grant will open on Monday, 1 October and will remain open until 12pm (midday) on Friday, 26 October. Apply for these grants through our online grants portal.

Top tertiary teacher – adding humanity into teaching medicine

The teaching, academic, strategic and diplomatic powerhouse Faumuina Fa’afetai Sopoaga won the $30,000 award at Ako Aotearoa’s recent Tertiary Teaching Excellence Awards.

The Associate Professor and Division of Health Sciences’ Associate Dean (Pacific) was also the first recipient of the Endorsement for Supporting Pacific Learner Success.

Faumuina Fa’afetai Sopoaga

The award was in recognition of the huge difference Sopoaga has made to how Pacific Health is taught at Otago Medical School and across all the health sciences at the University of Otago; as well as helping all medical students to ‘better doctor’ in our multi-cultural society.

Otago Medical School dean Professor Peter Crampton described her contribution to Pacific curriculum development and to the academic and pastoral care of Pacific students as “truly exceptional”.

Sopoaga developed a successful programme for strengthening students’ clinical skills when working with Pacific patients. The Pacific Health Day has enabled 80 fifth year medical students to conduct basic screening health checks for the Pacific community.

And in a world first – she led developments resulting in a division-wide Pacific health curriculum endorsed in 2016, with the same learning outcomes for medicine, physiotherapy, dentistry, pharmacy and across health sciences programmes.

‘Discriminatory’ disability law to be repealed, family care policy changed – Government

The Government will repeal a disability law described as a “shame on society” and overhaul its policy on paying families who care for their disabled loved ones.

Health Minister David Clark and associate minister James Shaw announced the decision today, after a long campaign by families and human rights groups for fairer treatment.

Clark said Cabinet had agreed to consider changes to the way it pays families – a policy known as Funded Family Care – with options and timeframes for changes to be presented to ministers later this year.

Ideally, that would mean spouses and parents could be paid for looking after their disabled family members -currently they are not – and payments would be fairer and easier to access.

It also agreed to repeal Part 4A of the NZ Public Health and Disability Act, which underpins the policy, and also bans families taking discrimination cases about it to court.


“In particular, Part 4A has been inconsistent with human rights legislation because it denies families the right to complain about breaches of their human rights relating to family care policies.”

June Rameka has spent a lifetime fighting for fair payment for caring for her daughter Maraea. Photo / Alan Gibson

Party 4A was rushed through under urgency by the former government in 2013 in a bid to stop a steady flow of discrimination cases – which it kept losing – in court.

It was a decision met with outrage by families and human rights experts.

Law professor Andrew Geddis labelled the move “constitutionally outrageous” as it effectively placed the government above the law.

In its pre-election manifesto, Labour said it would repeal the legislation, and that it would ensure all family caregivers could “provide and be paid for assessed care for their disabled adult family member”.

After Labour was elected, disability groups petitioned for the law to be overturned, and then earlier this year, a group of families known as the King plaintiffs told their stories to the Herald in an effort to hold the Labour Government to its word.

The family’s stories and the challenges they faced were acknowledged in today’s announcement.

“The previous government’s Funded Family Care policy has been a nightmare for the families involved,” Shaw said.


Over the next couple of months the Government would run targeted consultation with affected families and stakeholders on the key issues within Funded Family Care.

Consultation would cover issues of eligibility, pay rates for carers, the employment relationship, and the type of care covered.

Clark said consultation was needed to ensure any new system is durable and has enough flexibility to meet everyone’s needs.

“For example, most family carers don’t want to be employed by their disabled child or a disabled family member they live with, but some do,” he said.

A lawyer for the King plaintiffs, Simon Judd, said the announcement was “fantastic news”.

While their compensation case seeking redress for historic non-payment or underpayment would go ahead, changes to the policy were very welcome, he said.

Law professor Andrew Geddis said it was “exceptionally pleasing” the Government had decided to address the issue.

“The original legislation was a stain on New Zealand’s constitutional history,” he said. “It’s to be hoped the policy that’s developed will treat these vulnerable New Zealanders in a far fairer and more humane way.”

A brief history of family care

2000: Discrimination complaint lodged with the Human Rights Commission about the Government’s refusal to pay family carers.

2005: The complaint is unable to be resolved and is lodged with the Human Rights Review Tribunal.

2010:The Atkinson claim is upheld by the Human Rights Review Tribunal, finding that excluding payments to carers of disabled family members was discriminatory and in breach of human rights.

2010:An appeal by the Ministry of Health is dismissed by the High Court.

2012: An appeal by the Ministry of Health is dismissed by the Court of Appeal.

2012: The government announces it will not appeal the Atkinson case to the Supreme court. It instead plans policy to address the issue.

2013:Part 4A of the NZ Public Health and Disability Act 2000 is rushed through on Budget night under urgency. It underpins a limited Funded Family Care policy, and outlaws any further court cases.

2016: Margaret Spencer, the mother of an adult disabled man, is awarded $200,000 compensation by the High Court for discrimination, for the years the Ministry of Health refused to pay her for her work.

2017: The Human Rights Commission complaints of seven families are bundled together as the King case, and put forward as a compensation case to the High Court.

2018: Shane Chamberlain and his mum Diane Moody win their case, which argued the Ministry of Health had wrongly assessed the number of hours Diane should be paid for looking after Shane.

2018: King Plaintiffs speak out about their case, and call for Part 4A to be repealed.

2018: Government announces its intention to repeal Part 4A and making a new Funded Family Care policy.

Source: NZ Herald



OTNZ-WNA 2018 Council members

Congratulations to Harsh Vardhan President Tangata Tiriti, Georgina Davis President Tangata Whenua and Council Members – Joy Aiton, Gilbert Azuela, Julia Battersby, Penny Ngaheu and Tracey Partridge. To out going council members Sharon (Shaz) Bryant and Carolyn Paddy,  thank you very much for your commitment, dedication and hard work over the past term from the OTNZ-WNA staff and members.


Congratulations! Jane Wilson esteemed Hazel Skilton Award Winner 2018

Congratulations Jane Wilson winner of the esteemed Hazel Skilton Award!  Jane, an icon in the industry has also served in the role of former OTNZ-WNA President.  Jane’s hard work and dedication to her role contributed to the success that the association enjoys today.  We honor and acknowledge Jane’s extensive contribution and years of commitment to the association and the Occupational Therapy industry.

Thank you for your years of devotion. Well done Jane!

AUT Neurologist receives Australian Excellence Award for Stroke Risk App

The AUT neurologist behind a stroke risk app translated into 14 languages took out this year’s Excellence in Stroke Award for Australasia.

Professor Valery Feigin received the award last month at the annual conference of the Stroke Society of Australasia in recognition of his innovative contribution to stroke prevention.

Feigin, director of AUT’s National Institute for Stroke and Applied Neuroscience, said he was honoured to receive the award and took it as recognition of the work his team and himself had undertaken in the primary prevention of stroke.

In 2014 the team launched the Stroke Riskometer™  – a free mobile app that uses a series of 20 evidence-based questions to evaluate a person’s risk of stroke within the next five to 10 years.

The app – that aims to educate people about the warning signs and risk factors of stroke and motivate them to change their behaviour – has been translated into 14 languages and downloaded more than 150,000 times in 78 countries with Czech and Bulgarian languages to be available soon.

Users of the app can also choose to anonymously opt into the RIBURST (Reducing the International Burden of Stroke Using Mobile Technology) study which involves 300 stroke researchers in 102 countries and now has more than 12,000 participants.

Feigin said deaths and disability from stroke  – and the number of people requiring rehabilitation – was ever-increasing. “The demand for already overstretched health resources is growing fast and may even threaten the sustainability of the entire health system,” he believed.

“Even if we increase the number of hospital beds and health professionals we won’t solve the problem, because the number of people who require help is growing much faster than the funding available.”

He said the results of a recent randomised controlled trial suggested that widespread use of the Riskometer app in New Zealand could prevent about 300 strokes and save $25 million annually.

Feigin there are major gaps in the current primary prevention strategies. He believed the emphasis needed to shift from high-risk prevention to population-wide prevention and mobile technologies offer promising new ways to bridge the divide. “The only solution is effective primary prevention”.

Stroke Riskometer is supported by the Stroke Foundation of New Zealand and endorsed by the World Stroke Organisation, World Federation of Neurology and World Heart Federation.

Source Health Central NZ news 15 September


Extract below from AUT News – 15 September 2018

Professor Valery Feigin, an internationally renowned neurologist at AUT, is the recipient of this year’s Excellence in Stroke Award in recognition of his ground-breaking contribution to stroke prevention.

The award was presented by the Stroke Society of Australasia at an international conference held in Sydney last month.

Professor Feigin is the director of the National Institute for Stroke and Applied Neurosciences at AUT, which conducts epidemiological studies and clinical trials to improve the health of people with neurological disorders.

“I was extremely pleased and honoured to receive this prestigious award. I take it as recognition of the work that my team and I have undertaken in the primary prevention of stroke,” he says.

In 2014, they launched the Stroke Riskometer™ – a free mobile app that assesses your individual risk of stroke within the next five to 10 years. The app aims to educate people about the warning signs and risk factors of stroke and motivate them to change their behaviour.

Users are guided through a simple interactive quiz that evaluates age, gender, ethnicity, diet, lifestyle, stress and other health factors. Purchasing the pro version unlocks the ability to save and track results and access expert advice on how to reduce and manage the risk of stroke.

The Stroke Riskometer™ has been translated into 14 languages and downloaded more than 150,000 times in 78 countries. Czech and Bulgarian language versions will be available soon.

Users can also opt to participate in the world’s largest collaborative mobile health project by anonymously submitting their results through the app. The RIBURST study – Reducing the International Burden of Stroke Using Mobile Technology – involves 300 stroke researchers in 102 countries and now has more than 12,000 participants.

The global burden of stroke is high and increasing further. Unless immediate action is taken, it will become an even more serious and unmanageable threat to public health.

In New Zealand, the direct cost of stroke is estimated at NZ$700 million annually. This does not include indirect costs of the disease, such as loss of productivity and out-of-pocket expenses.

“Death and disability from stroke and the number of people requiring rehabilitation is ever-increasing. The demand for already overstretched health resources is growing fast and may even threaten the sustainability of the entire health system,” says Professor Feigin.

“Even if we increase the number of hospital beds and health professionals we won’t solve the problem, because the number of people who require help is growing much faster than the funding available.”

One in six people will experience a stroke. It is now the second leading cause of death and disability worldwide – yet more than 80 percent of strokes could be prevented.

In New Zealand, the results of a recent randomised control trial suggest that widespread use of the Stroke Riskometer™ could prevent about 300 strokes and save NZ$25 million annually.

Studies show that even people who have suffered a stroke don’t know what the risk factors are.

Professor Feigin says there are major gaps in the current primary prevention strategies. He believes the emphasis needs to shift from high-risk prevention to population-wide prevention and mobile technologies offer promising new ways to bridge the divide.

“The only solution is effective primary prevention. And, I am so pleased to receive this award as recognition of our work to reduce the burden of stroke nationally and internationally.”

The free version of the Stroke Riskometer™ is endorsed by the World Stroke Organisation, World Federation of Neurology and World Heart Federation.

Palmer ACC plan creates more inequities

Sir Geoffrey Palmer wants substantial reform of the Accident Compensation Corporation. He believes it is unfair and plain wrong that a person injured in an accident is treated more generously than one “laid low by cancer, a heart attack or stroke”.

There is, of course, some merit in that argument. It can seem a nonsense that a person who is injured in the pursuit of high-risk adventure is covered while another who finds themselves incapacitated, through no fault of their own, by disability or illness does not enjoy the same protection.

Palmer says drawing a line between such things is difficult and unfair. He’s right.

But talk of addressing that perceived inequity skips over the potential consequences for the country, the economy and those he supports. It also ignores how the market has moved on to help fill the void Palmer highlights.

A system covering not only injury but also illness would require many more billions of dollars in funding and levies, meaning a substantial drain on the economy and businesses that support it.

Also, many Kiwis have themselves noted the gaps and perceived inadequacies of the country’s health system and arranged health insurance. For some it is a recognition of the need for more personal responsibility.

Not everyone is able to make that financial sacrifice, and others are born with ailments and disabilities not covered by insurance.

For those people, Palmer’s concept of a “single unified system” would help, but wouldn’t it make sense to invest more in a robust, responsive health system that could deliver this anyway, and without the potential burden of another separate, de facto funding body taking money from surgeons, specialists, doctors and nurses?

ACC is not perfect. Far from it. Some reform is needed to make it fairer, but minister Iain Lees-Galloway should think very carefully if the Palmer option ever makes it on to his desk.

The Dominion Post Sept 12 2018

OTNZ-WNA 2018 AGM Election of officers

Election of officers Election statements

OT Insight August 2018

Three nominations were received for two vacancies in the positons of councillor at large tangata tiriti

Joy Aiton –

I am an occupational therapist with 30 years’ experience and would like to be re-elected to OTNZ–WNA Council for a second term. I have had the opportunity to experience a broad range of specialisms during my varied career as an occupational therapist in the UK, USA and New Zealand including: • mental health • paediatrics • assistive technology • wheelchairs and seating • community • residential support service • brain injury and I currently work as clinical manager, Occupational Therapy West Coast. With a changing focus in health care, we, as occupational therapists have the opportunity to lead some of these changes and be at the forefront of new service developments. I have had experiences that enable me to participate in the leadership and governance role of council, but am also keen to learn, grow and support the future development of the profession of occupational therapy in New Zealand.

Christine Pacey

Nga mihi mai i te pokapū Greetings from Central Otago Ko Campsy Glen te māunga My mountain is Campsy Glen Ko Clyde te awa My river is Clyde Ko Emirates te waka My boat was Emirates Nō Glasgow ahau I am from Glasgow For the last 6 years I have worked as a Care Coordinator for the Otago Community Hospice based in Central Otago. My job is to assist people who have been diagnosed as having less than one year to live, to live well and make the most of each day. Symptom management and advanced care planning can relieve stress for both the patient and their whānau. Education on fatigue or pain management, moving and handling, funeral planning are all components of work which I feel privileged to undertake. In 1986, I qualified in Glasgow with a Diploma in Occupational Therapy. With further study in Edinburgh I received my Occupational Therapy Degree in 1996. In 2014, I gained a Post Graduate Certificate in Palliative Care and I have just finished a Masters in Health Science endorsed in Palliative Care.

I previously worked in community rehabilitation and housing modifications. I spent 13 years in private practice in the lower half of the South Island and ran my own rehabilitation company providing assessment and rehabilitation. I held several management positions in the United Kingdom for a number of years which exposed me to managing large budgets for disability service provision. I was confirmed in my role as Research and Development Portfolio Holder at the New Zealand Association of Occupational Therapists’ AGM in October 2006 which was a two-year appointment. I moved from this role to treasurer and continued on until my 6 year term was complete. Now a ‘few’ years on I would like to return. I am committed to ongoing professional development and to continuing improvement in assessment and rehabilitation services provided to rural communities. I would like to see the profession gain a higher profile in order to promote a wider understanding both within the population of New Zealand and internationally. I would also like to see occupational therapists move into other less traditional roles such as palliative care. I am impressed by the new Treaty Relationship Governance Model and look forward to sharing my skills and enthusiasm, working under this model and honouring the Te Tiriti O Waitangi/Treaty of Waitangi. Tena koutou, Tena koutou, Tena koutou

Gilbert Azuela

My name is Gilbert Azuela. I am a specialist in the area of occupational therapy practice with extensive professional experiences as a clinician, leader, coordinator, advisor, facilitator, and educator. I am currently finalising a PhD at the School of Clinical Sciences, Auckland University of Technology. I work as clinical adviser in mental health and reintegration at the service development, national office, Department of Corrections.

I am contracted by the department to develop mental health and reintegration services in New Zealand. There are four areas of work: Improving mental health service in prisons and community probations; a wraparound family service; supported living through transitional accommodation houses; and social worker and counsellor services in the three women’s prisons. I provide support for successful implementation of the programmes in prisons and community probations across New Zealand, and I’m responsible for quality monitoring of all key performance indicators and clinical quality standards of these programmes. For a number of years I have had a strong interest in occupational therapy. I have worked in different health and disability sectors both government and non-government organisations where I developed resilience and increased capacity to sustain good judgement and decision making even in a most challenging situations in providing advice and directions to various stakeholders.

I have been involved in leading and facilitating local and national projects to support mental health and addiction workforce development such as smoking cessation, sensory modulation, motivational interviewing, and intentional practice model. As a trained educator, I have remained passionate working with people to support them to achieve their full potential by providing clinical supervision, coaching and mentoring. I use holistic, client-family centric, rehabilitative and communityoriented approaches using contemporary, outcome-focused and evidence-based methods. I am a member of the advocacy governance committee of Occupational Therapy New Zealand Whakaora Ngangahau Aotearoa. I would like to further collaborate with the association and contribute towards its strategic goals. I trust that by joining the council I can extend my support to the future direction and development of the occupational therapy profession.

Proxy Voting – AGM 2018

Any Full*/Life/Honorary Life member who is not able to attend the annual General meeting (AGM) is entitled to authorise a proxy vote on their behalf. Anyone wishing to avail themselves of this right should download the form here and give it to a person who is attending.

Notice of appointment of proxy for: I Being a full*/life/honorary life member of Occupational Therapy New Zealand Whakaora Ngangahau Aotearoa (Inc), hereby authorise: Also a full*/life/honorary life member of Occupational Therapy New Zealand Whakaora Ngangahau Aotearoa (Inc) to exercise a proxy vote on my behalf at the Associations AGM being held at the Napier Conference Centre, 48 Marine Parade, on Tuesday 18 September 2018.

Please note that there is no limit to the number of proxy votes a full*/life/honorary life member attending the Annual General Meeting can hold. However a quorum must be achieved first for the vote to be counted. *Full members include the following memberships; Full, Proportional, First Professional year and Minor Proportional member.

Successful outcomes for Toitū Hauora Leadership Summit Dunedin this week! + OTNZ-WNA delegation presented our treaty relationship governance model to the PNZ National Executive

Toitū Hauora Leadership Summit took place at Te Wai Pounamu, on the 4th and 5th of September 2018 in Dunendin.  We are delighted that Georgina Davis, OTNZ-WNA Tangata Whenua President attended and will share the learnings from this hui.

This year’s theme was:

      Toi te Kupu, Toi te Mana, Toitū te Whenua

Hold fast to our culture, to our mana, our language, and our land – as it is the essence of who we are as Māori.

Over the two-day event attendees with the connected passion for Māori well-being shared in collaboration, consultation and commitment to be the driving force driving awareness and improvements in Maori Health.   Toitu Hauora Day 2 started with Minister David Clark emphasizing the vision for better equity of health outcomes & quality services for all New Zealanders. He also asked the audience for their feedback in the current health & disabilty review!!!
#ToiTekupu #ToiTeMana #ToituTeWhanau

In other news – on Saturday 1 September whaea Iris Pahau and Harsh Vardhan president tangata tiriti gave a presentation on our treaty relationship governance model (TRGM) journey to members of Physiotherapy New Zealand National Executive.


Palliative Care survey report roadshow – coming your way soon!

Palliative Care survey report roadshow – coming your way soon!

As mentioned in previous updates, we are soon to embark on a series of roadshows across the South Island to open up dialogue on the PCW survey reports at a local level. The roadshows will be led by our Chair, Kate Grundy and supported by local PCW members (past and present). The first of these will take place in Nelson Marlborough DHB, starting with a community forum on the evening of 10th September in Nelson. We are hoping to see GPs, practice nurses, district nurses, ARC nurses and managers, pharmacists and other allied health staff as well as any interested staff from hospice palliative care. The focus will be on the provision of ‘primary palliative care’ – with attention given to any innovations and developments as well as to the gaps and challenges, using the survey reports to drive the discussion. This session will be repeated the following day in Blenheim. Kate will also deliver hospital grand rounds in both cities and meet with DHB and PHO leaders as well as with hospice staff. Later in September, Kate will do a similar visit to Southern DHB taking in Dunedin (20th) and Invercargill (21st). In early November she will visit the West coast and Timaru. An evening session in Christchurch will be followed by a regional forum to discuss all the ideas generated and to inform the ongoing work of the PCW. We hope that many of you are able to attend. If you require any information please contact Aleisha [email protected] or Kate [email protected]

Our vision: high quality, person centred, palliative and end of life care available to the population of the South Island according to need and irrespective of location.