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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.  https://www.sialliance.health.nz/our-priorities/palliative-care/who-we-are/

Dr Diana and Mark Kopua 2018 Clinical Workshops Keynote Speakers presenting – Mahi-a Atua ‘a way of being’ a way of life…..

Mahi-a-Atua is far more than a just an approach or a model of working but a “way of being”, a way of life, that in practice, employs traditional Maori creation and custom stories, the purakau of atua Maori as a healing by connectivity. Oranga Whakapapa.

Our encounters, challenges and resolves often reflect those very same things that our Atua Maori experienced. So purakau Atua create frameworks that allow whanau to see, analyse and discuss in creative ways their own stories and how to navigate forward.

The Mahi-a-Atua way of being and working is the cornerstone of the Te Kuwatawata, Single Point of Entry service in the Tairawhiti that has not only captured those whanau who would normally not come into MH services but is also capturing a large national audience, keen to understand the Mahi-a-Atua way.

Join us at the OTNZ-WNA 2018 Clinical Workshops in Napier between 16-19 September and be inspired by Dr Diana and Mark Kopua; attend our diverse range of workshops;  enhancing your professional development, networking with fellow OT health professionals and enjoy the beauty of Napier.  Limited tickets available – Clinical Workshops Registration 


Check out the amazing and stimulating choices of presentations at the September 2018 OTNZ-WNA Clinical Workshops

CW2018 Programme

If you are still undecided to attend the Clinical Workshops which promises to be relevant and engaging, then check out the programme. Three days of affordable programme includes innovations and stories of sustainable ways of becoming the best we can be and enabling the people, whanau and communities we work with to sustain themselves in the challenging environment we live, learn and work in.

Join us and let’s find the courage to lead at the cutting edge of practice – click here to register for our Clinical Workshops now!


OTNZ-WNA meeting with Hon Dr David Clark Minister of Health

News Flash! Yesterday Peter Anderson (Executive Director, OTNZ-WNA) Harsh Vardhan (OTNZ-WNA President Tangata Tiriti) and whaea Iris Pahau (OTNZ-WNA Tikanga Advisor) met with the Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. David Clark.

The meeting was hosted by Allied Health Aotearoa New Zealand at Wellington. The agenda of the meeting was as per the following:
Hon. Dr David Clark – Minister of Health
Dr Jill Clendon – Acting Chief Nursing Officer
Dr Andrew Simpson – Chief Medical Officer
Claire Austin – Group Manager, Health Workforce NZ,
Laura Seary – Advisor, Service Commissioning, Integrated Service Design\Community and Ambulance\Primary Care –

Outcome: The minister talked about health priorities of the government: equity; mental health; primary health care and prevention, and child health and well-being. He pointed out that NZ health system needs a review and he is committed to it. Acknowledging the significance of allied health, scientific, and technical professionals (approx. 30,000) across New Zealand, in driving health system forward, the minister urged allied health professionals to participate actively in the forthcoming Health and Disability systems review and consultation process, adding that draft terms of reference of the process will be out soon.

We took this opportunity to reiterate a very important excerpt from OTNZ-WNA mental health submission – “There is an over-emphasis on talking therapies at the cost of ‘doing’ therapies. Occupational therapists focus on getting people back to doing what they want, need and must do, to get well and stay well”.


Published! Congratulations – Ema Tokolahi Lecturer/Fieldwork Associate School of Occupational Therapy

Congratulations to Ema Tokolahi! An occupational therapy lecturer at Otago Polytechnic, previously working in mental health services for children, adolescents and adults, in community and inpatient environments. She completed her doctoral research at Auckland University of Technology researching the impact of a preventative occupational therapy intervention on children’s well being in the school environment. She is currently involved in research evaluating role-emerging placements in mainstream schools that facilitate children having more universal access to occupational therapy interventions.

This article is a summary of the paper published in CAMH – Tokolahi, E., Vandal, A. C., Kersten, P., Pearson, J., & Hocking, C. (2018). Cluster-randomised controlled trial of an occupational therapy intervention for children aged 11-13 years, designed to increase participation to prevent symptoms of mental illness. Child and Adolescent Mental Health.



Children’s mental health is a growing focus in health promotion and the impact of occupational therapy on mental health outcomes for children has been largely unexplored to date.  A robust meta-analysis of 41 prevalence studies identified a worldwide prevalence of diagnosed mental health conditions in childhood and adolescence of nearly 18% (Polanczyk, Salum, Sugaya, Caye, & Rohde, 2015). Putting this into context, when compared to the prevalence of other childhood chronic health conditions, such as obesity (16.8%) (Ogden, Carroll, Curtin, Lamb, & Flegal, 2010) and asthma (8.5%) (Moorman et al., 2007), there is a clear need to prioritise children’s mental health and wellbeing (Friedberg, Crosby, & Friedberg, 2000; Polanczyk et al., 2015). Further evidence suggests there are even more children who are clinically impaired by mental health conditions who go undiagnosed and untreated. It is suggested that in order to meet the needs of this population, health services should be prepared to support up to 30% of all children (Polanczyk et al., 2015; Puolakka, Kiikkala, Haapasalo-Pesu, & Paavilainen, 2011; Rijlaarsdam et al., 2015).

The occupational therapy intervention evaluated was developed in response to a local need for school-based interventions for children who were not eligible for secondary mental health services.  Current treatments available are largely informed by Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and focus primarily on modifying children’s internal cognitions with unclear effect on functional outcomes. Occupational therapists can promote functional outcomes, in particular, participation, through a focus on health and wellbeing that enables children to design and build health-promoting routines and make healthy occupational choices. Kia Piki te Hauora: Uplifting our Health and Wellbeing© was developed in response to the above. This programme draws on principles of human occupation and aims to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression and improve self-esteem and participation in children aged 11-13 years who don’t have access to specialist services. The intervention is designed to use engagement, in developmentally appropriate activities, to promote mental health and wellbeing.   Students are enabled to understand the relationship between what they do and how they feel/think; to understand how activities in which they engage influence their identity, self-concept, health and wellbeing; and to practice and develop strategies for overcoming difficult emotions.  Students apply this knowledge in building and designing healthy routines, behaviours and habits in their day-to-day life that support self-esteem and participation.

Kia Piki te Hauora: Uplifting our Health and Wellbeing© was evaluated in a cluster-randomised controlled trial to examine the effectiveness of this preventative occupational therapy group intervention. Fourteen schools (clusters), equating to 151 children, were randomised to the intervention or to a waiting list group. We examined outcomes on completion of the intervention, as well as the sustainability of any improvements after a follow-up period of 8-9 weeks.  Outcomes measured were anxiety symptoms (primary), depression symptoms, self-esteem, participation and wellbeing. Data from intervention participants were compared to waitlist-control participants who later went on to receive the intervention: resulting in the crossover phase of the trial.

This trial found some promising results: there was a significant positive effect of the intervention on child-rated satisfaction with their occupational performance and a significant reduction in teacher-rated child anxiety. No evidence was found to support the effect of the intervention on anxiety and depression symptoms, self-esteem and wellbeing. However, there was evidence that the child-rated anxiety and depression symptoms 8-9 weeks after the intervention were no worse and possibly improved as compared to immediately post-intervention.

This is the first known cluster-randomised controlled trial to investigate an occupational therapy intervention promoting emotional wellbeing in a non-clinical sample of children.  No new evidence was generated to support the theory that participation in meaningful, positive occupations can impact on mental health symptoms.  However, there were promising indicators that participation in meaningful occupations and routines, that are explicitly linked to emotional wellbeing, can improve child satisfaction in their occupational participation and trigger a reduction in children’s anxiety levels as perceived by teachers.

Strengths of the study included a fully pre-specified statistical analysis plan, robust efforts to minimise biases and sufficient sample size.  A possible explanation for the non-significant findings could have been that baseline anxiety levels were low, creating a floor effect – with limited scope for level of symptoms to reduce.  Having a short follow-up period and low parent and teacher response rates also limited findings, particularly given the preventative focus.  Collecting qualitative data would have provided the opportunity to explore participant’s experiences, associated with participating in the intervention, to help determine which elements of the intervention were most and least effective.

There is a need to conduct more multi-faceted research to explore appropriate outcome measures in relation to children’s participation; to explore participant experiences; and to understand more about how to positively impact on participation, by enabling children to design and build health-promoting routines and make healthy occupational choices.  Recommendations are made to redesign the intervention as an embedded intervention in the classroom, so it can be co-taught by teachers; this would create increased opportunities for the children to practice the skills in the context of their everyday lives (Bean, Kendellen, & Forneris, 2016; Blackwell & Dunn, 2016). Furthermore, including parents in the intervention would be expected to increase transferability of knowledge into home and community environments.

Read the full paper report for more details.


Bean, C., Kendellen, K., & Forneris, T. (2016). Moving beyond the gym: Exploring life skills transfer within a female physical activity-based life skills program. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 28(3), 274-290. doi:10.1080/10413200.2015.1124155

Blackwell, A. L., & Dunn, W. (2016). Active ingredients for an embedded intervention within the early childhood classroom. Journal of Occupational Therapy, Schools, & Early Intervention, 9(2), 125-141. doi:10.1080/19411243.2016.1165003

Friedberg, R. D., Crosby, L. E., & Friedberg, B. A. (2000). Ward I’m worried about the beaver: Issues in early identification and intervention with children experiencing depression and anxiety. Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy, 14(1), 25-35.

Moorman, J. E., Rudd, R. A., Johnson, C. A., King, M., Minor, P., Bailey, C., . . . Akinbami, L. J. (2007). National surveillance for asthma: United States, 1980-2004. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Surveillance Summaries, 56(8), 1-54.

Ogden, C. L., Carroll, M. D., Curtin, L. R., Lamb, M. M., & Flegal, K. M. (2010). Prevalence of high body mass index in US children and adolescents, 2007-2008. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 303(3), 242-249. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.2012

Polanczyk, G. V., Salum, G. A., Sugaya, L. S., Caye, A., & Rohde, L. A. (2015). Annual research review: A meta-analysis of the worldwide prevalence of mental disorders in children and adolescents. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 56(3), 345-365. doi:10.1111/jcpp.12381

Puolakka, K., Kiikkala, I., Haapasalo-Pesu, K.-M., & Paavilainen, E. (2011). Mental health promotion in the upper level of comprehensive school from the viewpoint of school personnel and mental health workers. Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences, 25(1), 34-44. doi:10.1111/j.1471-6712.2010.00787.x

Rijlaarsdam, J., Stevens, G. W. J. M., van der Ende, J., Hofman, A., Jaddoe, V. W. V., Verhulst, F. C., & Tiemeier, H. (2015). Prevalence of DSM-IV disorders in a population-based sample of 5- to 8-year-old children: The impact of impairment criteria. European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 24(11), 1339-1348. doi:10.1007/s00787-015-0684-6


News Flash! HAZEL SKILTON Research & Education Trust Grant Applications APPLY NOW!

HAZEL SKILTON Research & Education Trust Grant Applications APPLY NOW!

The trustees of the Occupational Therapy New Zealand/Whakaora Ngangahau Aotearoa Hazel Skilton Research and Education Trust Grant are pleased to advise that they are extending the application period for this grant until the 14 September 2018.

This grant is open to OTNZ-WNA members for any research related to occupational therapy practice, or knowledge that contributes to it. The grant is intended to support small pieces of research or a component of a larger piece of research. Full detail are available on our website at https://www.otnz.co.nz/awards-grants/


Check out the amazing and stimulating choices of presentations at the September 2018 OTNZ-WNA Clinical Workshops

CW2018 Programme 

If you are still undecided to attend the Clinical Workshops which promises to be relevant and engaging, then check out the programme. Three days of affordable programme includes innovations and stories of sustainable ways of becoming the best we can be and enabling the people, whanau and communities we work with to sustain themselves in the challenging environment we live, learn and work in.

Join us and let’s find the courage to lead at the cutting edge of practice.

OT week 2018

OT Week 2018 is coming!

22-26 October 2018. We have some great items up our sleeves! Keep an eye on our Facebook page, website and newsletters to learn about all the great stuff we have in store! To pre-order an OT Week toolkit email [email protected].

Early Bird Special – 2018 Clinical Workshops & Tangata Whenua Hui info:



‘Napier Clinical Workshops 16-19 Sept 2018’ 

(Proudly supported by our Premier Sponsors: Allied Medical Ltd, Occupational Therapy Board of NZ & Permobil)

Early Bird member registrations $563.50 incl Gst for the three day event (offer expires 31 July)

We urge you to book early and take advantage of this special offer.  Registration includes: access to sessions for day/s of registration, attendance to powhiri on Sunday, catering as outlined in programme, opportunity to purchase dinner tickets.

Accommodation is available on the local Marae at a nominal cost of $20 per night Sunday – Wednesday morning, an opportunity for Tangata Tiriti practitioners to experience a cultural environment that you may not otherwise have.

You have the option during the registration link to either book for just the Tangata Whenua Hui OR register for the Clinical Workshops and you will be given the option to tick your attendance for the Tangata Whenua Hui.

For Kaiwhakaora Ngangahau practitioners that identify as Tangata whenuagenerous sponsorship has been offered to support attendance at the Hui on Sunday 16 September.  

For all enquiries please call our office on 04-473-6510 or email us [email protected]


Tangata Whenua Hui Registration

Registration for the Tangata Whenua Hui, is an invitation event extended to all Kaiwhakaora Ngangahau who identify as Tangata Whenua for the purpose of building capability and capacity of Tangata Whenua Kaiwhakaora Ngangahau through a Te Ao Māori worldview and in an environment which is culturally appropriate and safe.

Tangata Whenua is a generic term for Māori comprising those with mana whenua responsibilities (Māori who are tied culturally to an area by whakapapa and whose ancestors lived and died there), together with Taura here (Māori, resident in an area, but who belong to waka and tribes from other parts of Aotearoa).

Please click the following links to view and download information, and register on line –

Clinical Workshops Registration

Clinical Workshops Programme 

Tangata Whenua travel application form

How to apply for funding through DHB departments

Member Early Bird Rates* (until 31 July) 

(All rates include Gst)

Early Bird (1 June – 31 July)         $563.50
Standard (From 1 August)            $690
Full time OT Student/Retired** (before 31 July)   $335.50
Full time OT Student/Retired** (from 1 August)   $450

Day rate (before 31 July)           $300
Day rate (from 1 August)           $350

Non Member

Early bird (before 31 July)        $690
Standard (from 1 August)         $850
Day rate (before 31 July)          $350
Day rate (from 1 August)          $400

Excellent abstracts and workshops weaving cultural perspective in with themes of nurturing and enabling resilience and sustainability!



2018-2019 Early Bird Membership rates expire 30 June 2018!

Membership category Early Bird Pricing Full Price
Full (26+ hours)
$520.00 $572.00
First Professional Year 
$315.00 $346.00
Proportional (11-25 hours) $315.00 $346.00
Minor Proportional
(0-10 hours)
$213.00 $233.00
Associate (NZ or Overseas) $213.00 $233.00
Student N/A $92.00
Retired N/A $36.00

The membership period runs from 1 June 2018 – 31st May 2019.

Early Bird 2018 membership offer expires 30th June 2018 so please renew or register early to avoid disappointment.

Contact the office on 04-473-6510 or email [email protected] if you have any questions.

Why you should attend our Clinical Workshops 2018: Harsh Vardhan

Harsh Vardhan is President, Tangata Tiriti of OTNZ-WNA. He is employed as an occupational therapist and clinical coordinator at child development services, based at Hutt Valley District Health Board (HVDHB). He has recently undertaken work as a project manager on the Choosing Wisely initiative of HVDHB, and is currently doing a Masters of Management (Health Services) at Massey University.

Harsh won the 2014, Hutt Valley DHB Quality Award, for his commitment to quality improvement and was also placed among the top three in the 2016 Clinician’s Challenge, a joint initiative by the Ministry of Health and Health Informatics New Zealand (HiNZ). In 2017, he received the AIOTA occupational therapy achiever award. He is strong advocate of occupational therapy and has made several verbal submissions in parliament.

What does nurturing and enabling resilience mean to you?

The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) defines resilience as the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness; and elasticity. In my view nurturing resilience is not limited to its literal meaning, or psychological interpretation. Its practical implication for occupational therapists is a lot more pervasive and deeper.

Our inner strength gives us the ability to face external challenges (Pedlar et al 2004). Powerful individuals, make powerful teams, who have highly developed levels of addressing challenges and creating support. The ability of team members to push and challenge each other depends on high levels of security, support and vice versa.

I think resilience has wider implications for occupational therapists. To me resilience means having inner strength to face challenges; having good support systems and measures to cope with the demands or targets; showing authentic and motivational leadership; identifying a deeper sense of purpose to be at work; creating a learning environment; taking more risks; experimenting and trying new things; being less critical and more appreciative of other people’s efforts; encouraging people to run with ideas; learn from our mistakes; and embrace and promote innovative changes at all levels.

 In the current health environment, what is the significance of being resilient?

We are already aware that rate in which we are spending our health dollars is not sustainable. The Treasury (2013) points out that if we keep the tax revenue constant at 29 percent of GDP, then by the mid-2020s our revenue will become insufficient to cover health related expenses. At the current rate of expenditure, the government will need to borrow to meet these expenses, which can lead to government debt of 198.3 percent of GDP by 2060.  The Treasury identified health care and superannuation as the two most expensive sectors, so government has been trying to address this expenditure related pressure and find a more sustainable way of providing public services. Lean measures are being implemented to increase the overall cost effectiveness of health services, and in recent years there has been tremendous pressure to provide better health and education outcomes with limited resources.

A lot of changes are taking place to manage, and in some cases over manage resources and outcomes. Many organisations have stretched their strategies and resources to help meet these expectations.

I see it as both a challenging and exciting time for occupational therapists. There is a constant pressure to be more efficient, learn, and be innovate, all at the same time. I believe that in the current health environment, it is very important for occupational therapists to be resilient.

Do you think in the current health environment, health professionals get enough support to learn, innovate and develop resilience?

Support systems may vary depending on place and context. In my opinion, when I look at our current health strategy (Minister of Health 2016) I can see a lot around what is expected from health professionals. However, I cannot find any strategy or plan of action which explicitly talks about investing in the work force, building their capacity and capability, offering support, or facilitating their resilience to meet with the expectations. One of the strategic themes called “Smart Systems”, highlights the significance of sharing information and technology as an enabler. The strategic theme “Value and High Performance” includes plans to build a culture of performance and quality improvement. This sound great, but I think socio technical aspects needs more emphasis and understanding first.

As humans we are very different from machines. Human dynamics needs to be addressed to get the best out of us in a workplace environment. With my occupational lens I can relate to the significance of socio technical aspects like motivation, stress, and resilience in any task. I think a sustainable level of efficiency cannot be achieved without considering these factors. A healthy, happy, and resilient workforce is indispensable in achieving the desirable future of the New Zealand government of “All New Zealanders live well, stay well, get well”.

 What can be done to facilitate resilience and sustainability?

In my view facilitating resilience and sustainability needs a systematic approach. It cannot be obtained in a day through a course, or an event. We all have different roles to play, depending on our context and position in the system. Having resilience is much wider than stress management, embracing spirituality for peace and mastering other cognitive or behavioural strategies to cope with challenges.

In contemporary healthcare, employees are expected to demonstrate leadership and engage with others to set and achieve a common goal to achieve outcomes.  Many of us have mixed feeling about leadership. Perhaps partly because of our association of leadership with the actions of great and outstanding people (Pedlar et al 2004). We need to question this legacy because it holds us back. Leadership starts from within and leading ourselves is the first leadership practice. Leadership is about effective actions when we face challenges. It is about noticing them, choosing them, moving forwards with them, or away from them. I think resilience is about identifying and nurturing leadership.

Creating an environment of learning and innovation is very important. Reg Revan’s ecological formula L ≥ C suggests that learning (L) in any organism must be equal to or more than the rate of change (C), otherwise the organism will decline and fall behind with time. In recent times there has been huge pressures to deliver big performance goals, to cope with high levels of change, and to innovate – all the same time. The key is to have the performance culture, which is also a learning culture (Pedler, Burgoyne and Boydell, 1997). It is not that easy to achieve all these at the same time. One needs to be very careful that performance management does not lead to its downsides, like making people target obsessed, avoid risks and become closed and defensive.  For me resilience means having a balance between the ability to perform and learn. This balance in the long run can result in innovations, which in turn can increase efficiency and output.

Being innovative is not just about finding known solutions. In the current context it is not uncommon to get into situations where we have to deal with the unknowns.  The more resilient we are, the more prepared we are to take risks and explore the unknowns.

In finding a purpose in what we do, it is very important to be resilient and sustain a high level of commitment. People can often get confused between direction and purpose. Direction is the immediate intention or goal in a specific situation. However, a sense of purpose has a deeper pulse or internal compass (Pedler et al. 2004).

When I come into work, I know that we have a huge waiting list to deal with. Addressing this list can be seen as a goal, but it is not the only reason I come to work. I guess almost all occupational therapists have a deeper purpose to be at work, which can be linked to their core values. For example, for someone the purpose can be to bring positive changes in lives of people and make them as independent as possible. This is an era of targets and deadlines and they often get pushed as the principle means of motivation. This can make it challenging for occupational therapists to stay connected with their deeper sense of purpose.

From observations, it is not uncommon for clinicians to be asked to justify their therapy time. It is then natural for us to lose enthusiasm, get frustrated and stressed when we are made to follow directions which run against our sense of purpose. On the other hand, we become enthusiastic, productive and resilient when our sense of purpose gets aligned with our directions.

Networks are like webs rather than hierarchies of relationships. Networking gives connections, which is empowering and can promote resilience. These connections help in getting things done through the people you know and is a key enabler for learning and innovation. For example, better connected health professionals are more likely to adopt innovative practices, than those who are in silos (Rogers, 2003). Networks help in connecting people whose status depends more on their knowledge and access to resources, than on position. This means that such relationships may be valuable support when needed. Networks can help to develop a common sense of purpose. For example, if you know your line manager only as a boss, and not also as a fellow member of a project, or your professional association, your “bandwidth” with that person remains much narrower than it might otherwise. I think that better connected occupational therapists, who develop the most effective lateral relationships can be more resilient and productive.

As an occupational therapist, why would the 2018 clinical workshops be valuable to attend? What would you say to other occupational therapists who were thinking about attending the clinical workshops?

I am looking forward to attending the clinical workshops in Napier. I find OTNZ-WNA clinical workshops and conferences a great opportunity to reach out to other occupational therapists, learn from each other, have fun, and celebrate our journey with the treaty relationship model. This year I am especially excited about the theme “Ko ngā tapuwae tukuiho, ko te huarahi manawapou: Nurturing and Enabling Resilience and Sustainable” as it is so fitting for the time.

I would encourage everyone to attend this year’s clinical workshops. Use it as a platform to share stories; develop networks; embrace and promote leadership; spread a culture of learning and innovation; and develop understanding of each other’s sense of purpose. It is a great opportunity for us as occupational therapists to explore a wider perspective of resilience and sustainability, and discover how to be more efficient, learn, and innovate, all at the same time.

Harsh Vardhan’s views as expressed in this article should not be taken as representing those of Hutt Valley District Health Board.

Latest Maori Medical Research Review Issue 72

Kia ora members,

Please click this highlighted link to view the most recent Maori Health Research Review Issue 72 .

Topics in this month’s review are:

• Poor-quality suicide risk assessments in the ED.

• Discrimination impacts on health.

• Health policy has yet to fulfil Crown obligations under te Tiriti.

• Institutional racism in public health contracting.

• A focus is needed on Indigenous adolescent health.

• Ethnic disparities in breast cancer survival.

• Inequity in dialysis-related practices and outcomes.

• Risk of lower limb amputation in diabetes: ethnic disparities.

• Ethnicity-specific gout education resources needed.

• Testing a customised CVD medication health literacy programme.

• Racial/ethnic bias among medical students.

• Explaining disproportionate rates of stomach cancer in Māori.

You don’t have to be a healthcare professional to receive Māori Health Review, so if you have patients, whānau or friends who would like to receive this publication please contact us with their email address.

Please keep your feedback and comments coming, we do appreciate them.

Ngā mihi

Dr Matire Harwood

[email protected]


OT CPPF/CMCE Self-Audit Tool

Occupational Therapy CPPF/CMCE Self-Audit Tool – With the association’s gratitude for Carolyn Simmons Carlsson’s assistance, the CPPF/CMCE Self-Audit Tool is available for member’s use.

Occupational Therapy CPPF/CMCE Self-Audit Tool – Introduction

Choosing Wisely – Takes off in NZ! Harsh Vardhan Representative

Harsh Vardhan, President Tangata Tiriti was appointed February 2017 as the Choosing Wisely representative for Allied Health at Hutt Valley DHB.  His role is to encourage and support allied leaders/clinicians to take up Choosing Wisely projects.

Here is the latest update – Choosing Wisely takes off in New Zealand!

New Zealand’s Choosing Wisely campaign, has grown substantially since its launch in December 2016.

Choosing Wisely encourages health professionals to talk with patients about unnecessary tests, treatments and procedures; and patients to discuss with their health professional whether they really need a particular intervention.

Medical colleges and specialist societies have developed lists of recommendations of unnecessary tests, treatments and procedures for their area of practice to help health professionals start a conversation with their patients about what is appropriate and necessary. There are now nearly 130 lists of recommendations and resources, spanning a wide range of specialties.

There is also a growing number of patient resources to help consumers make better health care choices.

The Council of Medical Colleges is facilitating Choosing Wisely in New Zealand as part of its commitment to improving the quality of care for all patients. The campaign is supported by several organisations representing a wide range of health professionals and consumers, including the Health Quality & Safety Commission and Consumer.

Council Chair Dr Derek Sherwood says Choosing Wisely is about shifting thinking by health professionals and patients; that more is not necessarily better when it comes to health care treatment.

“For example, not only do X-rays and CT scans expose patients to potentially cancer-causing radiation, many studies have shown these scans frequently identify things requiring further investigation that often turn out to be nothing. This means patients can undergo stressful and potentially risky follow-up tests and treatments for no reason.”

Choosing Wisely encourages patients to ask their health professionals these four questions:

  1. Do I really need to have this test treatment or procedure?
  2. What are the risks?
  3. Are there simpler, safer options?
  4. What happens if I do nothing?

Harsh believes that Choosing Wisely will be a great opportunity for Allied Health to be leaders in health services.

For more information please visit: Implementing-Choose-Wisely http://choosingwisely.org.nz/

Choosing Wisely – Harsh Vardhan


SCOPE – Call for Papers ‘Occupation’ Theme for Health & Wellbeing 2018 Issue

Kia ora members,

Scope: Contemporary Research Topics in Health & Wellbeing: Occupation is an open access, peer reviewed journal published annually by Otago Polytechnic. It is edited in partnership with the School of Nursing and the College of Te Oha Ora (School of Occupational Therapy and Institute of Sport & Adventure). The journal aims to reflect and disseminate research done in health and wellbeing settings; while making connections with related work within our communities of practice.

The 2018 issue of Scope (Health & Wellbeing) will focus on the theme of ’Occupation’, which aims to bring together a collection of papers across the sciences, on those aspects of occupation that matter most to academics, practitioners, educators and policy makers within health. This will include studies and methodologies exploring the various occupations within health and wellbeing, as well as the multifaceted definition of occupation within a health context, as a vocation, place, activity, state of mind or other related definitions.

Please submit your contribution to [email protected] by Mon 29 June 2018.

If you have a specific enquiry regarding your submission, please address this to the relevant member of the editorial team.


Editorial team

Scope (Health & Wellbeing: Occupation)

Opportunity to submit Abstracts – 3rd Intl Conference on Wellbeing & Public Policy

Kia ora members,
I thought this may be of interest to you – Opportunity to submit abstracts – for THIRD INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON WELLBEING & PUBLIC POLICY. Wednesday 5 – Friday 7 September, 2018 Wellington,New Zealand. Hosted by Victoria University of Wellington, the New Zealand Treasury and the International Journal of Wellbeing

Venue: Victoria University of Wellington, Pipitea Campus (Rutherford House) and the New Zealand Parliament Buildings (the Beehive).

About the conference

This third in the series of international conferences on Wellbeing and Public Policy will (1) critically evaluate the rapidly expanding field of wellbeing research across a range of disciplines; (2) share the work of leading international organisations; and (3) distil ideas and practices which will aid governments in developing a wellbeing approach to public policy.

The first in this series of conferences was held in Wellington in July 2012 (for a review see here). The second conference was held at Hamilton College, New York in 2014 (for a review see here). This third in the series will bring together leading scholars on wellbeing, speakers from several international organisations and senior practitioners with experience in applying wellbeing principles to public policy.

The conference will provide extensive opportunity for participants to network and gain exposure to the latest theoretical, empirical and policy related ideas on wellbeing.  As such we are open to a variety of disciplines and methodologies. To enhance participants’ experience, collaboration and networking opportunities, a social activity is expected to follow the conference on Saturday, 8 September.

Our four plenary speakers include Edward Diener (the University of Utah and the University of Virginia, USA), Martijn Burger (Director, Erasmus Happiness Economics Research Organization, the Netherlands), Jan-Emmanuel De Neve (University of Oxford, United Kingdom) and Carla Anne Houkamau (the University of Auckland). Ministers and senior officials from the New Zealand Government will participate in the conference as will members of leading international organisations, including the OECD.

Conference themes

  1. Wellbeing and inequality
  2. Culture, indigeneity and wellbeing (incorporating Māori wellbeing)
  3. Wellbeing, hope and perceptions of the future
  4. Sustainability, capital stocks and wellbeing
  5. Children’s wellbeing
  6. Wellbeing, utilitarianism and the capabilities approach
  7. Technology and wellbeing
  8. Wellbeing – cause or effect?
  9. Wellbeing: policy and practice

Submit an abstract

Submission should include author’s full name and affiliation, paper’s title and a short abstract – no longer than 250 words.  To submit an abstract please visit the conference website here.

Timeline (2018)

  1. Monday 30th April: Abstracts due
  2. Monday 21st May: Acceptance notification by email
  3. Monday 25th June: Early bird registration due
  4. Monday 30th July: Full registration due
  5. Wednesday 5th  – 7th September: Day registration

Publication opportunities

The International Journal of Wellbeing regularly publishes high-quality articles on wellbeing and public policy. Presenters at the conference are strongly encouraged to submit their papers to the journal. A substantial number of high-quality submissions will result in a special issue on wellbeing and public policy.

We are looking forward to seeing you in Wellington!

Wellington is New Zealand’s centre of government and politics, and is also considered the country’s cultural capital. Wellington enjoys high levels of innovation, diversity and creativity. Deutsche Bank named Wellington the city with the best quality of life in 2017. For more on Wellington see here.


Please email [email protected] under the subject heading WaPP3 enquiry.


Conference committee members include: Dr Philip Morrison, Professor of Human Geography, at the School of Geography,  Environment and Earth Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington; Suzy Morrissey, Office of the Chief Economic Adviser, the New Zealand Treasury; Dr Arthur Grimes, Professor at the School of Government, Victoria University of Wellington, inaugural holder of the Chair of Wellbeing and Public Policy and Senior Fellow at Motu Economic and Public Policy Research in Wellington; Dr Samuel Becher, Associate Professor at the School of Accounting and Commercial Law, Victoria University of Wellington; Conal Smith, Institute for Governance and Policy Studies, Victoria University of Wellington; Dr Dan Weijers, Philosophy, School of Social Sciences, Waikato University; and Dr Aaron Jarden, Senior Research Fellow at Flinders University and Head of Research at the Wellbeing and Resilience Centre at the South Australia Health & Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI).

General conference questions? Email [email protected]

Event website: http://www.confer.nz/wellbeingandpublicpolicy2018/




Exciting news in our March 2018 OT Insight!

Click this link – to our March 2018 OT Insight edition and discover the many insights and benefits of  embracing technology in our industry.

Here at the association OTNZ-WNA exciting things are happening!  Applications for Awards and Grants  are now open (pg6).  Early Bird Rates have just been listed for our Clinical Workshops ‘Nurturing and Enabling Resilience and Sustainability – Ko ngā tapuwae tukuiho, ko te huarahi manawapou’ to be hosted in Napier 17-19 September see (pg5).  Harsh Vardhan OTNZ-WNA President Tangata Tiriti and Maree Smith has written insightful articles on how to facilitate resilience and sustainability and gives us his reasons ‘Why you should consider attending the clinical workshops?’

Peter Anderson, Executive Director (pg4) provides us with an update on the work of the association OTNZ-WNZ, the EAP programme, Hand Therapy, Mental Healthy review and our Professional development and lifelong learning initiatives.

Further inside these pages you will read an inspirational personal tribute by Libby Bell (2017) Otago Polytechnic Occupational Therapy Honours graduate supporting family carers (pg 14.)

Stacey Kay (pg 18) gives us a glimpse into her busy life as a mother of 3 who chose to change career paths midstream and how she is coping with the challenge of juggling family commitments and her OT study.

Enjoy your reading,

Ngā Mihi

From the OTNZ-WNZ team Peter, Moe & Otila



Maree Smith OTNZ-WNA tangata whenua member shares her insights on – What does nurturing and enabling resilience mean to you?

Thoughts from Maree Smith member tangata whenua on the 2018 Clinical Workshop theme

What does nurturing and enabling resilience mean to you?

To me nurturing or ‘Manaakitanga’ in Māori culture does not have professional boundaries.  It does not begin at 9am and end at 5pm or operate within working hours.  Manaakitanga cannot be put into a box or isolated.

Manaakitanga to me is about providing consistent support and whakawhanaugatanga from a collective and tikanga Māori perspective – one of holism.  As a new graduate OT who identifies as Māori I have found both the Māori OT Supervision group ‘Whakamanaora’ and the ongoing support from many tutors at AUT invaluable.  Waiti (2014) explored the meaning of resilience when developing a whānau (family) resilience framework through a social-ecological lens. He described a number of family and indigenous resilience factors that enabled individuals to overcome adversity including whānau support, which encompassed emotional, psychological, financial, and practical and resource support.

Supportive relationships have nurtured my development as an OT from my first year studying with AUT and now as a new graduate.  The ongoing support has resulted in the development of relationships with other Māori OTs who I have come to know well and provided a consistent and supportive base where I can learn from other practitioner’s and develop my occupational therapy skills in a culturally safe environment.

Mentoring from AUT lecturers who are experts in their field has also assisted my development as a new graduate working in a new area of occupational therapy being Housing and Homelessness.  Similarly, in Māori culture, the role of Tuakana-Teina (knowledgeable older adult or sibling) often promotes a reciprocal relationship of knowledge sharing similar to a mentor or role-model (Ware & Walsh-Taipata, 2010).

Consistent support within a collective has allowed me to develop my confidence in both tikanga Māori and as an occupational therapist.  It has given me a sense of belonging which speaks to me as Māori.  This has promoted my spiritual and emotional development allowing me to navigate challenges more calmly and effectively.  I trust my skills and back myself more as I know I have people I can contact for guidance and support both professionally and personally.

In the current health environment what is the significance of being resilient?

According to Penehira et al., (2014) state control and neoliberalism has economically and socially disadvantaged Māori, resulting in poor socio-economic, health indicators and inequities.  The current health environment lends itself to economical and funding models which are outcome based as opposed to need based.  Such models do not align with Te Tiriti O Waitangi and OTBNZ competencies in terms of reducing Māori health inequities. This can be quite frustrating as a new graduate Māori occupational therapist who is constantly using the OTBNZ competencies to guide practice but is often left feeling conflicted. This conflict has tested my resilience this year and I am sure it will continue, until we see the end of neo-liberal policy making.

For now, it is significant for me to stay resilient to advocate and promote social justice for Māori who cannot advocate for themselves, to ensure Māori get the resources, care and support they are entitled to as Aotearoa’s indigenous people.

In the current health environment do you think health professionals get enough support to learn, innovate and develop resilience?

Much is reliant on funding and resources, the day to day needs of the working environment and managers having the time to support and develop staff initiatives.

Professional development doesn’t have to include participating in expensive courses or conferences as we can learn a lot from our peers within the workplace and across organisations.  All staff bring a variety of strengths and expertise to a role.  It’s important for managers to take the time to identify a person’s key strengths and give them the opportunity to explore how those strengths can be used in the workplace or on a project.  Tapping into interests and expertise which is meaningful for staff can promote creativity and variety to a role, develop interpersonal relationships and provide purpose and learnings across a department or organization/s.

What can be done to facilitate resilience and sustainability? 

To develop resilience and sustainability on a day to day basis I believe systemic changes at a macro level need to be addressed such as:

–           Equitable governance across health and social sectors.

–           Increase the use of cultural frameworks to guide not only service delivery but also how staff operate daily. For example, tikanga Māori and collectivism.

–           Equitable and sustainable funding models based on need not outcomes.

–           Increase access to resources and funding.

Exo and Micro System Level changes should include:

–           Collectivism, manaakitanga and whakawhanaungatanga both during and after work hours.

–           Develop a reciprocal mentor or role model system where senior OTs support graduate and junior OTs and graduate and junior OTs provide new learnings for senior OTs.  This would be weekly rather than monthly and be ongoing.

–           Salary and wage equity particularly NGOs and organisations who do not use Salary scales.  It can be disheartening when you find out differences in salary when you have similar skills and experience.

–           Provide ongoing opportunities for staff to develop meaning and purpose within their role.


Maree Smith is of Ngāpuhi and Te Rarawa descent, with close affiliations to Ngāti Hau, Patuharakeke and Ihutai.  Maree acknowledges  both Takahiwai and Whakapara Marae through her grandmother and Tauteihiihi Marae through her grandfather.   Maree is an advocate for Māori health and well-being by promoting social and occupational justice.  Maree has recently completed her first year as a new graduate Māori Occupational Therapist using her occupational therapy skills to support people living in social housing sustain their tenancy.   In 2017, Maree completed her Bachelor of Health Science Honours; conducting a research dissertation questioning a potential relationship between meaningful participation and resilience in Māori and other Indigenous youth.  Maree loves to spend time with whānau and friends, hiking and exploring New Zealand National Parks and enjoying the outdoors.


Penehira, M., Green, A., Smith, L. T., & Aspin, C. (2014).  Māori and indigenous view on R & R: Resistance and resilience. MAI Journal, 3(2), 96-110.).

Waiti, J. T. A. M. (2014). Whakaoranga Whānau: A Whānau resilience framework (PhD thesis). Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand.

Ware, F., & Walsh-Tapiata, W. (2010). Youth Development: Māori Styles. Youth Studies            Australia, 29(4), 18. Retrieved from hhttp://search.informit.com.au.ezproxy.aut.ac.nz/documentSummary;dn=568567466586735;res=IELFSC> ISSN: 1038-2569.

2018 is a great year for awards and grants.

2018 is a great year for awards and grants. Please consider nominating a colleague for the Hazel Skilton Founder’s award, or the Francis Rutherford Lecture Award (FRLA). We also have the OTNZ-WNA Achievement Award and OTNZ-WNA Aotearoa Graduate Awards.

The Hazel Skilton Research and Education Trust Grant is also available if you are doing any research related to occupational therapy practice, or knowledge that contributes to it. For full details go to Hazel Skilton Founder’s Award

February 2018 OT Insight

In this OT Insight covers a variety of topics, including working in an aluminium smelter as an industrial occupation therapist, to a personal experience of committing to bicultural practice. We also celebrate our OTNZ-WNA Achievement Award winner, Katrina Wallis.
Happy reading!

Go to publications in the main menu> OT Insight>2018


Make a note in your diary!

The shows keep growing and growing with record total numbers of attendees in February 2017 – with 2,163 people, a staggering 30% increase on the total figure from 2016.

In 2018 there will be some changes. Professional development sessions are being added  for allied health professionals and, in Auckland an extended longer day with the doors open until 7:30pm.

Click here for more information.

Ngā mihi o te Kirihimete me te Tau Hou! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

The OTNZ-WNA office will be closed from the 22nd December until the 8th January 2018.

Abstracts for the 2018 Clinical Workshop now open!

The Local Organising Committee warmly invite you to submit an abstract for the 16-19 September 2018 Clinical Workshops at the Napier Conference Centre.
The Association’s Te Tiriti relationship model of weaving tangata whenua and tangata tiriti in true partnership needs to be reflected in our workshops and in our conference.  We therefore invite more abstracts that have tangata whenua content to address the current imbalance.  We ask you to consider how you, as kaiwhakaora ngangahau work appropriately with tangata whenua in enabling them to follow the pathways of their ancestors to become self-reliant. Consider how you weave your responsiveness to Competency 2 and address inequalities.
The following clinical workshops themes have been developed to showcase the overarching theme above.
  • Hauora hinengaro / Mental health
  • Tamariki / whanau / Children / Families
  • Te tiaki a te tangata i a ia anō i te ao Hauora / Self-care in health care
  • Te Hautū kia Huri me te Ngākau-Titikaha i Te Huarahi / Leading and committing to change
Submission Guidelines available here:
2018-Clinical-Workshops-Abstract-Submission-Guidelines.docxAbstracts close 2 April 2018. We encourage early submissions.
Also check out:
  • Tips on how to request funding to attend here
  • Tips on writing an abstract here

December OT Insight out now!

In this December OT Insight we look at Occupational therapy and prosthetic rehabilitation in New Zealand, as well as Occupational Therapy Week 2017 #SocialChange #OccupationalJustice. Enjoy!

October OT Insight out now!

In this October OT Insight we look at Private Practice: The right choice for you? and The Hobb-OT: An unexpected journey to New Zealand.
Happy reading!