NZNO Conference & AGM, Leaving No One Behind - Health for All, 17-18 September 2019, Te Papa, Wellington

2019 Conference Speakers

The following speakers have been confirmed:


Judge Andrew BecroftJudge Andrew Becroft

Children’s Commissioner

Judge Andrew Becroft was appointed the Children’s Commissioner for New Zealand for an initial two year period from June 2016.  Prior to that he was the Principal Youth Court Judge of New Zealand from 2001 to 2016; and was appointed a District Court Judge in 1996.

After graduating from Auckland University in 1981 with a BA/LLB (Honours) degree, he practised in Auckland until 1986 when he then assisted with the establishment of the Mangere Community Law Centre and worked there until 1993. He then worked as a criminal barrister in South Auckland until his appointment to the District Court in Whanganui, from 1996.

In 2009, Judge Becroft received an award from the Public Relations Institute of New Zealand as Communicator of the Year.  In 2010 Judge Becroft was the recipient of a Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Auckland.  In 2018 he was the winner of the Public Service Wellingtonian of the Year Award.

Judge Becroft is a former council member of the Auckland District Law Society and the New Zealand Law Society. He is the Patron of the New Zealand Speak Easy Association Inc., which assists those with various forms of speech impediment, and is the Chairperson of the Board of the Tertiary Students Christian Fellowship (NZ) Inc.
Judge Becroft is married with three children, aged 23, 21 and 17.

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Annalyn ‘UlungāAnnalyn ‘Ulungā

Mercy Hospice, Auckland

Annalyn ‘Ulungā is an Inpatient nurse at Mercy Hospice, Auckland, and has previously worked in the NZ aged care sector. She has a Post graduate Diploma in Advanced Nursing from University of Auckland and a Masters Degree in Nursing Management from the Philippine Women’s University.

Originally from the Philippines, she is married with two children and lives in New Zealand.



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Hon David ClarkHon David Clark

Minister of Health and Associate Minister of Finance

Dr David Clark was first elected as the Labour MP for Dunedin North in 2011. He came to Parliament via a circuitous route – having run a University of Otago residential College, worked as a Presbyterian Minister and worked as a Treasury analyst. David became the Minister of Health and Associate Minister of Finance following the 2017 General Election.

One of the key reasons David stood for Parliament was because he was concerned about the growing gap between rich and poor, which he sees as limiting New Zealand’s social and economic potential. Inequality featured strongly in his maiden address to the House of Representatives in 2012. He believes we can and must achieve a fairer society where everyone has an opportunity to succeed.  

David has twice lived in Germany and is a former competitive cyclist and Ironman. He is married with three children.

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Sione VakaDr Sione Vaka

Auckland University of Technology

Sione was born in Tonga and migrated to New Zealand in 1999. His father is from Neiafu, Vava’u and Lofanga, Ha’apai and mother from the village of Lapaha. His field of interest is Pacific mental health and Pacific well-being. His Health Research Council (HRC) funded doctorate study explored the meanings of mental distress for Tongan people.

He is now working on another funded HRC project, proposing a Tonga fishing tool, ūloa, as a model of care to address the different constructs of mental distress in the Tongan community. This research is being undertaken in South Auckland. Sione has collaborated extensively with Pacific clinical and research colleagues throughout the Pacific region, including Niue, Cook Island, Fiji and Tonga.

He is currently a Senior Lecturer at Auckland University of Technology teaching at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

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Heather SymesHeather Symes

I am a comprehensive nurse, initially doing my general nursing at the Wittington Hospital in North London.

In NZ my work has been in Acute Mental Health at Hillmorton Hospital, Kennedy detox unit and Canterbury Alcohol and Drug Service (CADS). I then worked in Community long term rehab at the Hereford Centre in Christchurch, and a brief stint in Blenheim in their Methadone Programme.

After 20+ years in the alcohol and drug field I moved into the regional forensic service inpatient secure unit again at Hillmorton. I have been in my current role working the Forensic Community Team case managing severe complex clients with mental health and addiction issues. As part of this role I also do nurse lead clinics in Christchurch Womens Prison, Christchurch Men’s Prison and on occasions Rolleston Men’s Prison.

I look after student nurses, NESp, new graduate nurses and I am on the National Committee for Women in secure care environments in New Zealand as one of two Canterbury representatives. One of our objectives is that women who are placed in prisons have an environment that cares for them and their specific needs. As part of the day to day work I liaise with other health providers in NZ, NGO and GP services. One of my passions is nurturing new nurses to our health services and you will often find me accompanied by either a new nurse or a student from another discipline of the mental health team.

I have been on various boards with NZNO.

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Kate CalvertKate Calvert

PGCert Health Promotion, BSc Public Health (Health Visiting), RN.

Kate is a Registered Nurse with 25 years of experience in a range of community settings. These include Family Centres, GP Practice, Youth Health, Prison Health, Plunket B4SC, Children's Ear Van Nurse Specialist and Children's oral health promotion. 

Two years ago Kate bravely applied for a position in the Hutt Valley DHB's Strategy, Planning and Outcomes team. Successful in her application as the Health of Older People's portfolio manager, Kate leads on the local implementation of the Live Longer for Stronger (Falls prevention strategy), Home and Community Support, Aged Residential Care and Needs assessment Contracts. Kate supports the development of complex care packages that don't fit well into funding streams. 

Passionate about health being only part of the system to keep our population well, Kate strives to collaborate, to think outside the box to enable good use of the resources available. Kate wants to share with the NZNO audience that nurses have impact in roles outside clinical expertise to influence the funding and planning process whilst maintaining their registration.

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