NZNO Conference & AGM, Nurses - a leading voice, 20-21 September 2017, Te Papa, Wellington

2017 Conference Speakers

AGM Keynote Speaker

Dr Richard Wagstaff

President, Council of Trade UnionsDr Richard Wagstaff

Richard Wagstaff was elected NZCTU President in 2015. He was previously NZCTU Vice President and held the position of national secretary for the Public Service Association.

Richard began working as a full time paid union official in 1988 as a researcher. Later he became an Organiser working in Auckland with PSA members in the health and disability sectors. In 1997 Richard was appointed as a national operations manager, responsible for PSA members throughout the country in the health and community sectors.  He took up the position as a national secretary of the PSA in 2000 which he held until becoming CTU President in 2015. As national secretary Richard was responsible for overseeing the implementation of the Union’s industrial and political strategies and operations for NZ largest trade union.

Richard’s ongoing responsibilities at the CTU include participating in the Health Sector Relationship Agreement (HSRA) steering committee in the DHB sector. Richard was also the CTU negotiator in the Pay Equity Principles development process with Government and Business representatives.


Opening Address

Warren Lindburg

Chief Executive, Public Health AssociationWarren Lindburg

Warren took up his current position as Chief Executive Officer for the Public Health Association in September 2012, following five years as Group Manager Public Health Operations in the Ministry of Health.

Although he began working life as a teacher in Wellington and south Auckland, Warren has now worked in the public health sector for 30 years. Best known as the first Executive Director of the NZ AIDS Foundation, Warren has also worked on a wide range of public health issues, including the Like Minds Like Mine media campaign to counter stigma and discrimination associated with mental illness, and the Auckland Regional Migrant and Refugee Settlement Strategy. He was also a Human Rights Commissioner from 2001 to 2007.

Warren has a BA from Victoria University, Wellington, Master of Philosophy degree in management and labour relations from Auckland University, as well as qualifications in teaching and community work.

In 1999 he was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to welfare.


Conference Keynote Speakers

Jean Ross

Co-President National Nurses UnitedJean Ross

Jean Ross is an acute-care nurse and member of the National Nurses United Council of Presidents.

A passionate advocate for social justice, Ross grew up in the suburbs of Minneapolis, Minn. and worked at the same medical center, Fairview Southdale Hospital, for 35 years. She became active in the Minnesota Nurses Association in the wake of a historic nurses strike in 1984, when 6,000 Twin Cities-area nurses took to the picket line to defend seniority rights.

Ross went on to hold the position of chief steward at her hospital for 20 years. In 2001, she helped lead a strike of Fairview nurses that achieved landmark contract language allowing nurses to close a unit to new patients when it was too understaffed for them to provide safe care.

She used her positions as chair of the MNA’s Economic and General Welfare Commission (1997–2001) and director on the United American Nurses Executive Council (2002–2006) to build support for organizing nurses around the country. In 2006, Ross became secretary-treasurer of UAN, an office she held through 2009. She played a key role in bringing together UAN nurses with their colleagues in the Massachusetts Nurses Association and California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee to form National Nurses United in 2009.

Ross has also served as a board delegate for the Coalition of Labor Union Women.

She holds a BSN from the College of Saint Teresa.

National Nurses United is the USA’s largest union and professional organization of registered nurses, with more than 150,000 members nationwide.


Professor Innes Asher

Health spokesperson, Child Poverty Action GroupProfessor Innes Asher

Innes is Professor of Paediatrics in the University of Auckland’s Department of Paediatrics: Child and Youth Health, and Respiratory Paediatrician, Starship Children's Health.

In 2003 she was awarded the Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Paediatrics, and in 2007 the Health Research Council Liley Medal for her research leadership.

She has been the chair of worldwide research studies for 25 years - since 2012 the Chair of the Global Asthma Network.

Her passion to see all New Zealand children enabled to reach their potential has led her to actively promote evidence-based policies to improve child health, and she serves on the Steering Group of the National Child and Youth Epidemiology Service, and on the Management Committee of the Child Poverty Action Group.


Guest Speaker

Pare O'BrienPare O'Brien

He mihi tenei  ki a koutou te whanau e noho mai ra i raro  te marumaru o Te Kaunihera o nga neehi Maori Aotearoa.
Ko Putauaki te maunga
Ko Rangitaiki te awa
Ko Mataatua te waka
Ko Ngati Awa te iwi whanaui
Ko Pahipoto me Ngai Tamaoki nga hapu

I send you greetings mai i tenei pito o te ao from ‘my centre of the universe’ Te Teko.

I became a Nurse Practitioner in February 2016 with a scope of practice of 'whanau ora' primary health care. June this year I adopted an 'individual contract mentality' and I currently spread my working days between a G.P. clinic in Te Teko, a medical centre in Whakatane (under the direction of Te Puna Ora o Mataatua a Maori NGO) and, a number of small projects and contracts.



Helen Rook

RN MN PhDHelen Rook

Helen holds a strong clinical and educational portfolio with a background in critical care nursing in the United Kingdom, Ireland and New Zealand. Helen has worked as a nursing academic in both New Zealand and Irish Universities delivering undergraduate and post-graduate education. Presently Helen is the Programme Director at the Graduate School of Nursing Midwifery and Health, Victoria University of Wellington.

As an early career researcher, Helen's academic interest has led her to explore professional nursing values, value dissonance and the impact of systems and situational context on the expression of nursing values. Her recently completed doctoral work in this area, has led to her explore nursing values in order to understand how nurses practice in health care climates that are resource constrained and highly complex.


Pam Oliver

PhD Psychology, PhD Law, Registered psychologistPam Oliver

Following a career in frontline social services (mental health, corrections, family services and intellectual disability), Pam taught for nine years at the Universities of Auckland and Waikato before establishing her own research company. Since 1997 she has undertaken research, evaluation, strategy and community development projects across a broad range of health, education and social services sectors.

In the past 10 years Pam's specialist focus has been on evaluating health services, in particular midwifery training, aged care services and health sector structures.

In 2016 she completed a second doctorate, in law, on barriers to patient access to assisted dying, with a focus on structural/systemic barriers and legislative reform.
Since 2014 she has also undertaken several research projects in NZ and Switzerland on nurses' and doctors' responses to end-of-life decision-making, including legal assisted dying and terminal sedation.

Pam has contributed chapters to a number of books on community psychology and evaluation, and presents regularly on professional development at national and international evaluation events. Her other interests include conservation, diving and creating colourful cocktails.