NZDSN Annual Conference 2018 – UPDATE!!!

NZDSN Annual Conference 2018 – UPDATE!!!

NZDSN Annual Conference 2018

Making Change Real!




Welcome to 2018 and all the exciting things that are on offer from NZDSN.

After a hiatus in 2017, our NZDSN Annual Conference returns in 2018 in the earlier month of April. This year’s event is being held at Te Papa in Wellington on Wednesday 11 and Thursday 12 April – followed by a one-day Leadership Forum at the Copthorne on Friday 13 April.

We are really excited about this year’s event, we’ve missed you all and are looking forward to seeing you in two months’ time, here in our Capital City!

Below we have an update on a number of things we want to share with you:


Click here to register


Call for Papers

Our Call for Papers closes on Wednesday 28 February 2018. We want to hear your views on the sector, about your research, your case studies, anything that you believe is relevant to this year’s topics, which are outlined below:


WORKSTREAM ONE – Living Options

Examples of person centred approaches that offer personalised living arrangements; innovative staffing models; peer support accommodation/housing options; responses to challenging housing markets; generating neighbourhood/community supports; effective use of technology



Demonstrations of sustainable employment outcomes, particularly for people who experience the most significant barriers; customised approaches and job creation/carving; new employer engagement and marketing strategies; building employer confidence; micro enterprise/self-employment; research on costs and benefits


WORKSTREAM THREE – Participation and Citizenship

Community development/community building; mobilising community; facilitating and sustaining natural supports; civic engagement and participation; connecting and matching interests/skills; centre based to facilitation based support


WORKSTREAM FOUR – Workforce Development

Initiatives and innovations that develop support workers and their managers with the values, knowledge and skills that anticipate the future direction of services – informed by the Enabling Good Lives Principles and System Transformation; new roles and staffing models


WORKSTREAM FIVE – Supporting Families/Whanau 

Approaches that partner with families; empowering families/whanau; family governed/run services and supports.


Click here to submit your paper



Here is the outline of our agenda for the conference. We do reserve the right to make some slight changes to the programme but we are confident that everything will stay as it is.

We note we have invited Ministers to speak and/or present at our event, we are awaiting their final confirmation.  We also note that we have extended an invitation to the Prime Minister to be our guest speaker at the breakfast and in the absence of the Prime Minister we hope to secure a senior member of Cabinet.

Click here for further information on our keynote speakers

Wednesday 11 April 2018

9.00 am        Powhiri – followed by morning tea in our Exhibitor’s Lounge

10.30 am      Welcome Keynote : Dr Garth Bennie, CE, NZDSN

10.45 am      Keynote : Sarah Schulman

11.30 am      Keynote : Minister for Disability Issues

12.15 noon   Keynote : David Savage

1.00 pm      Lunch & Exhibitor’s Lounge

1.45 pm        Workstreams

2.30 pm        Workstreams

3.15 pm        Afternoon Tea & Exhibitor’s Lounge

3.45 pm        Keynote : Douglas Herd

4.30 pm        Keynote : Paula Tesoriero

5.00 pm        NZDSN Awards & Life Membership Inauguration

5.30 pm        Cocktail Function & Exhibitor’s Lounge

7.00 pm        Day One Finishes

7.30 pm        Conference Dinner @ Copthorne Hotel (optional extra)

Thursday 12 April 2018

7.30 am        Speaker Breakfast (optional extra)

9.00 am        Keynote : Sylvana Mahmic

9.45 am        Workstreams

10.30 am      Morning Tea & Exhibitor’s Lounge

11.00 am      Keynote : Lorna Sullivan

11.45 am      Lunch & Exhibitor’s Lounge

12.45 pm      Careerforce

1.00 pm      Keynote : Warren Forster

1.45 pm        Keynote : Sacha O’Dea

2.30 pm        Closing Remarks – NZDSN Chair, Sharon Saxton

3.00 pm        Conference Finishes


Optional Extras

We are pleased to arrange a variety of optional extras at the NZDSN Annual Conference 2018. These are outlined as follows:

  • Accommodation – we have worked with three hotels within the Te Papa District and negotiated competitive pricing for you. Each hotel offers something different and we encourage you to book through our website if you require accommodation. Rooms are limited and we need to know specifically if you require an accessible room.
  • Hotel Transfers – we have arranged with the hotels for a transfer service to and from Te Papa at the end of Day One of the conference and for the morning of Day Two of the conference – please indicate your interest in using this service when you register
  • Cocktail Function – on Tuesday 10 April 2018 for those of you checking into the hotel early, you are invited to join us at the Copthorne Hotel for a pre-conference cocktail. Whilst beverages will be at your cost, we will provide canapes for you to enjoy.
  • Conference Dinner – for those of you who wish to enjoy an evening together, we have arranged to have dinner at the Copthorne’s renowned 180 Restaurant. The ticket price includes dinner but beverages will be at your direct cost. Please feel free to bring a partner or work colleagues to this event.
  • Speaker Breakfast – following on from the success of our speaker breakfast at the NZDSN Annual Conference 2016, we are delighted to continue this event and strongly encourage you to participate in this event.


Pricing and further details are available on our website and note that numbers are strictly limited so please do not hesitate to contact us.

Click here for pricing on our Optional Extras


NZDSN Awards & Life Memberships

This year we will again be celebrating the best our sector has to offer with the presentation of the NZDSN Annual Awards. Additionally, we will be inaugurating our newest Life Members and rejoicing in their contribution to the sector and to NZDSN.

We will also enjoy the musical talents of The Mutes (from Mars)

The Mutes (from mars) is a unique professional rock band that draws on the creativity and passion of a group of incredible musicians, writers and performers who have a range of social and learning disabilities, the challenges of which have not limited the possibilities and talent of six amazing rockers.

The Mutes members are committed to their musical vision of bridging the gaps in society’s understanding and perceptions of people who have been marginalised in our community as well as make and perform great music.

The band members approach their music with great passion and skill with a commitment to overcoming the challenges their life situation throws up and to create music that can foot if alongside their musical peers in the rock music community.

Exhibitor’s Lounge

This is a hugely popular part of our event and we are delighted to introduce the Exhibitor’s Lounge to you again this year. If you are interested in participating as an Exhibitor, please contact our Event Manager Libby Carson directly for more information.


Leadership Forum

Following on from the NZDSN Annual Conference 2018, NZDSN will host it’s April Leadership Forum at the Copthorne Hotel in Wellington.

Details below:

How ready are you for the world of Personal Budgets?

There are increasing numbers of disabled people and families with personal budgets exercising choice and control over what, where and how support funding is spent. With the advent of system transformation this trend will accelerate.

  • What is an engaging conversation with someone who has a personal budget?
  • How focused are you about “the customer journey” in your organisation?
  • How well have you determined your hourly rates and unit pricing for the services and support you provide; and what are the different ways you can do this?
  • How well prepared are your administrative and IT systems for the advent of personal budgets?
  • What does financial planning and forecasting look like in response to personal budgets?
  • What is your value proposition? Why would someone with a personal budget want to knock on your door?
  • What is the scope for agency and sector collaboration in a world of personal budgets?

Hear from providers and invited guests who have spent some time on these and related questions as they share their experiences, learning challenges and insights.

An opportunity to share good practice and look at preparing for a transformed service system.

The forum will also provide updates on NZDSN projects, including the work on pricing and pay equity implementation.

This event will “commence” on Thursday 12 April 2018 at 6.00pm with drinks and dinner (cost additional) for those who are in Wellington and wish to gather before the event proper on Friday 13 April 2018.

Morning tea and lunch are included in the registration price.


Register Here





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