Volume 25, No.2, August 2015, ISSN 1171-4999
Edited by Lan Weir
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What's in this issue:

President's Update

It has been a hectic time for the Executive Council since the conference.  As well as dealing with the issues raised by Hon Mojo Mathers just prior to the conference, the EC has been involved with PAR in responding to the NZDF request for tenders, we have continued to work with ANZAI to finalise the details of Audiometrist Membership of the NZAS, and we have begun planning for the next conference.  As always, a large number of people in the EC and on committees have contributed a lot of hard work, and given their time to support the profession.  Although it is disappointing to note that some of our members may be acting in ways that are more self-serving and less supportive of our profession, it is heartening to see that most are keen to work in the best interests of all.

As agreed by membership vote at the conference the NZAS responded to the NZDF request for tenders to provide Hearing services to war veterans by lodging an application for judicial review of the process followed by the NZDF.  Subsequently the NZDF suspended and then withdrew the tender request.  The NZDF has since paid the NZAS “costs”.  Although this reduced the expense to the NZAS the costs awarded ensured that the amount spent was within the estimates presented at the conference.

An invitation letter is attached inviting members of ANZAI and other audiometrists to apply for Provisional Membership of the NZAS.  This letter is being circulated by ANZAI to ANZAI members, but please also circulate this letter to audiometrists that you work with.

PTAG have continued their work towards establishing the paediatric certificate and this update includes information in the form of a Q & A section. 

Best Wishes,

Peter Stubbing

Audiometrist Project

On Saturday 8th August Karen Allen and I attended the General Business section of the ANZAI meeting to answer questions about the Audiometrists' Scope of Practice, to advise them that applications can now be made and that the application forms are available on the NZAS website. The attached letter which invites Audiometrists to join the NZAS and provides information to assist them getting started can now be distributed to all Audiometrists and to employers of Audiometrists. I urge you to encourage Audiometrists to join the NZAS, to welcome them when they do and to assist them where you can. 

This has been a long project (since 2010) and a large number of people from NZAS, from ANZAI, from the Ministry of Health, from the University of Auckland and from ADHB have invested considerable time and energy in it. I'm pleased that matters are now finalised, and thank all of you for your contribution towards achieving this.


Committee Membership - Call for Members

An updated list of NZAS members on Committees and Groups supporting the Executive Council, is available here.  Members involved in Committees receive CEP points.  If you would like to be involved in committee work, let us know by emailing  We particularly need more members for the PR & Website Committee and the 2017 Conference Committee (Conference to be held in Wellington).

Paediatric Certificate Update 

Please see the Paediatric Certificates page of the NZAS website for the latest update and a new list of FAQs on the Paediatric Certificate scheme. Keep an eye in this page for future updates as the development of the scheme progresses. 

The NZAS had a very positive discussion about the scheme with the Directors of Allied Health on the 12th of August. They will discuss details about how the flow of resources between DHBs might look and get back to the NZAS in a few weeks’ time.

The full Paediatric Certificate booklet is currently being revised and will be on the website near the end of September.

We welcome further questions on and feedback about the Paediatric Certification scheme. Please email these to

Members to upload their own CEP points from 7 September 2015

The CEP online system has been amended to allow members to upload their CEP Points from 7 September 2015.  Members will need to login online and access the Current CEP Points tab to upload their points.  Documents providing evidence of the points gained can also be uploaded.  It is important that members retain that evidence for 3 years to be able to prove their claim should they be involved in a random audit.

Details of the points available under the Continuing Education Programme can be found here.

General Information about the CEP can be found here.

Save the date! 2016 NZAS Conference

April 27th - 30th Christchurch

Planning is well underway for the 2016 NZAS conference, to be held in Christchurch at the stunning 106 year old Isaac Theatre Royal. The recently restored ‘Grand old Lady’ of New Zealand theatre is an amazing venue and we are very fortunate to have secured this site for our 40th annual NZAS conference. The NZAS AGM and General Business meeting will be held on Wednesday 27th April with the conference being held on Thursday 28th, Friday 29th finishing on Saturday 30th April at midday.
We are very pleased to announce that two Key Note Speakers have, so far, already been confirmed for this event. Professor Kevin Munro from the University of Manchester in the UK has a special interest in ‘Plasticity and aging’ and in-particular th  changes that occur over time in the auditory system due to training, deafness, development, or restoration of input to a deaf auditory system. The translational goal of this research is  to guide fitting and management options for hearing devices.
Patricia Roush is an Associate Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology, University of North Carolina (UNC) and Director of Paediatric Audiology at UNC Hospitals whershe specializes in working with newly identified infants and young children with hearing loss. She has special interests in early intervention and the challenges in the diagnosis of hearing loss in infants as well as clinical management of Children with Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder.

The conference committee are in the process of confirming a third Key Note Speaker and will also soon to be calling for abstracts from local presenters wishing to also speak at this event. For our trade display exhibitor’s further details will follow in due-course.  At this time, we ask that you all place April 27-30th 2016 in your diaries and keep your eyes peeled for further details relating to this event.  

Farewell to Bronwen 

Julie Hill

Bronwen was fare welled at an event or two at North Shore Hospital on August 12,  2015. This was her final day of Audiology practice with Waitemata Health. 

Bronwen completed her BA from Auckland University in 1972. Her initial start to university life was at Elam School of Art but she transferred to a BA completing a Major in Psychology. A good proportion of New Zealand’s “senior” audiologists, still active in our profession, had their first introduction to auditory science through the University of Auckland’s Psychology Department.

Bronwen’s career in public health audiology began when she joined the fledgling profession of Audiology in 1974.  In 1973 there was an “Audiology Scholarship” established by the Hearing Association after the idea was promoted to them by Dr Bill Keith.  The scholarship was a minimal contribution and the Department of Health, through the National Audiology Centre, added a salary to this.  The first two recipients were able to spend one year in Melbourne completing a Diploma in Audiology, one of whom was Bronwen.  In Melbourne in 1974, Bronwen was the first of many NZ Dip. Aud. Students taught Audiology 101 by Field Rickards.

Bronwen returned to Auckland to her position as the first “graduate” Audiologist employed by the ORL service at Green Lane Hospital.  She had a long working relationship with senior ORL specialists, in particular Sir Pat Eisdell Moore and Dr Ron Goodey.  From 1973 until 1998 Bronwen was working with the Auckland Area Health Board in both the hospital and at the National Audiology Centre clinics.  In the 2000s she headed north over the harbour bridge to join Waitemata Health and was placed at both North Shore Hospital and Waitakere Hospital in West Auckland.

For most of this time Bronwen has put a great deal of devotion into the provision of audiological assessment to support ORL diagnosis and with equal passion into adult hearing aid evaluation and ongoing support for those who purchased hearing aids from the public hospital clinics.  In the first decades of her career Bronwen was active in the public health provision of hearing aids at a time when public hospitals were the first port of call for New Zealanders seeking hearing help from amplification.

Through all her decades living and working in Auckland Bronwen has had very diverse interests and activities outside of Audiology.  The most public of these has been her interest in folk dancing.  She has performed citywide with the Ruritanian International Folk Dancing Club of which she has been President and acts as a valued teacher.  Through this group she has formed very close friendships and one of note was with Ruth Ames who sadly died 2 years ago.  Bronwen ensured a wonderful farewell for Ruth and continued with the teaching of Ruth’s dance class commitments.  For many months Bronwen has been working hard six days a week and still managed to keep up her social-life!  Other things that have kept her busy are her many roles in amateur theatre productions and her international travels incorporating her passion for national dance in many foreign parts.

Lastly, Bronwen is a member of “The Survivors”, a group of audiologist friends (women only!) who get together for dinner at the latest “must visit” restaurant several times a year and have done so for more than a decade. 

The author of this tribute is one of the “survivors” and asks forgiveness for any minor errors in the above narrative, as I cannot check with Bronwen as she is away again on her travels. 

Spatial speech recognition in noise: 

Normative data for sound field presentation of the New Zealand recording of the Bamford-Kowal-Bench (BKB) sentences and Consonant-Nucleus-Consonant (CNC) monosyllabic words

Oscar M. Cañete, Suzanne C. Purdy, Speech Science, School of Psychology, The University of Auckland, New Zealand
Author Contact: Oscar Cañete
Read full article here >

Accessable Update 

By Melissa Bay - Professional Advisor, Hearing Accessable


Based on Poster Presented at NZAS Conference July 2015 which covered the following:

  •  Hearing Aid Services expenditure over the past financial year
  •  Trends from the past four years for the Hearing Aid Subsidy Scheme and  Hearing Aid Funding Scheme
  •  Future projects

Read full article here >

Audiology & Beyond

Highlights of the 39th Annual New Zealand Audiological Society Conference 2015
Chessie Egan –MNZAS CCC

So what did you miss, at the 2015 Auckland NZAS Conference?
Apart from gloomy weather and rain a constant threat, the Auckland Conference, was overall a great success. Housed in a typical Auckland grandeur style building, that is the Viaduct Events Centre, the keynote speakers and discussions were provocative, refreshing and motivational. Continuing education for a profession such as ours is so vital upon staying abreast of new information and challenging current thinking and a reminder of why we chose this profession and who we have dedicated ourselves to helping.
The Auckland Conference made an early start at 8.50am with Mike Severn (former President) addressing the Membership in welcome and the start of the General Business Meeting. Key issues were raised including current correspondence from Veterans’ Affairs. Dr Bill Keith gave us a great update on the APD reference group and some compelling views. Furthered by an update of the Newborn Screening Unit by Moira McLeod which was insightful into how our pilot project has now blossomed nationwide. Workbridge funding (Adie McLaughlan) and Paediatric Certification process, updated by Genevieve Mercer. The morning finished with Jemini Patel covering for Louise Carroll, on the NFD Projects and Activities. Making a full non-stop, morning to noon rollercoaster ride of interesting topics and discussions.

The next order of business being the AGM started in usual formal fashion addressed by Mike Severn. Remits and topics were discussed, including the response NZAS might take with the current tendering process by VANZ.

Friday started without rain and the hustle and bustle of more arriving Audiologists made for a difficult entry into the seemingly automatic rotating doors of the Viaduct Events Centre. Thinking they are on sensor and the doors rotating at a slightly elevated vigorous speed but then stopping randomly, were cleverly turned off when everyone was called outside to sit on the tiered steps of Auckland Harbour to take the annual conference photo. There were a good number of stands and exciting new advancements in technology for hearing instruments and audiology equipment and a beehive of people around the espresso barista at a stand.

The morning was addressed by Dr Kathy Pichora-Fuller (University of Toronto on “Successful Hearing and Successful Aging, changing the script of rehabilitative audiology.” Dr. Pichora-Fuller gives a wonderful insight to our field from a different angle being a Professor of Psychology as well as an Audiologist. These lectures alongside Dr. Sara K. Mamo (ORL Dept, Johns Hopkins University) brought incredible insight into the topic of cognition, hearing loss and healthy aging. Cognitive function and the effects of hearing loss and how healthy aging may be affected, gives a better appreciation of utilising, cherishing and maintaining our faculties while we still have them. The take home message being – the more ‘active’ you are the lesser detrimental effects of cognitive aging. The word ‘active’ may include being socially active, physically active or involved in problem solving. One great example given was BALLROOM DANCING, or potentially being thrown into the deep end at a kindergarten, will help us maintain and utilise our brain power to aid in healthy aging, plus good diet and exercise. Dr. David Welch from the University of Auckland also updated us on current research in our backyard on the relationship between cognition and hearing.

Dr Mary Pat Moeller Boys Town National Research Hospital)  concluded the afternoon with an interesting topic on “Early Intervention: Promoting positive outcomes for children and families.”
Conference dinner commenced later that night and there were lots of palate-watering morsels and warm drink to go through, followed with music and ensuing dancing.

Saturday morning erupted with torrential rain, but quite cosy in the glassy building. Two streams broke off and two lectures began both of which were interesting which made deciding which stream to go to was difficult. The highlight of the morning would have been Dr. Sara Mamo and Dr. Kathy Pichora-Fuller discussing “Auditory Temporal Processing in Older Adults” and “Measuring memory to assess listening effort in healthy older adults and to screen for dementia”. A note that was interesting: being that humans are social creatures and having a hearing loss affects our ability to socialise and communicate. Contributing to lack of motivation and withdrawal in participation in social events and exacerbating the effects of aging on cognitive function and memory. Our role is ‘saving’ people from quitting and helping them to socially interact. The quality of the sensory signal impacts on social and cognitive decline.
Despite having normal hearing as an older adult, Dr. Sara Mamo showed in her research that the temporal processing is affected regardless of the presence of a hearing loss.

The afternoon session had Prof. Peter Thorne (University of Auckland) give us new research on “Brain Research Nz, a new centre of excellence: focussed on the aging brain”. An interesting note seen in the research currently shows new research into nerve synapses at different conditions and stages of development in the rat.

It was difficult not to cry watching Dr. Michel Neeff’s (ENT Surgeon) innovative auditory brainstem implant video of the gentleman at switch on after an unfortunate blood infection contracted from a knee operation. Dr. Colin Brown (Paediatric ENT Surgeon) also gave us a great ENT perspective on surgical options to over come conductive hearing loss and children with microtia and atresia and treatment options for these children ongoing.

Next year’s conference will be earlier in the year, being April and will be held in the warm arms of Christchurch City. We would all appreciate the earlier time seeing what winter has brought us so far.

Current NZAS President – Peter Stubbing concluded the 39th Annual NZAS Conference 2015 with thanks and motivational closing statements for the upcoming new year ahead.

I hope this has given you a good insight on this year’s conference and perhaps prompt you to try and make it to next year’s conference!

A patient once said, ‘getting old is not for sissies’ – great point.

Regulation of Audiology in Australia

July 2015

Healthcare professions are recognised by governments and the public as having defined scopes of practice and expertise that require predetermined levels of education and competencies. Recognition of scope of practice and required education affords the rights and responsibilities associated with earning a living from delivering healthcare services.

In Australia, many healthcare professions were, up until 2010, regulated in each state and territory. This meant that if a practitioner was found guilty of neglect or incompetence in one state, they could practice in a different state. Mandatory national registration under the Australian Health Professions Regulation Agency (AHPRA) was introduced in 2010 for ten professions that had previously required state registration in all states. 

Professions (including speech pathology) that were registered in one state or more were invited to put forward a case as to why they should fall under the national mandatory registration system. Speech pathology was invited to put forward a case for inclusion under AHPRA, which was unsuccessful on the grounds that the profession posed insufficient risk of physical harm
to the public.

Since 2010, the number of professions included under AHPRA has increased by 40%. 

Decisions as to which professions to include are made by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG). Close co-operation between states in the regulatory sphere is required. For example, complaints made against registered practitioners whose primary location is in NSW are processed by the NSW Healthcare Complaints Commissioner, whereas all other complaints are processed by AHPRA. Anyone practicing in a registered profession has to register with the national board of their respective profession. Registration is mandatory, not voluntary.

Registered professionals are listed in the online public register and qualifications can be verified with a simple search by name. Audiology, as a result of never having been state registered, is currently not regulated to the standard of other comparable, but more well established professions,such as optometry, occupational therapy and dentistry. Speech pathology and dietetics are two other fields that, similarly to audiology, are taught at university, but fall outside of the mandatory regulatory framework.

This is not to say that registration has not been debated and discussed within the profession. This topic has been on the agenda since 1965, before the first professional association of audiologists, Audiology Australia (formerly the Audiological Society of Australia) was founded.

Read full article here > 

Notes for Contributors

We welcome short articles of a scientific and clinical nature of general interest to audiologists in the areas of professional training and clinical service delivery.  Short papers on historical reviews or on applied clinical and theoretical research (including case studies) will also be accepted.  Responses to Articles should aim for clarity and brevity, with up to 2,500 words being an acceptable size.  All manuscripts will be acknowledged but authors are requested to retain a copy. 

Articles should be supplied as e-mail attachments.  Most word processing program files can be accepted.  Please supply any graphic items, such as separate files not embedded in the word processing file, and indicate originating program for both word processing and graphic files.

Authors should include the title of the article; the author’s name, preferred title, work address and contact details; a short abstract if applicable; and full references, typed according to the guidelines of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.  Tables and figures should be identified by a number and include full titles and descriptions. 

News and reviews of new products and news of members should be sent to the Editor ( or NZAS (

Articles, reviews, editorials and other material appearing in this e-Bulletin do not necessarily represent the official views of the New Zealand Audiological Society.

Publication of advertisements by the Society is neither an endorsement of the advertiser nor of the product and services advertised.  Advertisers may not incorporate in a subsequent advertisement or promotional piece, the fact that a product or service has been advertised in the e-Bulletin.

All material published in this e-Bulletin is done so in good faith that it is not subject to other copyright.  Authors may use their own material elsewhere at any time without permission.  The copyright holder of any item published in this e-Bulletin is the author of that item.  As such, permission to reprint material appearing in this e-Bulletin must be obtained from the author.  The author’s name will appear after the title of an article or at the end of the article, or both.

Copyright © 2015 New Zealand Audiological Society, All rights reserved.

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