NZDSN 2023 Conference

We are excited to bring you this conference, our first post-COVID conference!  The theme: “Disability Support – at the Crossroads” reflects the many challenges we face currently, explores those challenges and how we might cope and manage our way through.

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What to expect: We have chosen four key sub-themes that build on the Crossroads picture:

  • Commissioning services, which includes funding issues, service frameworks, contracts service transformation and Enabling Good Lives
  • Workforce explores the need for a wider Disability Workforce Strategy in addition to recognising the current challenges around supply and demand, qualifications, etc
  • Accessibility and Housing topically explores the drive for a robust accessibility system in New Zealand and the shortage of accessible social housing and facilities to meet the demand for respite, appropriate under-65 facilities and more
  • And finally, Pay Equity explores the two pay equity claims currently on the table, the impact on the wider disability sector and the need for a fully and additionally government funded solution that doesn’t leave providers high and dry!


 TimeTuesday 18th July TimeWednesday 19th July
0930Powhiri0730Breakfast Session – Political Panel
0940Morning Tea0900Commissioning Keynote #2: Rt Hon Sir Bill English
1000Welcome Minister – Sean Stowers, NZDSN Chair0945Commissioning Panel Discussion
1010Minister for Disability Issues, Hon Priyanca Radhakrishnan1045Morning Tea
1040Minister’s Q&A with members1105Commissioning concurrent sessions (per service type)
1115Workforce Keynote: Ben Drew1205Lunch
1215Lunch1300Pay Equity Keynote: Amy Ross (Public Service Commission)
1250Workforce Panel Discussion1345Pay Equity Panel Discussion
1350Workforce concurrent sessions (per service type)1430Pay Equity concurrent sessions (per service type)
1450Afternoon Tea1530Closing Keynote: Red Nicholson
1510Accessibility & Housing Keynote: Paul Gibson1630Closing Remarks (CEO)
1610Accessibility & Housing Panel Discussion1640Karakia Whakamutunga – Closing Prayers
1710Accessibility/Housing concurrent sessions (per service type)  
1800Chairman’s Cocktail Function & Awards  

Concurrent sessions will involve three breakout sessions by service type:

  • Residential services
  • Community services
  • Vocational Services


Details Coming Soon

Trade Exhibitors

Details coming soon


Hon Priyanca Radhakrishnan, Minister for Disability Issues

Workforce Keynote

More Details to come

Workforce Panellists

Grant Cleland
Creative Solutions
Jade Farrar
NEGL Leadership
Rachel Daysh Whaikaha
Jonathan Mosen NZDSN Board
Riana Manuel
Te Ake Whai Ora

Accessibility and Housing Keynote:

Paul Gibson, Human Rights Commission and Royal Commission into Abuse in Care

Accessibility and Housing Panellists

Mike Potter
Community Connect
Greg Orchard
Accessible Housing
Kainga Ora
Tony Marsden

Political Panellists

Maureen Pugh National
Debbie Ngarewa-Packer Maori Party
Greg O’Connor Labour
Toni Severin – ACT
Jan Logie – Greens

Commissioning Keynote:

Rt Hon Sir Bill English

Commissioning Panellists

Amanda Bleckmann
Margie Apa
Te Whatu Ora
NZDSN Board Member
Ministry of Education

Pay Equity Keynote:

Amy Ross, Public Service Commission

Pay Equity Panellists

Jo Gagan
NZ Health Group
Melissa Smith
CCS Disability Action
NZDSN Board Member
Small Provider

Closing Keynote:

Red Nicholson

Chairperson’s Cocktail Function

The Chair of NZDSN, Sean Stowers, invites you to attend this cocktail function to further enjoy the networking benefits of conference and to celebrate with your colleagues the winners of the following awards, to be presented at the function.

Below prices include GST:

Member – Standard Registration (both days) – $661.25

Member – One Day Registration – $396.75

Non Member – Standard Registration (both days) – $776.25

Non member – One Day Registration – $465.75

Virtual Registration (observe keynote and panel discussion sessions live online) – $661.25

Accompanying Support Person – $143.75Gift Registration (a Gift Registration is for you to sponsor someone unable to otherwise attend the conference due to hardship; awarded on the sponsor’s behalf by NZDSN) – $529.00

Register Here