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Special Interest Groups

A Special Interest Group (SIG) provides opportunities for members with common interests to share knowledge and learning opportunities, provide advocacy, and act as a reference group for the associated committees.

A Special Interest Group may form if more than five members support its formation and it is approved by Council. Once a Special Interest Group has 8 members more formal processes will be required and a Committee formed.


The Advocacy SIG aims to support the advocacy activities of the Paediatric Society as a whole, its Special Interest Groups and individual members. It does this by helping to share information, connect the THE SOCIETY to the wider child advocacy sector, highlight key opportunities for advocacy, and by being a repository of advice. We are actively involved with various collaborations including the Child Wellbeing Network (an informal network for the child advocacy sector) and ACYA (Action for Children and Youth Aotearoa), the NGO alliance responsible for reporting on New Zealand’s implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Amanda D'Souza Amanda Jane D'Souza


The Allergy SIG supports paediatric services in providing allergy services to children and youth. The SIG develops resources to assist with investigation and management of children and youth with allergic conditions.
Robert Winkler Robert Winkler


The Cardiology SIG is a network to discuss issues of cardiologic interest principally in relation to medications and revision of guidelines.

Child Protection

The Child Protection SIG membership is open to medical, nursing and allied health practitioners who have an interest either theoretical or practical in matters pertaining to the health aspects of Child Protection and Family Violence. Members of the SIG are automatically included as members of the wider Child Protection Clinical Network (CPCN). The CPCN is the overarching structure that aims to help us as practitioners to facilitate service provision in health in regard to child protection management. The CPCN has a workplan in regard to this. The Clinical Reference Group (CRG) leads the network and also serves as the committee for the SIG. The Clinical Lead of the Child Protection Clinical Network leads the CRG and also is the Chair of the SIG. To make an enquiry about joining the SIG contact the Chair: Dawn Elder ( or Miranda Ritchie (
Dawn Elder Dawn Elder

Communication & Connection

Most parents now use the web for health information (diagnosis, treatment and support) and health professionals are using internet searches as part of their diagnostic strategy. Web based health information has become one of the foundations of health care; however, online health information is difficult to regulate and quality control is a challenge. Web users vary in their health information literacy and have difficulty knowing what information they can trust. Health professionals have a role to play in referring parents to accurate, sound relevant information based on the best available evidence. The Communication and Connection SIG will explore communication strategies and support discussion about the best way to transfer information for two main groups accessing health information. They include: - Families, care givers and whānau - Health care providers
Pam Henry Pamela Jean Henry

Community Child & Youth Health

The Community Child & Youth Health SIG supports health professionals within New Zealand working in the disciplines of child public health, including paediatric epidemiology, health promotion, disease prevention, advocacy, strategy, planning, management and population-based child and youth health research. The SIG provides advice to the Paediatric Society on current social, family and environmental issues affecting the health and well-being of children and young people, and ways in which the Society in responding to these issues might provide leadership to its members and the broader community.
Tim Jelleyman

Developmental Paediatrics

The Developmental Paediatrics SIG contributes to advocacy and feedback at a national level in a number of different domains. Some of the areas have included feedback around the need for review of MOH guidelines such as ASD and ADHD, methods of eligibility determination for needs assessments particularly around the question of intellectual disability and liaison around the Good start to life early intervention review.
Colette Muir, Fiona Graham Colette Muir Fiona Patricia Graham

Diabetes & Endocrinology

This SIG operates as a wider reference group for the Clinical Network for Child and Adolescent Diabetes. Members include medical, nursing and allied health colleagues from around New Zealand. It is a useful communication tool for information on Pharmac issues, service and workforce issues, conferences and training opportunities as well as case based discussions.
Fran Mouat Frances Mary Mouat


The Epidemiology SIG is an opportunity for Paediatric Society members with an interest in population child health to discuss the findings in NZCYES reports (available from and share expertise in developing epidemiological research ideas to improve wellbeing of children and young people in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Mavis Duncanson Mavis Joy Duncanson

Fetus & Newborn

The Fetus & Newborn SIG was established to ensure issues relevant to the fetus and newborn are regularly appraised. Members represent the Paediatric Society on a number of national committees and groups such as the Maternity Clinical Indicators Executive Working Group, the National Maternity Monitoring Group, Maternal Fetal Medicine Network and Governance Group. With the establishment of the Newborn Clinical Network in 2013 the clinical leadership role for newborn has worked through the Newborn Clinical Network with the aim to develop and maintain a nation-wide clinical service as close to home as is practicable. Given the size and range of newborn services the Newborn Clinical Network is particularly interested in advocating for the provision of equitable high quality newborn care in New Zealand. The Newborn Clinical Network have medical and nursing leaders from across New Zealand from both the large (Level 3) and smaller (Level 2) centres. The lead regional level 3 unit have always supported their level 2 units and we wish to add to that with national practice recommendations as decided by the clinical network group. See the Clinical Network site for more activity.
Nicola Austin Nicola Austin

Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition

The Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition SIG provide a forum for society members with a clinical or research interest in Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition to develop policies and strategies consistent with the vision and objectives of the PSNZ. The SIG acts as a source of expertise on issues of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition. The SIG assists in the co-ordination of services to children and young people across the country suffering disorders of the gastrointestinal tract (through the development of the child health network). The SIG advocates for children and young people on all issues related to their gastrointestinal health at local, regional and national level.
Andrew Day Andrew Day

Infectious Diseases & Immunisation

The Infection and Immunisation Special Interest Group is an active group including specialist infectious diseases paediatricians, general paediatricians, public health colleagues, antimicrobial pharmacists, microbiologists, general practitioners and immunisation advocates. We have strong links with the Immunisation Advisory Centre (IMAC) at the University of Auckland who work nationally as a service provider and research organisation around immunisation. - Organise face-to-face day meetings for education and advocacy purposes covering diverse topics as antimicrobial stewardship, new immunisations and paediatric virology - Run workshop days prior to the Annual Paediatric Society - Provide response to PHARMAC around appropriate access for anti-infective’s in all formulations for children, national immunisation schedule changes and funding for vaccines for special groups. - Create Paediatric Society Position statements for example on necessity of universal rotavirus vaccine for NZ (2012) - Feedback on MOH initiatives e.g.: National Sore Throat guidelines, Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy - Astute observations by members on our list server detect outbreaks of novel infectious agents in NZ
Tony Walls Tony Walls


The Injury SIG brings together those interested in preventing accidental injury to children.
Rebecca Hayman Rebecca Mary Hayman


The Nephrology SIG provides a forum for society members with a clinical or research interest in general nephrology, dialysis and renal transplantation to develop policies and strategies consistent with the vision and objectives of the PSNZ. The SIG acts as a source of expertise for PSNZ on issues regarding the above and provides a further level of support for the established national network of outreach clinics and teleconferences run via Starship. The SIG allows input in both directions to improve coordination of the above services and advocates for children and young people on all issues related to their kidney disease at local, regional and national level. The SIG provides a medium to supply educational updates to those involved in care of nephrology patients .
Nigel Orr Nigel Iain Orr

Pacific Island

The Pacific Island SIG provides a forum for similarly interested society members to develop policies and strategies consistent with the vision and objectives of the PSNZ. The SIG acts as a source of expertise in the particular interest of health issues for the child and adolescent Pasifika population sector. The SIG assists in the co-ordination of health services for the child and adolescent Pasifika population across New Zealand, and the south Pacific basin, through the development of a PSNZ SIG. The SIG advocates for the child and adolescent Pasifika population sector on issues related to their health at local, regional, national and international forums.
Vili Sotutu, Teuila Percival Viliame Trusttum Karayame Sotutu

Pain in Children & Adolescents

The Pain in Children & Adolescents SIG supports a multidisciplinary approach to the field of pain management in children and adolescents. Encourage education and research in paediatric pain (acute pain, procedural and iatrogenic pain, and persistent/chronic pain). The SIG supports health professionals within New Zealand to improve child and adolescent pain management through advocacy, strategy, and planning. The SIG provides advice to the Paediatric Society on current issues in the field of pain affecting the health and well-being of children and young people. The SIG collaborates with the NZ Pain Society Pain in Childhood SIG, to best achieve joint goals.
Bronny Trewin Bronny Trewin

Palliative Care

The Palliative Care SIG provides advocacy, lobbying, development of clinical guidelines and care pathways for Paediatric Palliative Care in New Zealand.
Karyn Bycroft Karyn Bycroft

Pharmacists & Therapeutics

The Pharmacist and Therapeutics SIG membership is mainly paediatric pharmacists across New Zealand but we do have the support of Paediatricians. We discuss current issues relating to accessibility and appropriateness of medicines for children nationally both within hospitals and in the community. We liaise with regulatory bodies such as Medsafe and PHARMAC to ensure our voice is heard on medicine-related matters to advocate for improvements in formulations, availability and funding of medicines for children. The P&T SIG hosts teleconferences 3-4 times per year with invited guests from PHARMAC, NZF for children and MERP where appropriate.
Louise McDermott Louise Mary McDermott


The Psychology SIG strengthens the links between psychology and paediatric medicine. It acts as a source of expertise in the field of paediatric psychology. Provides a forum for discussion of topics related to paediatric psychology. The SIG advocates for improved psychological service to children and young people within paediatrics. The SIG provides a forum to develop policies, guidelines, and strategies related to paediatric psychology consistent with the vision and objectives of the PSNZ. The SIG advocates for children and adolescents on all issues related to their health at a local, regional and national level.
Jo McClintock Joanna McClintock


The Respiratory SIG provides a forum for similarly interested Society members to provide collaborative clinical, educational and service development activities within respiratory medicine including sleep medicine, cystic fibrosis, asthma/bronchiolitis, chronic cough / LRTI/pneumonia.
Julian Vyas


The Scientific SIG maintains a source of knowledge about the running of the meeting by maintaining a conference handbook that is updated after every meeting. Ensure that a balance of topics is provided from year to year, and that the content reflects areas of interest to PSNZ membership. Develop and maintain the criteria for the young presenters' award, both in terms of eligibility, selection, marking and award(s). Also advise the council on maintaining an ongoing funding source for this award. Maintain a list of appropriate sources of funding for visiting speakers and develop an ongoing relationship with these funding sources. Directly participate in the selection of abstracts for presentation. Give advice to council from time to time regarding scientific and educational activities undertaken by the society, including the location of meetings.
John Thompson John Michael David Thompson


The PSNZ Surgical Special Interest Group provides a forum to discuss issues around surgical conditions and the provision of surgical services to children in New Zealand. The New Zealand Society of Paediatric Surgeons is the specialty’s professional group and this group works closely with the PSNZ to foster inter-disciplinary care. Specialist paediatric surgical services are based in four DHBs (CDHB, CCDHB, WDHB, and ADHB) but the burden of surgical disease in children is spread across the country. Moreover, children receive surgical intervention from a variety of surgical specialties in addition to paediatric surgery. These include: ORL, Orthopaedics, General Surgeons, and Urologists - in a variety of contexts. This SIG can act as a forum to facilitate dialogue around improving access to and quality of care for all clinicians involved in the care of children with surgical conditions.


This group was convened initially at the request of Professor George Abbott to overview and advise about the process of transporting children between hospitals around New Zealand. The membership of the group is aimed to reflect the various services around the country including level 3 services such as PICU and NICU as well as services which are responsible for moving unwell babies and children who require ward or HDU care. Parts of New Zealand pose significant geographic challenges and services based in those locations are represented. Medical and nursing representatives are included as well as some practitioners who are not members of the Society but have significant roles with children’s transport in their locations. Tasks and issues addressed by the group in recent years include the production of “Standards of Practice for the Inter-hospital Transport of Children”, examination of restraint mechanisms for sick children on transport stretchers and in incubators, comments regarding proposed Trauma Destination policies, Telemedicine, Commercial aircraft travel and Monitoring charts for children in transport, particularly when non-paediatric staff have to be involved. Various attempts have been made to collate data regarding the volume of such transfers but these have been foiled by variable data collection in the many individual DHBs and Transporting Services so that the full number of infants and children travelling between medical facilities in New Zealand is still not fully appreciated.
Liz Segedin Elizabeth Segedin