Programme is subject to change. Information will be added as it comes available.

The "NZRGPN National Rural Health Conference 2019, Blenheim" activities have been endorsed by The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners (RNZCGP) and have been approved for up to 19.25 CME credits for the General Practice Educational Programme (GPEP) and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) purposes.


Thursday 4 April


Preconference day

8.00am - 5.30pm  Registration desk open
Marlborough Convention Centre Foyer

4.00pm - 6.00pm Exhibition pack in
Marlborough Convention Centre

7.00pm  Doctors' and nurses' dinner
Yard Bar, 30 Maxwell Street


8.30am - 3.00pm

Rural Hospital Medicines update, AGM and Registrar Training Day 
Location: Hall 2, Marlborough Convention Centre

1.00pm - 3.45pm National PRIME Committee meeting
Location: Anderson Theatre, ASB Theatre Marlborough

4.00pm - 5.00pm 

Te Roopu Arahi Hui 
Location: Anderson Theatre, ASB Theatre Marlborough

5.00pm - 7.00pm NZRGPN board meeting
Location: Anderson Theatre, ASB Theatre Marlborough


10.00am - 5.00pm Third Annual Rural Research Day: who do we serve?

The "Third Annual Rural Research Day: who do we serve?" activity has been endorsed by The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners (RNZCGP) and have been approved for up to 5.5 CME credits for the General Practice Educational Programme (GPEP) and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) purposes.

Please click here to download the programme

We are excited to say there will be prizes on offer for the best Registrar presentation ($500), Student presentation ($250) and best poster ($250)!!    

Cost: $25 for students and registrars, $85 for everyone else, includes lunch and afternoon tea

Live streaming 
We understand not everyone can make it to Blenheim for the Conference so we have introduced an option to participate via live streaming. There will be a cost of $50 to participate. You will have access to watch all presentations on the day, and the opportunity to ask questions and comment in real time.

You will be sent the URL link to access the live stream on Wednesday 3 April 2019.  In the meantime click here
 for the instructions on how to participate in a live webcast using The GigTv Player.

Please click here to register for the live streaming

10.00am - 12.00pm Talking about alcohol
Facilitated by John McMenamin and Sinéad McCarthy, Health Promotion Agency

Do you find it sometimes difficult to talk to your patients about alcohol?

This workshop will help you. We will present a straightforward way of thinking about alcohol as risk, harm or dependence, and present options for detecting alcohol issues both by screening and in clinical situations. We will help you identify if your patient is not motivated to address alcohol, might be thinking about it, or could be ready to change right now, and give you simple approaches to feel confident in each of those conversations. We will include motivational approaches for use with your Maori patients.

This is a non-threatening workshop, easy to participate, and you will leave with practical skills which you can  try out on return to your practice.

Cost: $30, includes morning tea

Please click here for more information

10.00am - 12.30pm  'Your community needs you to be prepared'.  Developing sustainability to manage your communities.
Facilitated by Deb Fitzpatrick, Richard Swears & Tim Chiswell, Order of St John  

Are you and your organisation well trained and prepared for a disaster?

New Zealand lies in the Pacific 'Ring of Fire', a zone that encircles the base of the Pacific Ocean, making us particularly vulnerable to natural disasters such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.  As an island nation in the 'roaring forties', we are also exposed to the risk of tsunami, storms and flooding.  In addition, other hazards such as fire, pandemic or terrorism have the potential to cause widespread damage and take lives. 

An Emergo Train System (ETS) exercise is an excellent opportunity in real time and without clinical risk for you to test processes and plans already in place or to develop required plans from the evidence gained from your exercise. 

A realistic scenario has been created for you, your team and fellow colleagues to test your practice preparedness now and to enhance moving forward sustainability managing across your communities.  This is an excellent opportunity for clinicians and rural practices to test their response plans for a significant emergency event, a pandemic scenario. 

Following your ETS exercise, players will have the opportunity for a hot debrief to discuss their exercise experiences and therefore moving forward to update or create new plans to enhance sustainability for their organisation and their communities. 

Please note if you are attending this session please bring a hard copy of your emergency management plan and business continuity plan. 

Cost: $30, includes morning tea

2.00pm - 5.00pm  Infant Resuscitation Workshop

Facilitated by Dr. Stephen Robinson

I'm a paediatrician with in interest in teaching life support. This will be a short session on newborn life support in an out of hospital setting. I'll cover some theory and will talk about and demonstrate current practice in newborn life support. Skills covered will be airway manoeuvres, bag-valve mask ventilation and will touch on premature as well as term infant resuscitation. 

Due to the number of people wishing to participate in this workshop, the workshop will be 50 minutes long and repeated 3 times to ensure everyone can have more of a hands on experience.  

Cost: $30, includes afternoon tea

2.00pm - 5.00pm How to start managing and intensifying insulin 
Facilitated by Dr. John Wilson, endocrinologist at CCDHB & Mr Rab Burtun, diabetes nurse specialist 

This workshop will cover;
- Starting insulin sooner rather than later
- Overcoming the barriers to taking insulin 
- Starting insulin
- Intensification options
- Insulin titration, basal plus, basal bolus & Premix
- Managing Sick day & travel
- Managing Type 1 patients in primary care
- Managing patients with renal disease taking insulin 
- Managing patients taking steroids and insulin

Cost: $30, includes afternoon tea

2.00pm - 4.00pm Nurses workshop

This workshop will begin with an interactive seminar by Michelle Boltz. Tracey Reid, Clinical Nurse Educator from Dunstan Hospital will then give a session on 'Simulation' – it's role in training and the value of constructive debrief.

Cost: $30, includes afternoon tea

Followed by Rural Nurses NZ AGM


Friday 5 April

8.30am Conference opening
9.15am Minister of Health address
Dr David Clark
10.00am Rural District Health Boards and Health Workforce Production:  Can New Zealand lead the world?
Paul Worley
Australian Rural Health Commissioner

10.45am Morning tea
11.15am Trends in Type 2 Diabetes in New Zealand
Bryan Betty, Pharmac

Prostate Cancer Care for the Rural Healthcare Professional
Andrew Williams, Auckland Dhb, Moh, Prostate Cancer Foundation

Pioneers: Nurses Responding to the Changing Health Care Context
Jean Ross, Otago Polytechnic and Josie Crawley

Medtech update
Sanjeewa Samaraweera

Update on the National School of Rural Health
Felicity Goodyear-Smith, Garry Nixon, Ruth Stewart and John Burton 

Medicines Adherence – Are there unique issues for rural locations?
Dale Griffiths, Zoom Care

Caring in the community - changing tides
Siran Carter, Hospice Mid Northland

Whakakotahi and Turanga Health: reaching out into rural communities 
Jane Cullen, Health Quality & Safety Commission and Dallas Poi, Turanga Health

Achieving Financial Independence
Sue Stewart, MFAS

12.40pm Lunch  
1.45pm Physician Associates in New Zealand: Where Are We Now?
Alexandra Kayat, New Zealand Physician Associate Society and Tiffany Hodgson, New Zealand Physician Associate Society


PRIME update
Take the opportunity to meet with PRIME practitioners in a facilitated workshop style to discuss what PRIME might look like in 5 – 10 years' time and to consider how the service can be more effectively integrated into rural healthcare.

Outback Australia
Juliana Williams, Te tai tokerau PHO


Creating Sustainable Rural health models utilising all the benefits a PHO has to Offer
Jude Macdonald, Whanganui Regional Health Network

Transitioning of Ashburton Hospital to a fully generalist medical model of care: a case study
Steve Withington, University of Otago


Golden Bay Community Health - Our story over the last five years as we settle into our new Integrated Health Care Facility in rural NZ
Hannah Cummins, Golden Bay Community Health

2.30pm 45 Years of Obstetrics in a Rural Hospital
Clare Ward and Lis Bowker, Hauora Hokianga

What's new in Cardiology 2019 
Dr Joan Leighton, Heart Foundation and 
Gerry Devlin, Heart Foundation
Live Stronger For Longer - Improving Outcomes for Falls and Fracture in Older People
Ken Stewart

Why an Interprofessional Program learning experience in the Eastern Bay is benefiting students and communities
Yvonne Boyes, Bay of Plenty District Heath Board

Navigating the immigration pathway to attract and retain migrant practitioners
Craig Walsh, Immigration New Zealand

3.10pm Afternoon tea
3.45pm Health Care Home - retaining the rural values, extended care teams and staying connected
John Macaskill-Smith, Pinnacle - Ventures
4.30pm Clinical Schools where? The impact of rural clinical schools in Australia
Dr Ruth Stewart
5.15pm - 6.30pm Welcome function
Kindly sponsored by Health Promotion Agency
6.30pm - 10.30pm Pat Farry Trust Fundraiser - 'She Shears' film screening

Saturday 6 April

7.30am Medtech breakfast session

ACC breakfast session
General Practice Connect project
Ali McDougall
9.00am Nurse Practitioners: Providing Sustainable Care Across Diverse Rural Populations In The USA
Dr Michelle Boltz
Nurse Practitioner, Montana, USA
Kindly sponsored by Mobile Health

9.45am Ki te kotahi te kakano ka whati, ki te kapuia, e kore e whati. When we stand alone we are vulnerable but together we are unbreakable. 
Isolation and connection in rural and remote mental health. An emergency for men.
Dr Hinemoana Elder
Professor of Indigenous Health Research at Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi, and the Maori Strategic Leader for the Centre of Research Excellence (CoRE) for the Ageing Brain

10.30am Morning tea
11.00am Rethinking depression and anxiety
Bruce Arroll, Goodfellow Unit

Sanofi workshop- Adolescent Type 2 diabetes 
Dr John Wilson, Endocrinologist 

Evaluating a model of delivering specialist palliative care services to a rural New Zealand community
Amanda Landers, Nurse Maude Association

Type One Strong: What my 8 year old would like you to know about diabetes
Marcelane Ballantyne, SCDHB

Medicolegal Issues in Rural Practice – the challenges of geographical isolation
Lucy Gibberd, MPS

11.45am Provision of chemotherapy in a rural hospital using an outreach model: Clinical audit and service review
Jane Wright, Ashburton & Rural Health Services

Sanofi workshop -  Overcoming the barriers to taking insulin
Dr Liesje Donkin, Clinical and health psychologist 

Rongoa Maori in the age of antimicrobial resistance: Light at the end of the tunnel?
Sarah Clarke, Northland DHB and Vijaya Rajakrishnan, University of Auckland

Community Engaged General Practice
Ross Lawrenson, The University of Waikato

The culture in Medicine and Nursing. Different, yet similar
Chelsea Willmott, Empowering Education and Dr Lucy O'Hagan

12.25pm Lunch
NZRHN AGM -  Hall 3
1.30pm Technological innovations for mental health: Are they making accessing a clinician remotely possible?
Leigh Anderson, NZ College of Clinical Psychologists

Bladder Cancer and Cxbladder: My experience as both a patient and GP
Tony Birch

Urban vs. rural health disparities in NZ. Can we conclude anything from the data?
Garry Nixon, University of Otago

Maori use of Health Services from a Work & Income perspective
Ann Dysart and David Bratt Ministry of Social Development
Pat Farry Rural Health Education Trust Travelling Scholarship Experience
Tash Austin, Pat Farry Trust & Mark Owen-Cooper

2.15pm 'It's rare, but it's there': Diagnosing Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer
Dr Tristan Pettit, Aya Cancer Network Aotearoa

Improving equitable access to services that support mental health and wellbeing in a rural setting
Andrew Slater, Homecare Medical

Addressing mental health and lifestyle issues in Te Tai Tokerau youth, a co-design bicultural approach
Rhiannon Martel and Tracy Wihongi, University of Auckland

Undergraduate Rural Health Immersion Education: Good Medicine or Professional Placebo?
Emma Bilous, Otago Polytechnic

the Grow Your Own Rural Schools Visits program
Ben Alsop-ten Hove, Grassroots Rural Health Club

3.00pm Afternoon tea
3.30pm Keynote presentation
Dame Tariana Turia
4.15pm Future Student Leaders in Rural Health
Ben Alsop-ten Hove & Jibi Kunnethedam

5.00pm Conference close
7.00pm - 12.00pm Medtech Conference and awards dinner 

Sunday 7 April

9.00am - 12.00pm Network breakfast forum

This breakfast session is open to Network members. Be sure to register and secure your place, as this is your opportunity to share your thoughts on the future direction of the Network.

We will be doing things a little differently this year. We've engaged Craig Griffiths* to lead our morning. Craig is an experienced and skilled facilitator, having completed Hasso Platner School of Design course in Design Thinking and worked in stakeholder engagement and project and issue management. He will be asking us to consider 'What are the current issues impacting on rural health practices and practitioners? How we are viewed and/or listened to? and what is the role of NZRGPN in addressing these?' We're looking forward to hearing your feedback.

9.00am - 12.00pm Student breakfast forum


 Breakfast session, Conference dinner, Coffee lounge sponsor
 Satchel and workshop sponsor  Water bottle and fill stations sponsor
Breakfast session sponsor Lanyard sponsor
 Catering sponsor Welcome reception sponsor