The New Zealand Speech-language Therapists' Association (NZSTA) is the professional body representing, supporting, and advocating for over 1,100 speech-language therapists in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Advocacy on behalf of the speech-language therapy profession is a priority for NZSTA.
Working with and on behalf of its members, NZSTA plays an active role and speaks up on issues impacting speech-language therapy practice and the health and well-being of our communities.
We meet with government and non-governmental agencies and contribute to policy and public debates on various issues to ensure:
- They understand and appreciate speech-language therapists' contribution to the health and well-being of New Zealanders and the value our members generate.
- NZSTA is in a strong position to propose practical solutions to the adverse issues affecting our members and clients to key influencers and policy decision-makers.
Advocacy Strategy 2021
NZSTA commissioned an advocacy plan to help us advance a key strategic aspiration: Increased access to speech-language therapy – i.e., improved access to quality, evidence-based speech-language therapy services.
Click here for a summary.
NZSTA has set up an advocacy working party to develop this strategy.
COVID-19 advocacy continues for NZSTA, as speech-language therapists operate through the COVID-19 Protection Framework and Omicron. NZSTA maintains ongoing contact with the Ministry of Health (MoH) to provide guidance.
All updates and guidance are circulated to members and can be found on our COVID-19 web page.
We aim to routinely bring your awareness to opportunities to provide feedback on speech-language issues.
- Plain Language Bill (currently on its third reading - submissions closed)
- Accessibility for New Zealanders Bill (submissions closed - see NZSTA submission)
- Therapeutic & Natural Products Bill (select committee) - submissions due 9th February 2023
Please alert the executive director to any opportunities so that we may consider action.
Health and Disability System Review
NZSTA has been keeping an eye on the new health and disability system.
With changes generally going beyond recommendations from the Health and Disability System Review, Allied Health Aotearoa New Zealand (AHANZ), on our behalf, continues to work with the Transition Unit senior staff actively.
AHANZ chair Sandra Kirby presented to the Federation of Primary Health and Health Transition Unit staff on the role of allied health in the new system. In July 2021, she met with Health Transition Unit senior staff to continue this advocacy.
NZSTA contributed to the June 2021 Hidden in Plain Sight report, commissioned by AHANZ t to demonstrate the value of allied health in community-level care. Our message remains that the redesign of the health system provides the perfect opportunity to unlock the potential of speech-language therapy and other allied health to improve the health and wellbeing of New Zealanders. This is an evidence-based and cost-effective solution to the growing pressure on health services.
See The Future of Health – presentation.
Read our two-page summary offshoot of the NZIER report: Optimising the role of speech-language therapists in the future health and disability system.
Allied Health Aotearoa
NZSTA is a member of Allied Health Aotearoa New Zealand (AHANZ), a national forum for allied health professional associations, working together to promote their members' role in getting better patient results.
Allied health professionals could contribute much more to New Zealanders' health and wellbeing. The current health and disability reforms offer the chance to better use and integrate the services of allied health professions into the broader health system.
The NZIER report to AHANZ, "Hidden in Plain Sight – Optimising the allied health professions for better, more sustainable integrated care", explores why this is so important and how optimisation might best be achieved.
A two-page summary offshoot of the NZIER report developed: Optimising the role of speech-language therapists in the future health and disability system.