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70th Annual Conference and 71st National Council Meeting

The 70th Annual Conference and 71st National Council Meeting was held at the Novotel Hotel in New Plymouth during the weekend 7-9 April 2017.

Friday Evening – Official Opening

The arrival of pipers signalled the start of the weekend’s activities, followed by a Mihimihi performed by Mr. Ken Te Tau and a welcome to approximately 80 Amputee Society members and supporters by the President, Mr. John Ealand.  Mayor Neil Holdom welcomed visitors to New Plymouth and shared a childhood memory about an amputee farm labourer.  Mr. Holdom extended best wishes for a successful weekend, and officially declared the Conference open.  Light refreshments were then served, while those present mingled with old and new acquaintances.

The business session followed, with the Election of Officers resulting in the following: Mark Bruce (President); David Johnston (Vice President); Lorraine Peacock (Coordinator/Treasurer); Wally Garrett, Geoff Hansen, Claudia Teague and Matt Bryson (Committee).


In the morning, attendees enjoyed leisure time, including sightseeing tours around New Plymouth.

During the afternoon, a talk on Living with Chronic Pain by Dr Lorna Fox, Pain Medicine Specialist, was of great interest and very informative. This was followed by Tim Crowe speaking about Amputees in Action, and a session on Prosthetic Services in New Zealand.

Sponsors’ Slots during the weekend included demonstrations by Otto Bock Australia Ltd and Ossur Asia-Pacific.


Ken Sowden, Operations Manager for Parafed Canterbury gave an interesting talk on The Paralympics over the Years, following which the Give it a Go! youths who had taken part in activities the previous day shared their experiences (see the Give it a Go! page for some of their comments).


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