Perinatal Society New Zealand Annual Scientific Meeting 2022

The Perinatal Society of New Zealand is pleased to bring you the first in-person Annual Scientific Meeting in three years! We welcome you to Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland on the 10th and 11th November 2022 for an exciting line-up of guest speakers, research presentations and an opportunity to relax and enjoy the company of colleagues. Our theme for this meeting is “Improving perinatal health equity across Aotearoa”, a timely theme with the opportunities offered to us within Te Whatu Ora and Te Aka Whai Ora.

We have a 1 ½ day programme to offer you, at a great central Auckland location at the Fisher & Paykel Clinical Education Centre, located at Auckland Hospital, Grafton. 

What’s on the programme?

Our speakers have been invited to discuss perinatal equity in Aotearoa, in the context of their own research. There will be a dedicated focus on equitable healthcare provision experiences of wāhine Māori and whānau. Further details and a full programme will follow:

Keynote Speaker

Professor Caroline Crowther

Caroline Crowther is a maternal fetal medicine subspecialist and Professor of Maternal and Perinatal Health at the Liggins Institute, University of Auckland. She aims to attain the best health and well-being possible for women and their babies through excellence and leadership in research, education and knowledge transfer. 

Her research focuses on synthesising research knowledge to identify best practice and research gaps, conducting clinical studies to improve the health of pregnant women and babies, especially related to preterm birth and the prevention and treatment of gestational diabetes, and translating new research findings into clinical practice.

She has extensive experience in the design, conduct and analysis of randomised clinical trials and has coordinated many large, multicentre trials that focus on the evaluation of new perinatal therapies or care practices, in collaboration with researchers in New Zealand, Australia and overseas. These landmark trials are recognised internationally for their high quality and have led to translation of their findings into clinical practice guidelines and clinical care, improving maternal and perinatal health worldwide. 

Invited Speakers

Jo James

“Associate Professor Jo James is a placental biologist based in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Auckland, New Zealand.  Her core research interest is human placental development and function, and how impairments in this lead to fetal growth restriction. She leads research combining in vitro experiments at the cell and tissue level, in vivo imaging data, and in silico modelling approaches to better understand why fetal growth restriction occurs, in order to improve our ability to predict, detect, and treat this disorder.

This work has attracted funding from the Marsden Fund, Health Research Council, Catalyst Fund and Auckland Medical Research Foundation. She sits on the Executive Committee of the International Federation of Placenta Associations, is the Secretary of the Australian and New Zealand Placental Research Association, and an Associate Editor of Human Reproduction Update. Recently, A/P James has sought to more holistically expand her research scope by assembling a multidisciplinary team to better understand the experiences of pregnant people and their whānau affected by fetal growth restriction.

At the PSNZ meeting, she will talk about work using a focus group approach to better understand patient experiences of impaired fetal growth in Aotearoa New Zealand, with a specific focus on the information patients received or sought during this time, and how this could be improved to meet diverse patient needs.”

Dr Liza Edmonds

 (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Whātua)

Liza is a Māori Neonatal Paediatrican and Senior Clinical Lecturer at Kōhatu Center for Hauora Māori and Dunedin School of Medicine at the University of Otago.  Clinically she works for Te Whatu Ora Southern in Dunedin.  Liza has worked in roles within the Southern rohe, including clinical Neonatology, General Paediatrics and research in perinatal health and wellbeing.  She is the mother of 3 teenagers and married to a tane from Oamaru and enjoys being part of her wider whānau and community.

Her research focuses on equity and access to evidence based care as a fundamental right for whānau challenging systems that currently privilege whiteness and wealth.  She has the pleasure of working with teams from across Aotearoa including the University of Otago, Te Tātai Hauora o Hine (National Center for Women’s Health Research Aotearoa) at Victoria University, Katoa Ltd and the Liggins at the University of Auckland.

Liza will present a Key Note Speaker presentation alongside supporting Māori and Tauiwi researchers presentations in a symposium highlighting an indigenous lens in perinatal medicine and opportunities to progress the mahi equitable evidence based Perinatal care in Aotearoa.

Lisa Kremer

(Kāi Tahu, Kāti Māmoe, Waitaha)

Lisa was born and raised in Southland and moved to Dunedin to complete her Pharmacy Degree at the University of Otago (2003).  Prior to working in academia, Lisa worked in Hospital and Community Pharmacy in both rural and urban settings, and Community Pharmacy in London.  Lisa’s current role is a Lecturer in Clinical Pharmacy at He Rau Kawakawa, University of Otago.  Her research focuses on efficacy and safety of medicines used in preterm infants, with a focus on health equity for Māori.

Lisa will present Māori data collected as part of her PhD for the Little Eye Drop Study.  The Little Eye Drop Study aims were to investigate the efficacy and safety of mydriatic eye drops used for retinopathy of prematurity eye examinations.


Anna Adcock

(Ngāti Mutunga)

Anna is a Kaupapa Māori health researcher and doctoral student at Te Tātai Hauora o Hine National Centre for Women’s Health Research, Te Herenga Waka Victoria University of Wellington.

Her doctoral study is an exploration of whānau Māori experiences of preterm birth and their journeys until first birthday.

Anna will be presenting key findings from what whānau and their health practitioner champions shared about these journeys with an emphasis on highlighting values and practices that contribute to culturally safe care.

April Mihaere

April Mihaere has first-hand experience after the surprise arrival of her son at 24 weeks. She and her whanau have navigated both the NICU and paediatric wards, giving her a unique perspective. She has used this experience to help advocate and support parents going through similar experiences through several online support groups. As a student at Massey University, April is using this inside understanding to guide her own research in Psychology for her master’s thesis.

April will be presenting a video of whanau stories and perspectives to explore what NICU and/or SCBU parents would like their medical teams to know. Videos have been sent in via parents of the NZ NICU, SCBU and NNU Parents (online) Support Group.

Arianna Nisa-Waller

Arianna is a Hauora Māori academic based within Kōhatu, Centre for Hauora Māori, Division of Health Sciences. She is the academic lead of the Māori Health major and teaches mātauranga Māori centred practices across the health professional programmes at the University of Otago. Arianna has proud whakapapa to Ngāi Te Rangi and Ngāti Ranginui iwi linking back to the Eastern Bay of Plenty town of Tauranga where she was born and raised. She is constantly inspired and challenged by her role as a māmā to a beautiful 2 year old and her responsibility daily to be a good ancestor.

Arianna’s passions are located within the realm of women’s health research particularly in relation to exploring Māori maternities through the use of narrative inquiry. The sharing, and embedding of these narratives into the medical curriculum carries valuable insights to develop culturally safe practice in our clinicians now and into the future.

We are also pleased to advise that we are accepting abstracts for both oral presentations along with poster submissions. We strongly encourage submissions from new investigators. Prizes will be made available for the best oral and poster presentation given by a new investigator. Abstract submission guidelines can be found here, and details of prize eligibility can be found here. Please ensure you indicate whether you would like to be considered for the new investigator award at the time of submission.