UNHSEIP Virtual Hui – 11th May 2021

Ten years of newborn hearing screening celebrated, promoting equity, programme improvement and innovation for the future

Nau mai, haere mai, afio mai.

The National Screening Unit hosted the Universal Newborn Hearing Screening and Early Intervention Programme (UNHSEIP) online hui on 11th May 2021.

The virtual hui provided a valuable opportunity for our screening workforce to:

  • celebrate and acknowledge the positive impact the programme has had for many newborn tamariki and their family/whānau over the last 10 years
  • deepen their understanding of equity, and learn practical strategies that can reduce barriers to families participating in the screening pathway
  • learn from others who have improved local service delivery to improve outcomes, and
  • hear from screening experts about the new and emerging evidence that could support better professional practice for screening teams.

How the hui was held

This is the first time that a UNHSEIP hui has been held virtually. For 2021, due to COVID-19 it replaced the annual regional study days that were run by the DHB regions in previous years.

Holding the hui online ensured that as many people as possible could come together to build relationships, learn and connect.

The hui was held during New Zealand Sign Language week (10 to 16 May 2021). Opportunities were provided throughout the day for staff to increase their understanding of sign language.


Over 120 attendees including screeners, screening coordinators, audiologists and members of the Ministry's National Screening Unit attended the hui.

Hui programme

View the UNHSEIP hui agenda (Word, 138 KB), (PDF, 136 KB).

View the speakers below.

Welcome, opening speeches and Placing equity at the forefront of our work, minds and practice

Mihi whakatau, Jade Chase, Chief Advisor Pae Ora, Māori Health Directorate, Ministry of Health.
Opening speeches:

Hon Dr Ayesha Verrall, Associate Minister of Health.
Dr Ashley Bloomfield, Director-General, Ministry of Health.

Screening from the viewpoint of a deaf parent, Lara Draper and Natasha Cloete, Deaf Aotearoa. 
Equity in newborn hearing screening (presentation and workshop), Jade Chase and Kirkpatrick Mariner, Manager Pacific Health, Population Health and Prevention Directorate, Ministry of Health.
Jane O'Hallahan, Clinical Director Screening, Clinicans Screening, Ministry of Health.
Pat Tuohy, Pediatrician and founding member of the Newborn Hearing Screening Advisory Committee.
Thank you, Stephanie Chapman, Group Manager, National Screening Unit, Ministry of Health.

Celebrating our history, improving our future

Emerging evidence in newborn hearing screening, Rachael Beswick, Newborn Hearing Screening Programme Leader, Queensland.
Learning from our parents and our peers - screeners with children diagnosed with a hearing loss share their experiences of being through the hearing pathway, Rachael Hopkins, Newborn Hearing Screener, Counties Manukau DHB, and Camille Wright, Newborn Hearing Screener, South Canterbury DHB.

Celebrating our history improving our future (part 2)

DHB stories: Innovations in screening to reduce inequities, Northland DHB, Jessica Kimberley and Southern DHB, Kelsey Stewart.
Outcomes for deaf children identified through UNHSEIP with particular reference to the role of sign language and Deaf culture in their development, Dr David Welch, Head of Audiology, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland.

Improving communication with families and whānau to improve equity

Kahu sharing her experience with cochlear implants and sign language.
NZ Sign language taster, Lara Draper and Natasha Cloete.

Keeping our workforce well

Closing feedback and karakia

Jasmine Plimmer, Manager, Antenatal and Newborn Screening Programmes, National Screening Unit, Population Health and Prevention Directorate, Ministry of Health.

View the presentations from some of the speakers below.

A recording of the programme sessions will be available soon.

More information

For more information about the hui please email:
Rachael Bayliss
Senior Advisor
Antenatal and Newborn Screening Programmes Team
[email protected]

Page last updated: 08 July 2021