National 1 March 2018
Dear Member,

Welcome to the 4th issue for 2018 of ASMS Direct, our national electronic publication.

You can also keep in touch with the latest news and views on health issues relevant to public hospital specialists via our website, which contains links (at the top of the home page) to our Facebook and LinkedIn pages, as well as our quarterly magazine The Specialist. We’re also on Twitter at

Your new National Executive

Elections for the ASMS National Executive are nearly complete, with a vote to be held in two regions where nominations have exceeded the number of positions available.

Returning Officer John MacDonald has declared that Murray Barclay (gastroenterologist, Canterbury) has been elected National President of ASMS, with Julian Fuller (anaesthetist, Waitemata) as Vice-President. Immediate Past President Hein Stander (paediatrician, Tairawhiti) will also be on the National Executive as a result of the creation of this position through an amendment to the Constitution adopted at the Annual Conference in 2017.

The confirmed regional representatives are as follows:

Region 2:

  • Paul Wilson (anaesthetist, Bay of Plenty) and Annette van Zeist-Jongman (psychiatry, Waikato)

Region 3:

  • Tim Frendin (internal medicine, Hawke’s Bay) and Angela Freschini (anaesthesia, Tairawhiti).

Elections will be required for Regions 1 and 4, as three nominations were received in each region for two positions. The candidates for those regions are:

Region 1:

  • Julian Vyas (paediatrics, Auckland)
  • Jennifer Henry (anaesthesia, Northland)
  • Andrew Ewens (emergency medicine, Waitemata).

Region 4:

  • Seton Henderson (intensive care, Canterbury)
  • Alastair (Craig) Carr (anaesthesia, Southern)
  • Catherine (Katie) Ben (anaesthesia, Nelson Marlborough).

Voting papers are being circulated to members in those regions, and the closing date for votes is 4.30pm on Tuesday 27 March. Please contact the ASMS national office on 04 499 1271 if you have any question about this.

Following these elections, the new National Executive will take office on Wednesday 1 April for a three-year term. The first meeting of the new Executive will be on 11-12 April in Wellington.

ASMS tells Government to make good on its pre-election trade deal position

ASMS has once again reminded the Labour Party of its pre-election support for an independent health impact assessment of the international trade deal formerly known as the TPPA, now renamed the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

Members have repeatedly asked for an independent assessment due to concerns about the potential impact on health care policy and delivery in New Zealand. ASMS wrote to Trade Minister David Parker in December to follow up on the Labour Party’s expressions of support for such an assessment prior to last year’s general election.

We issued a media release to remind the Government that members are still waiting for an answer about when an independent health impact assessment will be done. The full ASMS media release is online at The New Zealand Medical Association also put out a media release:

Remember to vote in the Medical Council election

A reminder that voting is open for the Medical Council election. Voting closes at noon on Friday 23 March 2018, with a field of 21 candidates standing for four positions. The full list of confirmed candidates is available online at

ASMS encourages all members to exercise their right to vote.

Farewell to Kathy Eaden

For many members, their first encounter with ASMS has been the friendly voice on the phone at the national office. Membership Support Officer Kathy Eaden has been your go-to person for any queries about your membership and subscriptions, as well as organising travel and accommodation for ASMS events such as the Annual Conference.

Today is Kathy’s last day in the office after 14 years with ASMS. She is off to take a well-earned retirement and spend some time with her grandchildren. We will be sorry to see her go. She has proven to be highly loyal to ASMS, meticulous, conscientious and tenacious. All and all a lovely person and team player who has contributed much to ASMS and will be missed.

Any future membership queries can be sent to Membership Administrator Saasha Everiss at

Kind regards,

Ian Powell