This year NZABA celebrated its 10th annual conference at the University of Auckland with its biggest attendance to date with 88 delegates, with a number traveling from outside New Zealand. The standard of the 34 presentations and 9 posters were excellent, as usual, and sparked a lot of interesting discussions. An informal gathering was held at SPE bar on Friday. The conference was held in the Copthorne Hotel on Anzac Avenue on Saturday and in the Human Sciences Building on Sunday.

NZABA once again offered Continuing Education Units to practitioners in applied behaviour analysis, administered by Oliver Mudford.

Student presentations always feature in NZABA’s programme but the bar continues to be set higher each year. For the second year in a row, Sarah Cowie won the best basic-research presentation with a paper entitled, “A step in time from 1 to 9: Discriminating local food ratio reversals that occur a fixed time after the last reinforcer”. This was the first time NZABA awarded the same student two years in a row, indicating the outstanding quality of Sarah’s presentation. Elin Engstrom won the best applied presentation with her talk entitled, “Applied behaviour analysis in a dementia care facility”. A number of high-quality Honours and Master’s presentations inspired the nomination of an award to Jonas Chan for his paper entitled, “Stimulus control and resistance to extinction in combined stimulus contexts”. Congratulations to these students on their awards and thank you to all student presenters for contributing to an excellent programme.

Previous winner, James McEwan, awarded Brett Furlonger the Bullroarer for pulling the cloth from our eyes and asking us to examine our effectiveness as teachers. After naming practically every word spoken at the conference, as previous winner, Dave Harper awarded Katrina Phillips the venerable Spear for her claims to play God.

Chris Podlesnik handed the position of President/Chair to Celia Lie, Celia Lie handed Secretary over to Anne Macaskill, and Doug Elliffe provisionally handed Treasurer to Brent Alsop pending Brent’s approval.

Thank you to everyone who helped organise NZABA 2013 and we look forward to NZABA 2014 at the University of Otago in Dunedin.

Chris Podlesnik – 2013 NZABA President/Chair


New Zealand Association for Behaviour Analysis Annual General Meeting

 Saturday 31st August, University of Auckland

 NZABA 2014

As per last year’s decision, the 2014 conference will be hosted by the University of Otago in Dunedin.

Committee Roles

Celia Lie (Otago) to be the next Chair/President, taking over from Chris Podlesnik (Auckland).

Anne Macaskill (VUW) to be Secretary, taking over from Celia Lie (Otago).

Brent Alsop (Otago) nominated to take over the Treasurer’s role from Doug Elliffe (Auckland).

Action: Celia to check with Brent if he is willing to be Treasurer.

Treasurer’s Report

Doug Elliffe (Auckland) reports that we had around $7200 in the NZABA account prior to the conference.

The current account with ANZ cannot be closed down without Nathalie Boutros’s signature (location currently unknown). One solution is to set up a new account, then withdraw all the money from the current account to place into a new account. The new account needs to be set up for a non-profit organisation, and preferably requiring only one signature for such activities as writing out cheques and closing the account down.

Action: Celia/Brent/Doug to organise this after all expenses for NZABA 2013 are taken care of.

Other Costs

Annual costs of renewal for the NZABA website (around $15). Doug has been paying this out of his own pocket.

Action: James McEwen volunteered to pay for the next year.

BACB fee for CE credits also needs to be paid once a year (around $150).

Action: New Treasurer to arrange to cheque to be sent.

Code of Ethics

Following an email to Chris earlier in the year regarding whether NZABA has a code of ethics, a brief discussion took place about whether we needed one. It was agreed that the code for ABAI would suffice, and that the NZ Psychological Board’s ethics code also covers research. No Code of Ethics would be adopted by NZABA specifically.

Student Travel Fund & Prizes

Because NZABA is in a good financial situation at the moment, it was suggested that we use some of this money to pay for student travel.

Doug also suggested that the student prizes be raised slightly (since they have been $100 for a long time and haven’t been adjusted for inflation). All in favour.

Action: Doug to email one person per University to see whether students have paid money out of their own pocket for travel expenses.

Action: Doug to send out cheques student prizes to the winners.

Thank You

Thanks to the University of Auckland Psychology Department for paying for most of the costs of the conference.

Thanks to Doug Elliffe for holding the Treasurer’s role for a number of years.

Thanks to Celia Lie for holding the Secretary’s role for a number of years.

Thanks to Chris Podlesnik for being the Chairperson for the past year.

Thanks to the organising team of NZABA 2013 for a well-run (and very well-attended) conference.

Meeting closed at 5:50pm.


Good afternoon everyone,

 To give us an indication of numbers of likely attendees at the NZABA Conference next month, could all attendees please answer the two questions (a) whether you are planning on attending the conference, and b) whether you (and your partner/family) are planning on attending the conference dinner on Saturday) on the “Attendance Poll” at the link below:


Please forward this link on to students (or any others who are not on the mailing list) who are planning on attending also. We would like your replies to this poll ASAP.

Please note that conference registration for NZABA 2013 will occur on the morning of Saturday 31st August. All conference attendees must register their attendance. Conference fees are $140 for waged (payable upon registration), and free for students. Please note that although students pay no fees, they still need to register on the day. (Voting on the “attendance polls” does not mean that you have “registered” – you still need to register your actual attendance on Saturday morning.)

Further conference details (including details about Friday’s drinks and Saturday’s dinner) are now available on the NZABA website here:


To all those who are presenting, can you please submit your abstracts to Chris by 19th August (although ASAP is preferred to lessen the administration workload). Please include all authors and affiliations when you do so. Email abstracts to c.podlesnik@auckland.ac.nz. Please note that talks will be 15 minutes each, plus a few minutes for questions.


A final reminder that today is the last day to send in your title submissions for the 2013 NZABA Conference, to be held in Auckland from 30 August – 1 September. Please submit your titles today to Chris Podlesnik at c.podlesnik@auckland.ac.nz.

For all those planning on presenting, the abstract deadline is the 19th August. Please send your abstracts to Chris Podlesnik at c.podlesnik@auckland.ac.nz.

Talks will be 15 minutes each + a few minutes for questions.

Finally, here are some more details from Chris about venues and accommodation for NZABA 2013:


The conference will be held at the Copthorne Hotel on Saturday and on the University of Auckland campus on Sunday (10 Symonds Street). Both are within a 5 min walk from one another.

If anyone wants to stay at the Copthorne Hotel, they must book directly with them and quote the conference booking ID: #79283 to receive the special rate of $110 (includes GST) per night. The booking will be confirmed subject to availability.

Here is the hotel contact info:

150 Anzac Avenue

P.O. Box 3272

Auckland, 1010

New Zealand

T. +64 9 379 8509

F. +64 9 379 8582


We are working toward coming up with a place to meet informally on Friday night and for the Saturday night dinner. Hopefully, both will be quite close.

Thanks, let me know if you have any questions.