Call for Papers for NZABA 2015

NZABA 2015 will be hosted at the University of Canterbury

21-23 August 2015

To register your intention to attend the conference, and enter details about your presentation or poster, please use the survey:

15 July is the deadline to submit your abstract and to indicate that you are seeking student travel assistance

The conference schedule will be as follows:

Evening Friday 21st of August: meet and greet, registration, and poster session

Saturday 22nd of August: presentations, conference dinner

Sunday 23rd of August: presentations, business meeting, and Awards

New Zealand Association for Behaviour Analysis Business Meeting 2014

Saturday30th August, University of Otago

NZABA 2015

The 2015 conference will be hosted by the University of Canterbury in Christchurch. The University of Waikato to host in 2016 unless we identify a new location (see below).

Committee Roles

  • Randy Grace (Canterbury) to be the president of NZABA.
  • Anne Macaskill (Victoria) to remain as secretary.
  • Brent Alsop remains treasurer until he has organised with someone from the University of Canterbury to take over.

Treasurer’s report

  • We have approximately $12,000 in the NZABA bank account. Anticipated that we will have approximately $7,500 following payment of all conference expenses
  • Discussion of the fact that we have been carrying a large bank balance given that the goal of conference fees is to cover our conference costs rather than to make a profit.
  • Suggested that we investigate the idea of holding the conference somewhere new, perhaps outside NZ. As we have had many attendees from Australia recently, holding it there is one possibility.
  • Action: Investigate the possibility of holding NZABA in Australia in the future, perhaps 2016.

Funding for students and travel costs

  • Agreement that the conference itself should remain free to students
  • Agreement to try moving the decision making about student travel grants earlier next year to provide students with some surety about how much they will receive. Money will be given to them at the end of the conference.
    • Action: Anne Macaskill to organise a trial of this in 2015
  • Only students who present are eligible for funding, and preference will also be given to those who have looked for alternative funding.

NZABA will continue not to accept credit card payments?

  • Increasing attendance from Australia. Australian attendees would find it easier to pay if they could do so with credit cards. Possibility of running through a service like PayPal
  • Discussion of the complex issues involved in accepting credit cards.
  • Decided to maintain current options: internet banking, payment with a cheque, payment with cash.

Life memberships

  • Discussion of awarding NZABA membership to a small number of long-time members who have now retired.
  • Geoff White, Bill Temple, and Michael Davison identified as NZABA members who have made a substantial contribution to the organisation and to NZ Behaviour Analysis over many years.
  • Action: Geoff, Bill, and Michael will receive certificates.

Thank yous

  • Thank you to Oliver Mudford for nine years of BCBA CEU coordinating. Welcome Katrina Philips to this role.
  • Thank you to Celia Lie and her organising committee for a great 2014 conference and to Celia for several years serving as an excellent secretary or president of NZABA



NZABA’s 11th annual conference was hosted by the Department of Psychology, University of Otago, Dunedin, on the 29th to 31st August, 2014. Despite the travel involved for many attendees, 88 people attended, equalling the number at NZABA in Auckland last year (our highest attendance to date). This included a mix of students, academics, practitioners, and professionals from across New Zealand and Australia.  There were 31 paper presentations and 8 poster presentations at this year’s conference, and the standard of talks and posters was extremely high.  NZABA again offered Continuing Education Units to practitioners in applied behaviour analysis, administered by Katrina Phillips.

The conference’s social activities began with a welcome event on Friday evening at Geoff White’s house.  On Saturday evening, there was a tour of the Speight’s Brewery, and a conference dinner at the Speight’s Ale House. These events were very well attended (with a record number of 84 people at the dinner), and allowed conference attendees to mingle with one another.


At the start of the conference, Geoff White received a special award in recognition of his outstanding contributions to behaviour analysis in New Zealand.

Two student presentation prizes were awarded this year. John Bai (The University of Auckland) received the EAB award for his talk entitled “Response rates and persistence after response-contingent food and additional stimuli”.  Mitchell Stevenson, Shaun Pearl , Vanessa Rausa, and Simon Finkelstein (Monash University) jointly received the ABA award for their talk entitled “Teaching job skills to adults with ASD: Efficacy of video modelling”. Congratulations to these students on their awards, and thank you to all student presenters for contributing to an excellent programme.

At the end of the conference, Brett Furlonger passed the (now lost) Hatchet/Bullroarer to Katheryn Neilson (Victoria University of Wellington) for teaching him about his own gambling behaviours. Katrina Phillips passed the Spear to Randy Grace (University of Canterbury) for the use of various “mentalisms” throughout his talk.


The University of Canterbury in Christchurch was confirmed as the venue for the 2015 conference, and Celia Lie handed over the Chair/President role to Randy Grace, Anne Macaskill stays on as Secretary, and the Treasurer role is currently in negotiation.


Thank you to everyone who helped organise NZABA 2014. Special thanks to Geoff White for hosting the welcome event at his house, and for making many, many pizzas to cater for the hungry crowd.

We look forward to seeing everyone at NZABA 2015 in Christchurch.

Celia Lie – 2014 NZABA President/Chair


Poster 2

New for 2014, we have opened up Pre-registrations for the NZABA Conference. You also have the option of paying for your registration costs and social activities via internet banking prior to the conference.

The social activities include a Speight’s Brewery Tour on Saturday evening at 6:00pm, and the Conference Dinner at the Speight’s Ale House on Saturday evening at 7:30pm.





Here is the Call for Papers for the 2014 11th Annual New Zealand Association for Behaviour Analysis Conference, to be held on the weekend of August 30-31st at the University of Otago campus in Dunedin, New Zealand. There will be informal drinks on Friday 29th August, with papers and posters presented on Saturday 30th and Sunday 31st August.

Please note that the deadline for title submissions is the 14th July 2014 (abstracts are not due until the 11th August). Please submit these to Celia Lie at For all enquiries, please email Celia Lie directly.

The conference is free for students and $130 for everyone else. Depending on the overall costs of this year’s NZABA conference, there may be limited funding available in 2014 for students who present a paper or poster to reimburse some travel costs. If you are unable to source alternative conference funding, please contact your supervisor who will apply to us on your behalf. Please note that funding will be made available after the conference to eligible students.

Please forward this Call for Papers to anyone else you think may be interested in attending.

Looking forward to seeing you all in Dunedin.

Celia Lie
NZABA Chair 2014


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.