After the successful and enjoyable NZDHA ‘Creating Sunshine Smiles’ conference held in July of this year in Nelson, the next NZDHA conference is to be held in Auckland, late July next year. Unfortunately the weather for Nelson was mostly about ‘Liquid Sunshine’ during the free time for the conference and especially during the Saturday Market, but Paula’s Thursday Arts, Crafts and Wine trip was thoroughly enjoyed by all, according to the feedback I received from those who were lucky enough to be able to participate.  My husband Graeme, acted as Tour Chauffeur to the group. He drove on roads in the region that we didn’t know existed in all the years we have lived here. When I asked him about the trip, his reply to me was a big smile, and a; “What goes on tour, stays on tour”. He would only say that the ladies all appeared to enjoy their touring, shopping and tasting and that the van was very noisy all the way round! I took his reply as an affirmative for the tour and its content, so “Thank you” Paula, for all your hard work and efficient hosting duties to make our delegates visit to Nelson so enjoyable.

The Nelson Branch of the NZDHA held an open CPD dinner meeting later that Thursday night at ‘The Vic Rose’ bar in the centre of town (just around the corner from the Rutherford Hotel), which was well supported by NZDHA members arriving early to town and also included our guest Motivational Conference Speaker; Mary Lambie amongst us. Gerry Quin a Nelson practicing Dentist with a passion for treating TMJ disorders gave us an insight into the causes of TMJ and the different methods of treatment and management of the condition for patients that he advises and treats.

The ‘Creating Sunshine Smiles’ NZDHA conference held at the Rutherford Hotel in Nelson was enjoyed by both Delegates and Speakers alike. Their comments included; easy, close access from the airport to town. A good range of accommodation close to both the Conference Venue and also the shopping centre of town. Able to walk everywhere. Great layout of the conference for ease of lectures, trades and catering and all on one floor. Plenty of toilets close by and a quiet area close by the lecture room for mothers and babies to use without disturbing the Conference Delegates. Comfortable surroundings. Lovely, plentiful food. Good range of speakers with interesting topics.

The 2013 Conference was targeted mainly at the Hygienist for education this year, as next year was to have included many more Therapist based topics to accommodate the shifting interest and Dual Education requirements of the Batchelor of Oral Health Graduates of recent times and the diminishing difference in the roles of the Dental Therapist and Hygienist, with many of the graduates now working in private practice as both Therapist and Hygienist.

Yet again Victoria did extremely well in organizing the trades stalls and competitions for the Delegates. A Big thanks to her and all the exhibitors for their support and to the companies who sponsored us and gave us gifts for both the Delegate Bags and to use within the Conference as prizes.

The combined NZDHA Conference with the Dental Therapists that had been talked about being held together for next year will not be happening and has been deferred indefinitely for now. The NZDOHTA arranged their independent conference for themselves again, some time ago.

Debra Clarke, the NZDHA Administrator, is organizing the NZDHA Conference for 2014, within her role as Paid Administrator to the Association. Please direct all correspondence and queries regarding the 2014 Conference to Debra at; admin@nzdha.co.nz.

This is a change from the past few years, where Melanie Spence and latterly I, were first point of contact and were responsible for the overview of the successful running of the NZDHA Conference within our voluntary roles as ‘NZDHA Conference Coordinator’. Debra has been working very closely with Kirsten the NZDHA Treasurer and together they will be able to help you with your enquiries for 2014.

I look forward to attending the NZDHA Conference in Auckland next year and hope that you will all support it by attending too. We always look forward to receiving input from you regarding interesting speaker choices, ideas and offers of assistance.

Roberta Prestidge

Vice President NZDHA

(And previous NZDHA Conference Coordinator)