a) APM Workfare –

Information from their website:

New Website Under Construction

“APM Workcare delivers a wide range of services designed to transform lives.”

“APM Workcare provides assessment, vocational rehabilitation and employment assistance services across New Zealand. If you have an injury as a result of an accident, we deliver comprehensive and quality assistance in the following areas:
→ Stand alone work place assessments
→ Stay at work services
→ Work ready services
→ Job brokerage services
→ Job search services”

“Vocational rehabilitation services are aimed at assisting adults who have sustained an injury achieve their maximum level of function, and safely return to work and activities of daily living. Assessments are designed to obtain objective information regarding an individual’s abilities and limitations, in order to determine functional capacity, and rehabilitation and return to work potential. Services are structured, goal-oriented, and promote positive functional outcomes.”

“APM Workcare uses a client centred approach, recognising that every person and setting are unique, and strives to find the best solution for each situation. The consultants at APM Workcare share a dedication to ongoing education and training, have experience working in a variety of occupational settings, and are sensitive to many workplace issues such as safety, productivity demands and current legislation.”

About Us

“APM Workcare and Integrated Care are New Zealand companies that originate from Advanced Personnel Management, an Australian owned company which commenced in Western Australia in 1994 and has steadily grown to provide services internationally. In Australia, APM is the largest private sector provider of Australian Government funded Vocational Rehabilitation Services and Disability Employment Services.

APM Workcare opened in New Zealand in 2011 and began delivering services in March 2012. Our track record and knowledge of what works for rehabilitation management will add value to solutions offered under the new Vocational Rehabilitation Services framework contracted by ACC.”


Our priority is to contain the human and financial cost of a disability, injury or illness and advance the quality of working life.”

Interested in ACC Vocational Rehabilitation Services? Partner with APM Workcare”

“We welcome the chance to work in partnership with innovative, high performing organisations who share our mission to contain the human and financial cost of a disability, injury or illness and advance the quality of working life.

We particularly welcome those organisations who can offer an area of specialism and ask that you contact us with your interest.

For ACC Vocational Rehabilitation subcontracting opportunities please complete our online Expression of Interest Form. Alternatively, we can be contacted on 0800 967 522.”

Address given on website:
APM WORKCARE LTD, Rosedale Office Park, Unit 7D, Suite A, 331 Rosedale Road Albany,
Auckland 0632

Own Comment:

Just looking at their limited website information, it becomes clear, that APM Workcare, a subsidiary of the Australian parent company, is not so much an “independent” assessment provider, but has so far rather provided assessments only to prepare clients or customers for vocational rehabilitation and for employment placement purposes! Their “Mission” clearly states their goal to “contain” costs due to disability, injury and illness. It is beyond belief that this new contracted service provider that WINZ are using is supposed to be “independent”, while paid by WINZ, and expected to deliver services with clear outcome target expectations, namely to put persons they assess into rehabilitation, employment or both. As the same company has also entered contracts with MSD to provide “Mental Health Employment Services”, and probably similar services for other client groups, there is a certain conflict of interest in this supposedly “independent” “Work Ability Assessment” provider.

An independent assessor should not be allowed to have an additional or ulterior interest in “earning” extra fees from providing additional (rehabilitation and referral) services to the persons assessed.

They have already been operating in New Zealand since 2012, and have also provided “vocational rehabilitation services” for ACC! It can be expected that they will bring in their experience from working with ACC.

b) Catapult Employment Services Trust –

From their website:

Catapult is a source of good workers

Catapult is a source of good workers, who may have had time out of work because of a disability, trauma or illness.

There are many things that put people out of the workforce for months, even years. It can be a personal trauma, or it can be a disability that you are born with, It can be the result of a bad accident, or it can be a long run of really bad luck…

Catapult is an organisation that helps such people who now want to get back into work and as a result, employers are finding people who get the job done, do it with pride, and tend to stay with the job longer.”

About (Catapult)

A free supported employment service for both employers and jobseekers

The Catapult Employment Services Trust is made up of a range of people from various backgrounds and professions (see Staff page). The Board comprises professional business people to reflect Catapult’s ideal of setting itself alongside other progressive businesses in Canterbury.

Catapult was developed to support people into work who, by virtue of condition, illness, impairment or disability are marginalised from open employment. It is contracted to Government and receives financial support from philanthropic organisations and grants.

What sets Catapult apart is the extent to which it matches the right people with the right jobs… and then can stay involved for as long as required. This helps maintain a long term satisfying employment relationship for both employer and employee.”

A look at their ‘staff’ tells us this (current on 03 May 2014):

Kevin Blogg FRCSA | Director | Contact Kevin Ph: 03 929 0780

The combination of life’s experiences. either good or challenging, is what Kevin brings to supported employment. With experience in business, employment and marketing, Kevin has developed strong business networks over the years which enables him to move easily amongst all people involved in the employment placement industry. His commitment is to secure sound employment and career development for all his clients, and to encourage employers to value the concept of investing in a diverse workforce. Kevin was recently accepted as Fellow of the Recruitment and Consulting Services Association Australia and New Zealand.

Alison Brown | Assistant Director | Contact Alison Ph: 03 929 0781

Alison has eighteen years of experience in assisting people to find work, in negotiating, administering and monitoring supported employment contracts between employers and workers, in building partnerships with employer groups, training providers, and work placement agencies, and in developing career plans and writing CVs She has a strong network of contacts in the private and not-for-profit sectors in Christchurch and holds a degree in Psychology.

Haylee Powell | Office and Systems Administrator | Contact Haylee Ph: 03 929 0786

Holding a qualification in Business Administration and Computing, Haylee began working at Catapult in January 2004 as an Office Assistant and has progressed into her current role as our Office & Systems Administrator.

Brent Trethewey | Senior Employment Consultant | Contact Brent Ph: 03 929 0782

Brent has an extensive history in working as an Employment and Vocational Consultant. He began working at Catapult in September 2004 and has established remarkable relationships with clients and employers, Brent is considered a valuable asset in our commitment to providing quality service to all people we come in contact with.

Greg Chilton-Smith | Employment Consultant | Contact Greg Ph: 03 929 0783

Greg has an extensive background, ranging from farming to owning his own business. This experience along with Marketing and Management qualifications, sees Greg well equipped to work in assisting people into the workforce.

Joe Maxwell | Employment Consultant | Contact Joe Ph: 03 929 0785

Joe has worked in the employment consultancy and learning disabilities fields for over ten years, the last seven of which were in the UK. Included in his working career, are periods of voluntary work, social work, along with sales and marketing. In Joe’s experience of working with jobseekers who face personal challenges, he has gained and appreciation of just what people can achieve.

Maree Stachel-Williamson | Employment Consultant | Contact Maree Ph: 03 929 0784

Maree is our newest member of staff joining the team in November 2013. Maree has worked in a wide range of fields both employed and self employed. She has been supporting clients to reach their goals since 2004, and is experienced in helping people problem solve and map out action plans. Maree has a Diploma in Counselling and is a Master Practitioner in NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming).

Kevin Kirner | Job Coach |

Kevin joined Catapult as our Job Coach in June 2011. Having a background in management and the supervision of staff along with skills in grievance and problem solving enables Kevin to liaise effectively with our clients and employers achieving and sustaining positive outcomes for all parties involved.”

On their website page for ‘Employers’ it says:

“Catapult works by this three-step process…

Stage 1 is the assessment process.
It identifies jobseekers’ career possibilities, generic work skills, interests, stamina, etc., ensuring they are matched to a satisfying position that will allow the worker to perform to his or her maximum efficiency. This gives us a clear idea whether we have a candidate suited to you.

Stage 2 is working alongside the jobseeker
to apply for and secure appropriate work.

Stage 3 is our ongoing support
which enables the worker to maintain high levels of performance, and a longer
term of employment. Support can be provided for the supervisor and co-workers as well as the worker.

For ‘Jobseekers’ it says:

We help you find a job, and we’re there long term to ensure everything goes well

Working with a Catapult consultant, jobseekers identify appropriate work and together we develop an employment plan to access the desired type of work. Once employed, we develop a support plan together to help maintain long term satisfying employment. Catapult can keep providing support for the entire duration of the employment if required.

We endeavour to provide an individual client-driven service, so we actively encourage jobseekers to communicate their needs and wishes throughout the process.

Catapult does not generally offer a list of vacancies from which jobseekers can choose. It does, however, have access to a diverse range of employers and job banks.

Who can access the service?

Any person who identities having a condition, illness, disability or impairment which may impact on his/her ability to find suitable employment, along with a commitment to finding and keeping a paid job.”

“How do jobseekers access the service?

Catapult has a referral process. A jobseeker can be referred by either a doctor, Work and Income Case Manager or Work Broker, or another service provider/agency. The referrer must complete a referral form and this can be done online or by downloading the referral form, filling it out and returning it to us”

Address of Catapult on website:
478 Barrington Street, Addington, PO Box 33368, Barrington, Christchurch 8244

Own Comment:

So what have ‘Catapult’ to offer in the way of a supposed “independent” Work Ability Assessment provider, I ask, as they are clearly an employment service provider, and have NO appropriately qualified medical or rehabilitation staff at all to offer?! Given their strong focus on job placements and consultancy, they will as a future “assessor” have a very strong interest in getting business to refer clients into jobs, which makes them have a vested interest in declaring clients from WINZ as “fit for work”. As the information on the website shows, they have apparently already worked with Work and Income. I would expect an “independent” provider of “Work Ability Assessment” services to have at least medical AND possibly rehabilitation staff with the appropriate qualifications to assess “work ability”, and not primarily serve as an “employment service”.

c) Company Medic –

From their website:

Company Medic

As a market leader covering Northland and the greater Auckland area, we have the skills, expertise and talent to assist your business.

From full turn-key Health and Safety solutions across multiple high risk workplaces through to single service solutions such as workplace vaccinations or pre-employment testing we can meet your specific needs.”

Our Services Include
● Pre Employment Testing
● Health Monitoring
● Drug and Alcohol Testing
● Post Employment Testing
● Vaccinations
● Injury Management
● Training”

Under ‘Services’ it says this:

“Taking a manageable approach to working with you we can ensure your company and employees know where to start in respect of legal obligations, but also more importantly how to ensure your company is and continues to remain a safe workplace.

Our aim is simple; using our expertise we will take care of your legislative requirements and implement the necessary systems (or single need solutions) to mitigate a contingency risk that has the ability to significantly damage your brand, reputation and company profitability. Our staff includes leading experts in the fields of – Specialist Occupational Medical Practitioners, Occupational Health Nurses, Safety Systems Advisors and Health and Safety Advisors.”

Under ‘Pre-Employment Testing’ the website informs:

“You need new employees. How do you know if they are fit to do the job?…or even if they are fit, that they won’t become ill from exposures to chemicals or processes in the job? Are you fearful that by asking questions you many be abusing some right under law?

There is a way through this. We know and understand all the relevant legislation (Health and Disability, Privacy, Employment Relations Acts etc) and will create a process for you that is legally acceptable.

Company Medic can devise processes from simple questionnaires through to extensive medical examination and testing based on your workplace and the work your people do there. Such systems ensure you minimise and understand the risks of employing a particular individual. This will give you a sense of security whilst meeting your Health and Safety obligations.”

Under ‘Second Opinion Medicals’ it says:

Your employee has been certified as unfit to work as a result of a workplace accident. It concerns you to think that you have gone to great lengths to ensure that good alternative duties are available and encouraged. You also need to consider that this injury may cause you to miss some Health and Safety goals you have set. You have the right to ask for a second opinion from a doctor you nominate.

Company Medic’s doctor is prepared to take on this role and ensure that workers are given the best chance of a quick recovery through appropriate treatment and returning to appropriate duties. Company Medic can help you develop relationships and systems of communication to reduce the chance of such events occurring. We can be involved with any long-term rehabilitation to ensure best outcomes.”

Under ‘Rehabilitation’ they inform:

“The cost of a worker off sick or injured from your work place can be extreme. Covering a skilled worker costs overtime, training costs and often decreased productivity and quality.

Good rehabilitation will reduce the costs and the downtime. Research has proven that people get better quicker and have less long term effects when actively rehabilitated following injury or illness. This saves employers money.

Company Medic has very experienced staff in this field that can work with you the employer, the injured person and ACC to ensure safe effective early return to work. We can ensure that your staff get the support they need to get back to their jobs quickly regardless if the absence is created by work injuries, non-work injuries or sickness.”

Under ‘Profiles’ they introduce their staff and management:

Dr Jim Mcleod, MBChB Dip Occ Med, Dip Occ Health Practice

Founder And Director

Jim graduated from Auckland University with a Bachelor of Human Biology, Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery. He subsequently achieved a Diploma of Occupational Health Practice (Otago) 1997, Diploma of Occupational Medicine (Akld) 1999, Certificate in Hyperbaric Medicine (Akld) and Certificate in Teaching (Northland Polytechnic).

He has held a number of positions including Hospice Medical Director, Department Medical Practitioner and General Practitioner. He has provided Project Management and Consultancy services to a number of organisations including Northland District Health Board. Subsequently he was a Medical Advisor for HIH Insurance before forming his own Occupational Health Company in 2000.

Jim is currently a medical advisor to such clients as The New Zealand Refinery Company, and Shell New Zealand. He is an Accredited Provider for Accident Compensation Corporation.”

Susie Barlow

“State registered Nurse, Midwife, BSc Hons. Community Nursing MSc Practice Education. Certificate in Occupational Health.

Susie has some 30 years experience in a wide range of fields from Accident and Emergency, midwifery, Community Nursing and union representation as well as lecturing in nursing in UK. Susie has specialized in Occupational Health in recent years, completing the certificate in Occupational Health in 2009 at Otago.”

“Susie has a role in recruitment, induction, ongoing training, professional development, appraisal and supervision.”

Beth Swarbrick (Office Manager)

“Beth is the face of Company Medic. Usually the first person you will see if you come down or the first person who answers the phone when you call; her role is entirely to make sure that your needs and expectations are met.

After working her whole life with children in both Early Childhood settings and primary level, Beth decided on a change of career and did Legal Studies at Northland Polytech, gaining her Legal Executive Diploma.

Beth then worked in an accounts department, becoming Dr Jim McLeod’s Personal Assistant before moving into the role of Office Manager for Company Medic.”

Julie Reynolds (Client Liaison)

“Julie has recently returned to work for Company Medic where she takes on the role of Marketing/Client Liaison.

Her working background includes 6 years working as the Operations Manager for a large occupational health and safety company. She resigned from this role in 2007 to become full time caregiver for a close family member. In this role of Operations Manager she managed the day to day running of the company including a team of Nurses, Health and Safety Advisors and Technicians. She provided a consistent and quality service to clients.

Prior to working in this role Julie worked as a Case Manager at ACC for 3 years, where she worked alongside claimants, employers and health professionals to provide an in-depth rehabilitation service.

Julie also has several years experience as the Manager of a large retail outlet in Whangarei employing up to 26 staff at any one time.”

Pip Bennett (Occupational Health Nurse)

“Pip is a New Zealand registered nurse with many years’ experience in many different settings. Having worked in several hospitals gaining experience in most types of nursing, Pip moved in to general practice nursing. Moving to Whangarei, Pip ws self employed in health screen consultancy work and worked in a nurse lead health centre at North Tec.

Pip now works solely for Company Medic as an Occupational Health Nurse. She is studying a Post Graduate Diploma in Occupational Health.”

Maureen Evans– (Occupational Health Nurse)

“Hi my name is Maureen. My nursing qualification is a Bachelor of Health Science (Nursing) I have experience mostly in general surgical nursing and emergency department nursing. My first introduction to Occupational Health Nursing was helping a colleague for 1 to 2 hours weekly to complete annual monitoring for members of the many volunteer Fire Stations throughout Northland. I thoroughly enjoy the work of occupational health nursing and am currently completing Post Graduate Occupational Health qualifications.”

Jas Futter – (Occupational Health Nurse)

“Jas first trained as a Maternity Nurse at St Helens Hospital in Wellington and loved nursing so much she continued on to do her General and Obstetric Nursing Training at Middlemore Hospital in Auckland. After graduation she disappeared overseas and worked as a nurse in several countries including a 5 year stint at St Stephens Hospital Intensive Care Unit in London and a year at the International General Hospital in Paris.

On returning to New Zealand Jas went back to Middlemore Hospital and worked in Intensive Care completed the Intensive Care Certificate and then decided she had had enough of patching up unpatchable people and headed off to work in the Occupational Health Field at Winstone’s NZ where she learnt the ropes for Occupational Health Nursing and has been in the field ever since. Jas then went to New Zealand Post Office and New Zealand Post for 14 years and during this time she completed her Diploma in Occupational Health Practice at Otago University.

In 1997 after being secure in full time work Jas took the big leap and became an Independent Contractor.

As a contractor Jas has worked in a wide variety of roles and is now in a permanent contract position for a large forward thinking company managing their Occupational Health Programme from Health Monitoring through to their Drug and Alcohol Testing and Intervention Programme.”

Jed Beney – (Accountant)


After studying for two years, Jed returned to Whangarei and spent some time working in one of Northland’s largest Accountancy firms, which proved to be a good experience, both in a professional development sense and also in a lifestyle sense.

In 2007 Jed made the move to a commercial role for an Occupational Health and Safety Provider before making the move in to a contracting role for Company Medic, looking after some of the more complex issues faced by the business.”

Address for ‘Company Medic’ on their website:
51 Port Road, Whangarei 0140, New Zealand

Own Comment:

Company Medic staff and management do certainly have qualified medical, health care and rehabilitation staff needed to be able to provide “work ability assessments”, but again, their services have to date been delivered with a strong focus on assisting employers, by offering them work place and staff examinations and assessments, all with the goal to minimise risks and to provide options for rehabilitation and assistance in hiring new staff. They have apparently also worked for ACC, but their existence as a business is hardly in an “independent” work ability assessment provider role, as they will have vested interests in serving their employer clients before the referred WINZ clients.

They have so far specialised in pre work testing of workers, work place assessment, consultancy services, injury management and training. I presume they have worked with rehabilitation service providers, but do not seem to be such themselves. With such a strong focus on serving employers, I question their “independence” as “Work Ability Assessment” providers. It may be presumed that they want to develop that new specialist type of activity.

d) ECS Connections Ltd – No website found!

Related sources on the web:

PO Box 269, New Plymouth 4340, Taranaki

“Registered Address: 16 Puketotara Street, Highlands Park, New Plymouth 4312 NZ”
“Shareholder name Shares Percentage
Grant Burfield LANGLEY 500 ~ 50.00%
Faye Emily LANGLEY 500 ~ 50.00%”

Director Grant Langley on LinkedIn:

Managing Director at ECS Connections Limited

Employment Advisor at New Zealand Employment Service
Outplacement Consultant at Business & Management Services
Medical Department Manager at Glaxo New Zealand Limited

see all
BSc(Psych) PGDipRehab(Distinction) DipCareersGuid PMCDANZ MNZPsS

“Grant Langley’s Experience”

Managing Director
ECS Connections Limited

1997 – Present (17 years)
Employment Advisor
New Zealand Employment Service

1996 – 1996 (less than a year)
Outplacement Consultant
Business & Management Services

1994 – 1995 (1 year)
Medical Department Manager
Glaxo New Zealand Limited

1992 – 1994 (2 years)
Clinical Research Manager
Glaxo Group Research, UK

1991 – 1991 (less than a year)
Medical Development Manager
Glaxo New Zealand Limited

1988 – 1990 (2 years)
Pharmaceutical Development Officer
Glaxo New Zealand Limited

1985 – 1987 (2 years)
Medical Research Assistant
Pfizer Laboratories Limited

1984 – 1984 (less than a year)

Experimental Psychologist
Palmerston North Public Hospital
1981 – 1984 (3 years)
Department of Rehabilitation and Rheumatology

Research Assistant
Palmerston North Public Hospital
1980 – 1980 (less than a year)

Extramural Department
Trainee Medical Laboratory Technologist
Taranaki District Health Board

Government Agency; 1001-5000 employees; Hospital & Health Care industry
1975 – 1976 (1 year)”

Own Comments:

This is obviously a small business owned by Grant Langley and his partner, and the Managing Director has a science degree in apparently psychology, plus qualifications in rehabilitation, and is member of two professional organisations. Grant Langley only worked for a few years in lab and research positions, and also only shortly as a psychologist, and then followed a career in the pharmaceutical industry (Pfizer and especially with Glaxo). Only briefly did he work for the former New Zealand Employment service (less than a year), and he started his own employment agency EPS Connections Ltd in 1997, which he has since headed as director.

Again we have a business agency that is primarily active as an employment placement and consultancy operation, with NO track record of providing “independent”, medical type work ability assessments. The agency currently only has a P.O. Box address in public listings, and there is NO information about staff and other details. It is a peculiar contractual involvement that MSD have entered here. So at best we must presume, they want to set up new services to deliver to WINZ, with so far no indication what kind of staff to employ for this.

e) EnableWorks Ltd –

Information found on their website:

“Welcome to EnableWorks”

EnableWorks partners with employers and insurers to lower the cost of worker injury & illness, resulting in improved performance & productivity

“We tailor services for employers; small, medium and large businesses; and insurers
○ Injury Prevention
○ Early Intervention
○ Work Rehabilitation”

“Our programmes and processes are robust, our results are quantifiable”

EnableWorks is the licensee of two international injury prevention and rehabilitation processes:
○ We can confirm a person’s physical capability to perform specific job requirements with WorkSTEPS Pre and Post Employment Functional Tests”
○ “We manage acute pain and prevent chronicity (chronic pain) through Abilita coaching, preventing delayed recovery for the injured or unwell worker”

Under ‘About EnableWorks’ we find:

About EnableWorks”

We utilise evidence based, international best practice for injury prevention, early intervention and work rehabilitation.

Our services are based on our underpinning philisophy “Work is central to wellbeing”

EnableWorks offers a full range of services that are objective, targeted and tailored to meet the worker’s needs as well as employer and insurer requirements.

The recent integration of WorkSTEPS and Abilita licensed rehabilitation programmes ensure objectivity and consistency. EnableWorks can offer both of these programmes nationwide.
Our team works in partnership with all parties to achieve a positive outcome for the employer, insurer and client”

Under ‘Work Rehabilitation’ they inform:–.htm

Work Rehabilitation


“EnableWorks endorses International Best Practice. We provide a full range of inter-disciplinary services to assist people to return to work:

EnableWorks uses a range of assessments and standardised tests to identify physical, psychological and social barriers impacting on return to work.

EnableWorks exclusively offers:
WorkSTEPS Fit for Duty Test – objectively defines functional readiness for return to work
Abilita Assessment – identifies and quantifies psychosocial barriers to return to work

EnableWorks Programmes are designed and tailored to overcome physical, psychological and psychosocial barriers, utilising a self-management approach.”

At the bottom of that page some further information is offered under:

“Please click here for a referral form to access any of our services.
Psychological Services
Clinical Psychologist
Vocational Services
Vocational Consultants
Pain Management Services
Inter-disciplinary Team”

BUT, by clicking any of the links, no additional information is offered!

Address for ‘EnableWorks Ltd’ on their website:
61 Mandeville Street, Riccarton, Christchurch

Own Comments:

While EnableWorks do clearly offer assessments and testing to persons facing employment challenges or difficulties due to disabilities, injuries and illness, there is no detailed, transparent information on who they employ to do the testing and assessing. It appears that they are yet another employment service agency, which offers some prevention and basic rehabilitation services. It is mystifying as to why they have been contracted by MSD to provide “independent” assessments, as their focus has to this date again been to primarily serve employers and insurers by offering rehabilitation for persons.

If WINZ want to contract with rehabilitation services to help clients improve health conditions and reduce disability and impairments, they should openly state this. To call this kind of operation an “independent” “Work Ability Assessment” provider seems to be somewhat inappropriate. Only time will tell what they will actually deliver, in whatever form.

f) Linkage Limited (Wise Group) –

From their website:

Welcome to Linkage

Linkage is here to help you access information and support for your wellbeing – at the right time, in the best way. Here’s more about what we’re doing to help strengthen the wellbeing of people and communities.”

Services offered include:
‘Webhealth’“Our online directory that helps you find a health or social service for your unique needs”
‘My Linkage’“Where people, whanau and organisations sign in to make and save lists of wellbeing providers”
‘ACC advocacy’“Free and independent service that helps quickly resolve issues with ACC claims”

Under ‘Linkage services’ this can be found on assessments:

Work ability assessments

“Identifying strengths and the right supports can make a world of difference for people who may be facing barriers to realising their employment dreams.”

Linkage’s work ability assessment service is available for people who receive support from Work and Income. To break down any barriers to help a person achieve their employment dreams, there may be times when Work and Income needs additional information. This could be about a person’s strengths and aspirations, the type of work they might be looking for and the supports and services they might need.

When Work and Income refers a person to Linkage, a registered health professional will meet with that person to talk about their employment journey so far. The registered health professional will discover what the person needs to find and keep employment that is meaningful to them. Based on the discussions from this meeting, Linkage will inform Work and Income how the person can build on their strengths and access the right services and support, to help them find work that fits best.

Meetings are held in Linkage offices closest to where the person lives.”


GP integration

“Integrated mental health care involves primary and secondary services connecting and sharing resources so people get the best care possible.”

Important to note is that ‘Linkage’ is part of the Wise Group:

And part of the Wise Group is also ‘Workwise’, a separate company, which MSD has also contracted with, to provide “mental health employment services” and the likes:


Workwise is an employment agency that provides evidence-based support to help people facing personal or health challenges to find and keep paid employment. Our philosophy is based around a holistic approach to employment. We know that having a paid, meaningful job plays a crucial role in helping people live happy, healthy lives.”

Under ‘About Us’ on their website it says:

“About us”

“Workwise is an employment agency for people facing personal or health challenges in their lives.

Workwise is a unique agency. Our employment consultants work alongside people, supporting them on their journey to find and keep meaningful employment.

Employers value our services, as we go above and beyond a usual recruitment agency. Our focus is on sustainable employment – keeping people in jobs long-term. That’s why we work hard to match the right people with the right jobs. It’s better for them and it’s better for employers.

People returning to work value our support, as we don’t just place people in a job and walk away. We help them find meaningful employment that matches their skills and aspirations, and we provide ongoing on-the-job support to help make them great employees.

We know that having a paid job is a key part of helping people maintain wellbeing. Our aim is to help people into decent, lasting jobs, and to help everyone get the best from the employment relationship.”

Workwise can help if you are:
• an employer looking to employ a new staff member
• someone looking to return to work after experience of mental illness
a clinician or case manager looking to refer someone who needs help returning to work
• anyone looking for information about mental health issues in the workplace.

Workwise is a member of the Wise Group – a family of non-government organisations operating in New Zealand’s mental health sector. Read more about the Wise Group here.”

Under their ‘NEWS’ column they offer this:

“Effectively integrating employment support

Presentation 1: Combining our expertise, effectively integrating employment support
Helen Lockett, strategic policy advisor, the Wise Group

Download presentation as a PDF (1.3MB)”

“The science of mental health and employment, an evidence based alternative to signing sickness certificates

Presentation 1: Helen Lockett, strategic policy advisor, the Wise Group
Download presentation as a PDF (1.1MB)

Presentation 2: Heather Kongs-Taylor, researcher, Te Pou
Download presentation as a PDF (790KB)”

The ‘Strategic Policy Advisor’ for ‘Workwise’ is Helen Lockett, originally from the UK:

See her LinkedIn page:

Helen Lockett’s Overview

Strategic Policy Advisor at The Wise Group
February 2011 – Present (3 years 4 months)

Director of Programmes and Performance at Centre for Mental Health”
University of Bradford
University of Cambridge”

University of Bradford
Masters in Business Administration

2008 – 2010”

University of Cambridge
social and political sciences, social and cultural psychology

1990 – 1993”

Own Comment:
There used to be more information on Helen Lockett on the ‘Workwise’ website, as there is now!

Of particular interest is that Helen Lockett sat on the so-called “Health and Disability Panel” that advised MSD and Paula Bennett on health and disability related matters (and measures to introduce) on the welfare reforms, which have resulted in her employer now getting “rewarding” contracts!!!

See also this information:

‘Linkage’ and ‘Wise Group’ job advertisement (from February 2014):

Click to access position-description-rhp-work-ability-assessment_feb-14.pdf

Registered health professional – work ability assessment

“Position description”

About Linkage and the Wise Group
“The Wise Group is one of the largest non-government providers in New Zealand. We’re a family of charitable entities, and we’re all linked by a common dream. We believe in creating fresh possibilities and services for the wellbeing of people, organisations and communities.
We’re not like other organisations. For us it’s about people, not awards, it’s about caring, not headlines.
Linkage Limited operates as a subsidiary charitable company of the Wise Trust and supports people across New Zealand to access community services that meet their most urgent needs with the right information, at the right time, in the right way. Since 1998 Linkage has been providing free, professional and confidential support and information services to help people navigate their way through the health and social service system.
Our spirit is – together we make a difference. This is not just a slogan on the wall for us, we all live this every day and as individuals and as an organisation we work hard to stay connected with each other and our communities to inspire hope through choice.”

Details extracted from a comprehensive table in the position description:

Registered health professional – work ability assessment

“Reports to: Clinical Leader”
“Location: Hamilton”

* To complete work ability assessments which place people at the centre and effectively identify the strengths they bring that enable them to find and keep employment which is meaningful to them
* To write reports that accurately reflect each person and the supports that will break down any barriers which may exist to working and living their lives well
* To build and maintain relationships with regional health and disability advisory teams that ensure Linkage is the provider of choice for work ability assessment referrals for people who experience mental health concerns
* To contribute to Linkage’s reputation for connecting people with the right information, at the right time, in the right way to address their most urgent needs.”

“Relationships (internal): Wise Group employees, Linkage employees”
“Relationships (external):
Work and Income clients, regional health and disability teams, Work and Income case managers, relevant government and non-government agencies, local health and social services, community groups”

Core responsibilities

Build positive and engaging relationships
Assess strengths and break down barriers
Tracking and reporting
Meet key performance indicators
Be your very best
Be committed to safety and wellness in the workplace” (not detailed below)
“Provision of other related duties within capability“ (not detailed below)

Activities (Build positive and engaging relationships):
Develop and maintain effective functional relationships with regional Work and Income health and disability teams
Work collaboratively with clinical, support, and other health and social services in planning and coordinating seamless service delivery
Communicate regularly and share relevant information and updates to ensure consistent messaging about the work ability assessment and its purpose
Develop effective relationships with the Linkage team to support the work ability assessment process”

Activities (Assess strengths and break down barriers):
Provide a high trust environment where people feel safe, comfortable and encouraged to speak honestly about their journey
Conduct effective work ability assessments that uncover each person’s unique situation, dreams, strengths and needs
Use appropriate questions to accurately understand each person’s true barriers to meaningful employment
Develop and maintain a broad knowledge of the range of services available in each region to identify and connect people with the right supports”

Activities (Tracking and reporting)
Write work ability assessment reports which clearly and accurately reflect each person’s strengths, abilities and dreams, and identify the supports they need to achieve employment goals”

Activities (Meet key performance indicators)
Ensure referrals are managed to completion
Maintain knowledge of contractual obligations
Achieve all outcomes in line with the timeframes for completing a work ability assessment”

Activities (Be your very best)
Plan regular uninterrupted times to meet with your manager to review your 90 day plan and seek feedback on your performance
Willingly undertake training opportunities if applicable to an activity (e.g. health and safety)
Role model a healthy lifestyle that includes a good work/life balance”

Outcomes (Build positive and engaging relationships):
* Ongoing long term relationships are established with the regional health and disability teams
* Linkage is the provider of choice for work ability assessment referrals for people who experience mental health concerns
* Registered health professionals have broad networks and great relationships to deliver the best possible work ability assessment outcomes
* Linkage has a reputation for being an organisation that works collaboratively with others to get the right information, at the right time, in the right way to meet peoples most urgent needs
* Knowledge within the Linkage team is accessible
* Effective communication ensures confident journeys”

Outcomes (Assess strengths and break down barriers):
* Work ability assessments are consistently delivered in line with Linkage’s policies, processes and values
* People who attend work ability assessments report feeling listened to and, instantly at ease and able to speak candidly about their ability to work
* Registered health professionals gather rich and meaningful data that best informs their recommendations for supports which enable people to find and keep a job that is the right fit
* Valuing people and listening builds trust”

Outcomes (Tracking and reporting):
* People who attend a work ability assessment believe each report is a good representation of them on the page and understand what information will be provided to Work and Income
* The health and disability team accept all work ability assessment reports on first submission and accurately interpret the information provided to achieve positive outcomes for the people they support”

Outcomes (Meet key performance indicators):
* All work ability assessment referrals are managed within the necessary timeframes
* Registered health professionals demonstrate robust knowledge of contractual obligations and consistently meet required outcomes”

Outcomes (Be your very best):
* You demonstrate behaviour that is consistent with equitable practices
* Evidence of Treaty of Waitangi principles are reflected in everyday practice and future organisational planning
* Each working week is manageable and balanced”

Know how

“Practical and technical knowledge”

* A relevant health professional qualification
* Membership to a profession which is regulated by the Health Practitioners Competency Assurance Act 2003
* Full drivers licence
* Experience with Microsoft Office Suite
* Comprehensive understanding of relevant legislation including The Privacy Act, Mental Health Act, Human Rights Act and Treaty of Waitangi Principles
* Proven ability to build successful relationships with health and social service professionals and community organisations
* Sound knowledge of supports and services needed to support people to find and keep meaningful employment
* Knowledge and understanding of the barriers that could affect a person’s employment and how these can be addressed
* Excellent interpersonal skills
* Excellent time management and organisation
* Proven critical thinking and problem solving skills
* Proven ability to work independently”

* Extensive working knowledge of mental health and/or disabilities sector”


* Mental health and addiction or social work experience, particularly needs based assessment and condition management
* Understanding of vocational assessment in the context of an identified health condition, injury or disability
* Proven ability to accurately review and interpret medical, health and employment information
* High attention to detail, particularly in written communication
* Ability to produce professional, clear, accurate and timely reports
* Provide cultural safe clinical practice
* Ability to work in partnership with specialist health services, primary health services, government and non-government health and social services, and community organisations
* Effective learner and keen to try new approaches and develop new skills”

* Ability to quickly learn new computer programmes and skills
* Understands the recovery principles and has the ability to demonstrate this in practice
* Ability to utilise motivational interviewing techniques and the strengths model in practice
* Enjoys engaging with people from various cultures and backgrounds”


* Financial – Nil
* Operational – Nil”

Direct reports:
* Nil”

How to
To enable people to exceed their best and become a Peak Performer we believe it’s essential to be clear on what success looks like for every role in the organisation. We need to know what to aim for to truly realise our potential. So it’s not just about what we achieve, it is also how we achieve it that sets us apart and adds the inspiration for our journey.”

Under the headings ‘Description’ and ‘Positive indicators for the role’ detailed aspects of expectations are listed – in addition to the description above under “How to”). Areas covered are:
Adhering to principles and values
Working with people
Creating and innovating
Delivering results and meeting customer expectations
Adapting and responding to change
Writing and reporting
Planning and organising
Relating and networking

This comprehensive ‘Position Description’ gives an insight into what qualifications, experience, personal attributes and other skills and prerequisites an assessor working for ‘Linkage’ is expected to have. While there is talk about a “registered” health professional, the question arises, whether this position is for a senior or ordinary assessor position. One must presume that the targeted group of professionals will be a nurse or rehabilitation professional with relevant skills and experience.

Address for ‘Linkage’ on their website:
Kakariki House, 293 Grey Street, Hamilton 3216

Own Comments:

The ‘Linkage’ website offers very little in the way of information about assessments that they quite evidently are providing to Work and Income and for their clients. There is NO information on staff employed, on any qualifications they may have, and what exactly they will be doing in detail, to assess referred persons. In that regards the “position description” from the “Wise Group” offers some insight into what kind of staff they will employ for work ability assessments. It is surprising that they advertised in February 2014 for a registered health professional. It is unclear whether all their assessors will have to be registered, and what exact qualifications they will hold in the end.

The description of Linkage’s ‘work ability assessment’ service seems like the language that Work and Income would use, and the service appears to be a mere “extension” of what WINZ would provide as a “service” to motivate persons facing “barriers” into employment. It clearly sounds like there will be certain expectations put into clients sent to these assessments, that they will already be considered as “fit for work” from the outset, and that ‘Linkage’ are only being consulted to clarify what needs to be done to “assist” clients into employment. Apart from that we get slogans, lots of photos and graphics, and nothing else. This is again NOT quite what we could call an “independent” work ability assessment provider, it is simply a service intended to “guide” clients sent there into other services preparing to work, or into some form of employment referral service directly!

It is a disturbing fact that we have ‘Linkage’ now commissioned by WINZ to do supposedly “independent” work ability assessments, and ‘Workwise’ commissioned to place sick and disabled WINZ clients into employment. This does mean, that ‘Linkage’ will of course have a vested interest in finding clients as “fit for work”, as they can then refer them on to the other ‘Wise Group’ company, to get paid for referring them into work! Also disturbing is the clear conflict of interest that Helen Lockett had, when she advised MSD and the government on welfare reforms, and on possible measures to introduce (e.g. outsourcing specialised services), which now has resulted in her employer gaining benefits in the form of service contracts from the welfare reforms. So much for “independence”, one must conclude!

g) Mana Recovery Trust –

From their website:

Welcome to Mana Recovery Trust
“Mana Recovery values working together, recognising and respecting individual differences while supporting people to make positive changes in their lives.

Our purpose is to provide opportunities for our trainees to develop their social and work related skills in work based environments that focus on resource recovery, recycling and sustainable living.

To provide rehabilitation and vocational training services for people with mental health needs, with a sustainability focus.

To lead social and employment outcomes for people with mental health needs in the Porirua and Wellington region, through business partnerships which help our environment and support our community.

Originally known as Mana Community Enterprises, our non-profit organisation based in Porirua, was established in 1996 to provide vocational rehabilitation programmes to people with mental health needs, after the closure of the long-stay wards at Porirua Psychiatric Hospital.

After identifying that there was great difficulty for the people that we support (our trainees) to move beyond our programmes into paid employment, Mana Recovery developed a range of small business initiatives in partnerships with the Porirua City Council and local businesses, focused around sustainability. Through these initiatives, Mana Recovery offer services that assist our trainees to develop socially, gain employment skills and work ethics, building confidence and the opportunity to rehabilitate back into the community.

Today Mana Recovery has extended the concept of community care far beyond the original activity programme. Up to 100 people per day participate in a variety of training programmes and Mana Recovery now employs more than 25 people with mental health needs in full or part time positions within the organisation.

Providing meaningful community services through business initiatives that increase employment opportunities for our trainees and also benefit our environment is a recipe of success for Mana Recovery. With the partnering and support of our local council, businesses and the community, together we are paving the way to a truly sustainable future.”

Their “Services” are covered here:

Our Products + Services

“You can help our non-profit organisation by using our services and products or by recommending them to others!”

“ All proceeds go back into the organisation to provide further training and employment outcomes for our trainees. We can offer:
Competitive rates
Prompt service
Quality standards”

“Our services are provided via three separate locations, all of which are based in the Porirua region:
Business Recycling Collection
ReV Bags, Cushions, Footstools + Aprons
Contract Work
Grounds Maintenance, Gardening and Lawn-mowing
Native Plants
Second Hand Goods + Electrical Goods
Inorganic Collection + Donated Goods Drop off
E-Waste Metal Recycling
Resource Recovery Educational Tours”

The only “service” in the form of some kind of “rehabilitation” they offer is this:

RIVERSTONES @ Mana Recovery

“Riverstones aims to develop self confidence, personal achievement and a sense of self worth”

“Riverstones are the foundations on which our rivers flow, collecting rich nutrients on their way to nourish our oceans. Riverstones is the name of our vocational and rehabilitation training programmes, designed to provide our trainees with the necessary social, living and work related skills that they will require for their journey forward.”

Our trainees are assessed for performance at regular intervals, with a range of course modules on offer:
Health Care
Safety Awareness
Time Management
Interpersonal Skills
Personal Presentation
Promotion of Individual Interests
Large and Small Task Performance”

“Providing hands-on work programmes is a key developmental step for our trainees, they gain valuable work ethics and skills that will help them in a real workplace environment. We are very grateful to the local businesses that willingly support our Riverstones training programme.

Riverstones programmes are conducted from each of our three locations – Oranga, Vailima and Trash Palace.”

Of interest are some of their “sponsors”:


Thank you to MSD for providing funding for employment opportunities for our trainees and providing funding for the Skills for Industry Retail Training courses.”

Own Comment:
So third from the top, after the Capital Coast DHB and Porirua City Council they list MSD as one of their “sponsors”!

Addresses given for the ‘Mana Recovery Trust’ on their website:
Oranga @ Mana Recovery, 3 Hall Rd, Porirua
Vailima @ Mana Recovery, 2A Upper Main Drive, Porirua Hospital Grounds, Porirua
Trash Palace @ Mana Recovery, Broken Hill Road, Porirua

Own Comments:

The Mana Revocery Trust may be doing excellent and commendable work in the areas they list, but there is NO information to be found on them offering anything in the area of medical and rehabilitation type work ability assessments, nor is there any information on the staff they employ. Given the information on their services, I feel I can confidently say that they do not have much in the way of medical or other health professional assessment staff. That means it will need to offer new services, which it has never delivered before. Of concern is also, that one of their “sponsors” is MSD, so how “independent” would this provider be? Having a sponsor send clients to a “sponsored” service provider for supposedly “independent” Work Ability Assessments does not sound convincing!

h) OTRS Group Ltd –

From their website:

Welcome to OTRS

“Organisation of Therapy and Rehabilitation Services

When life’s a challenge, OTRS can help you with a wide range of therapeutic and practical solutions to make your life easier. Our team will work with you to help achieve the independence and productivity needed to lead a satisfying and stress-free life.

A thriving, community-based private company, OTRS has operated successfully in the Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Coromandel and King Country regions, since 1999. Since then the services have expanded to include Auckland. Our directors, Jenny Oxley and Barbara Brook, both Occupational Therapists, are proud of the OTRS team’s ability to provide quality medical rehabilitation services following an injury or as the result of a medical condition or disability.

We are recognised as one of New Zealand’s leading providers in the specialist area of driver and passenger rehabilitation. In addition, we are the only organisation in the region with specialists who can carry out medical driving assessments.

Our team consists of occupational therapists, nurses, physiotherapists, psychologists, counsellor, speech language therapist, social worker and office and accounts managers.

Under ‘Services’ they offer this:

Specialist Services

• Occupational therapy driver and passenger rehabilitation
• BrainAction cognitive rehabilitation training
• Workplace wellness
• Case Management
• Progressive Goal Attainment Programme
• Mobility Scooters
• FUNdamentals Development Programme

General Services

• Occupational therapy
• Physiotherapy
• Nursing
• Counselling
• Psychology
• Speech language therapy

Driver and passenger rehabilitation

“OTRS is your specialist organisation in the Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Coromandel and Auckland for driver and passenger rehabilitation. Using the unique driving simulator, we evaluate your driving capability in a safe and non-threatening environment.

A drive in your own car or the modified assessment car checks your road safety.

Advice will be given on your physical and cognitive (thinking skills) function as it relates to driving.

For both drivers and passengers information will be provided on suitable vehicles and modifications, including seating, driving controls wheelchairs hoists.

A driving assessment is appropriate for:
• Anyone who has a medical condition or injury and needs to determine their ability to drive safely and/or advice on vehicle modifcations
• Older persons who have lost confidence or noticed a deterioration in their driving skills
• Learner drivers who are unsure of their potential to learn to drive, due to their disability or medical condition
• Learner drivers who require the use of a vehicle with modifications to compensate for any physical limitations
• Commercial class drivers who require medical fitness to drive”

Their ‘Team’ consists of:

Barbara Brook
Managing Director, NZ Registered Occupational Therapist, Post Graduate Certificate in Occupational Therapy Driver Assessment Training, Certificate in Advanced Driving Competence, Certificate in Adult Teaching, EMS Accredited.

Jenny Oxley
Managing Director, NZ Registered Occupational Therapist, Post Graduate Certificate in Occupational Therapy Driver Assessment Training, Certificate in Advanced Driving Competence, PGAP, FIM and EMS Accredited.

And they also list a number of occupational therapists, physiotherapists and nurses, one psychologist (Veronika Isler) and a speech therapist.

For ‘Contact’ they give this address:

OTRS, PO Box 4138.Hamilton, LIFE Unlimited Building, 20 Palmerston Street, Hamilton 2540

Own Comments:

OTRS Group appear to have at least some staff that are needed to provide something like “Work Ability Assessments”, and they seem to also offer certain support and rehabilitation services. I see no reference to staff with a medical practitioner background, but they have at least a psychologist and a number of occupational therapists and physiotherapists and nurses.

As a private business with a focus on rehabilitation and support services to refer clients/patients into employment, there is again a kind of focus, which goes far beyond of what I would call simple, independent “Work Ability Assessments”. So it seems again, to be a contract, where more than just assessments will be expected to be delivered. Hence the impression is that WINZ are not simply going to expect “Work Ability Assessments”, and actually want the provider to deliver more, which raises questions about the true purpose of this new outsource assessment service they talk about.

They offer the specialty of driver and passenger rehabilitation.

i) PhysioACTION Ltd –

From their website:

“Welcome to PhysioACTION”

Our Mission:

PhysioACTION aims to provide a first class Physiotherapy Service for all clients. Clients should find that their treatment or rehabilitation gives them the best recovery or function for them to carry on their day to day activities.”

What we provide:
General Physiotherapy Services
Rehabilitation Programmes
Injury Prevention
Pain Management
Sports Therapy

We achieve this through:
Functional assessment
Exercise prescription
Manipulation or mobilization
Deep and Soft Tissue massage
Pre/post surgery rehabilitation
Fracture therapy
Gait re-education
Lifting and Back care
Headache relief”


“NB: Please note that PhysioACTION is an ACC contracted provider for these rehabilitation programmes and that the programmes do require the prior approval of ACC.”

About PhysioACTION

Our Vision:
PhysioACTION will be the location where clients choose to have their treatment or rehabilitation because of the professional, friendly and welcoming environment that is provided. Clients will experience the best possible level of care and respect whilst receiving our services.
Our Values:
PhysioACTION staff will be client focussed at all times.
Honesty, integrity and confidentiality.
Respect and dignity for all individuals.
Service excellence – pride in what we do.
Accessibility of services to a diverse range of clients.
Innovative Physiotherapy services”

Our staff:

PhysioACTION has a team of qualified and skilled Physiotherapists, supported by competent administration staff. All Physiotherapists involved in treatment have sound knowledge of musculo-skeletal conditions whether the onset be on the sports field, at work, from a road traffic accident or at home.”

The only services they list are under ‘physiotherapy’ and ‘exercises’:

Addresses for ‘PhysioACTION’ on their website:
PhysioACTION Glenfield, 418 Glenfield Road, Glenfield
PhysioACTION ShoreCare, Sovereign House, Smales Farm, Takapuna
PhysioACTION Birkenhead, 165 Mokoia Road‚ Birkenhead
PhysioACTION Panmure, 2 Clifton Court‚ Panmure

(2 further addresses in Auckland are listed)

Own Comments:

Again this is primarily a rehabilitation service provider, and the website gives only information that they employ physiotherapists with their relevant qualifications and experiences. There is no mention of any medical practitioner or other practitioner staff outside the mentioned area. Any assessments they will have so far provided, will have been done for planning and preparing rehabilitation measures they offer for clients/patients. They may well offer mere “Work Ability Assessments”, but that will likely only be done following earlier assessments done by GPs and so, certifying a basic ability to do some forms of work. They have done work for ACC, so any services provided to WINZ are likely to be of the same or of a similar type as offered to the Corporation.

j) ProActive Rehab –

From their website:



We provide our clients with holistic solutions that focus on long-term recovery. Our treatment deals with you as a whole person, rather than simply treating your injury. Whether you are a corporate, insurance or private customer, we can help you recover.

We recognise an injury can really put a stop to not only that working part of the body, but to all aspects of your life. We have a spectrum of services aimed at kick starting your recovery and providing you with the ability to reclaim independence!

ProActive not only provides acute Physiotherapy, we also provide Specialised Musculoskeletal Exercise Rehabilitation services, Pain Management services, Return to Work programmes and occupational solutions. Workshops we provide include: injury prevention and educational workshops, nutritional workshops, stress management workshops, Corporate OOS, Wellness programmes , manual handling workshops and expertise in exercise prescription for work fitness and safe work practices.”


With the changes in physiotherapy funding under ACC we asked our clients what they were looking for and what they needed. There was a variety of acceptable co-charges and expectations for these, which has led us to develop a tiered service structure as well as four specific packages that give more value to our clients and to the referrer.”

ACC subsidised:

You do not need to see your GP first to be eligible so you can quickly access injury treatment. The earlier you get on to your injury, the more likely you will make a full recovery. ProActive complied to accreditation criteria and meets best practice standards across all of its services. Consumables are not covered by ACC, so a small fee will be charged to cover these if required. Failure to attend appointments will also incur a surcharge of $20.00.”

Under ‘Case Managers’ they publish this:

Case Managers

ProActive provides health and disability insurers a true multidisciplinary team service to ensure best practice intervention and outcomes for your clients. ProActive’s spectrum of services includes a full range of assistance, including physiotherapy treatment, reconditioning programmes, pain management, vocational rehabilitation, wellness programmes and injury prevention workshops.

Under ‘Medical Professionals’ you find:

Medical Professionals

“When referring patients for injury care, all professionals want a genuine, quality, outcome focused organisation to link with. You can be sure that if your patient is treated at ProActive, we will do our very best to provide premium high quality care”.

“As mentioned in the services section of this website, we provide an all encompassing holistic approach to injury care, that focuses on long-term recovery. Whether the patient is participating in one or several of our services, our treatment deals with a client as a whole person, rather than simply treating one aspect of the problem.”

“ProActive strives to deliver an outcomes based client centric service. Working hard with our clients to ensure their engagement and ownership of their rehabilitation programmes, ProActive staff have demonstrated the ability go out of their way to help clients achieve goals.”

Addresses given for ‘ProActive Rehab’ on their website:
c/o Les Mills Extreme, 52-70 Taranaki St, PO Box 6074, Marion Square, Wellington
c/o Les Mills Hutt City, 7-15 Pretoria St, Hutt City
c/o City Fitness, Coastlands Shopping Centre, Paraparaumu
c/o Te Rauparaha, Arena Health & Sports Med, 17 Parumoana Street, Porirua

Own Comments:

‘ProActive Rehab’ are again primarily a rehabilitation provider, offering physiotherapy, specialised musculoskeletal exercise rehabilitation services, pain management services, return to work programmes and occupational solutions. They appear to be located in various fitness centres. They are also an ACC “subsidised” service. Yet on their website there are no professional qualifications listed for the staff they employ. For “Work Ability Assessments” they seem to have taken on new, additional service delivery for WINZ clients, as they are not really set up to simply deliver assessments to third parties. The fact that they are again primarily a rehabilitation service provider, raises again the question what the true intentions of MSD and WINZ are with using these services.

k) Southern Rehab –

From their website:

SouthernRehab is a leading South Island interdisciplinary rehabilitation health centre situated in Sydenham, Christchurch. SouthernRehab is a pioneer in the development of interdisciplinary rehabilitation and continues to be the largest private community provider of rehab services in Canterbury.

SouthernRehab also provides Vocational Rehabilitation Services throughout the entire South Island via a network of specialised clinics and practitioners. Please select the Vocational Rehabilitation Service tab above to access a further description of these services and to find a list of South Island Providers.

SouthernRehab assists people to manage all aspects of their condition. Examples of the types of conditions and rehabilitation services that SouthernRehab provides are: musculoskeletal and persistent pain assessments and rehabilitation programmes; orthopaedic injury – including pre and post surgical treatment; brain injury and concussion assessment and rehabilitation; psychological assessment and treatment; spinal cord injury rehabilitation; and vocational rehabilitation, including return to work following an injury.

The SouthernRehab team includes rehabilitation and musculoskeletal physicians, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, clinical psychologists, career practitioners, nurses and speech language therapists.

SouthernRehab’s interdisciplinary provision reflects the current evidence that persistent pain and disability following injury is a combination of interrelating physical, psychological, social and occupational factors. We combine the skills of our clinicians to integrate the journey of care around the needs of our Client.

People can be referred to SouthernRehab for their injury rehabilitation through a variety of means including self-referral, GP referral, ACC and Health insurance.”

Under ‘About Us’ we find this:

Our Philosophy
Our aim is to be a nationally recognised Centre of Excellence for the provision of Interdisciplinary Rehabilitation Services

Clinical Excellence in an Interdisciplinary team environment is the cornerstone of our philosophy:

SouthernRehab is an Interdisciplinary team, which “goes across” the discipline boundaries depending on the particular problems of the Client, the specific skills of each of the team members and the goals for the rehabilitation programme. Our approach is characterised by Client-centered goal planning with recruitment of individual team members and groups of team members to achieve specific tasks towards those goals.

SouthernRehab recognises the complexity underpinning persistent disability, and that effective rehabilitation brings together the skills of different clinicians to assist the Client towards their goals. An integrated rehabilitation programme fosters self-management and supports more normal function. Benefits include restored quality of life and independence.

We understand that timely delivery of services is also a key part of providing effective rehabilitation solutions and recognise the importance of efficient process and attention to detail for our Clients. We believe in investing in the development of business and administrative systems to support our clinicians to meet critical time-frames.”

Vocational Rehabilitation Service

“SouthernRehab provides Vocational Rehabilitation Services throughout the South Island, through ACC’s Vocational Rehabilitation Services contract. These services include :

NB: The following names and descriptors are consistent with ACC’s Vocational Rehabilitation Service but non-ACC Clients, medical practitioners, private case management/insurance companies/personnel are welcome to use the same structure or customise our services to their requirements.”

Under Services they list a number of assessments or evaluations they offer:

Functional Capacity Evaluations (FCE)

An FCE is used to determine a person’s safe physical limitations for performing work. The FCE referral can target simple, complex or task specific information. It is a systematic process of measuring, recording and analysing a Client’s ability to perform purposeful activities in response to broadly defined work demands, activities of daily living or projected vocational status. The assessment usually takes around 3 to 3.5 hours to perform.

SouthernRehab uses the Workhab programme or ErgoScience FCE Physical Work Performance EvaluationTM as the assessment tool.”

Initial Occupational Assessment (IOA)

“The IOA is an ssessment with a Vocational Consultant to establish work types that a Client is able to pursue after an injury when they are unable to return to their pre-injury work. The assessment takes into account the Client’s skills, education and experience. After the assessment a report including the selected job types is sent to the Case Manager.

The IOA assessment usually takes 60 to 90 minutes of face-to-face time and the appointment is usually followed up by a phone call to inform the Client of any outcomes. The IOA forms the basis of job options that ACC may consider for use in the Client’s rehabilitation journey.”

Vocational Independence Occupational Assessment (VIOA)

“This assessment is carried out by a Vocational Consultant to review the vocational services provided to a client and consider the suitability of types of work previously identified for the client in the Initial Occupational Assessment (IOA). People are eligible for a VIOA when they are no longer able to work in their pre-injury role and have been deemed by ACC to have received all necessary rehabilitation services.”

Under ‘Services’ they list a range of rehabilitation services for primarily physical disabilities, and only this for “psychological services”:

Psychological Services (Psych)

After an injury there are often challenges to adapting to ongoing symptoms and changes in lifestyle. Sometimes there are emotional problems relating to the experience of the accident. Clinical Psychologists help to identify any difficulties in adjusting to the injury and help Clients to address these. Problems such as anxiety, depression, stressful thinking patterns and interpersonal difficulties are addressed. With a Psychology team of four, SouthernRehab is one of the larger providers of psychological services in Canterbury.

Psychological Services may be provided independently of, or to complement other programmes like the Functional Reactivation Programme. Clients may receive Psychological services after a recommendation from another assessment, or Clients may be referred directly by their Case Manager.”

This website page lists all their South Island providers:

Also be aware of criticism here:

Empathy” commented there on 12 Nov. 2012 (02:44 pm):

“Be very very careful and record assessments. They tell lies and and work together to exit you once your quota is up. They are not interested in your recovery and rehabilitation just the Range Rover or Lexus in the drive compliments ACC.”

Also see comments info on this post:

Address for Southern Rehab given on their website:
Level 1, 29 Byron Street, Sydenham, Christchurch, 8240

Own Comments:

Southern Rehab offer assessments and evaluations by a number of providers across the South Island, whose qualifications are not provided in detail, but appear to be appropriate. Their team includes rehabilitation and musculoskeletal physicians, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, clinical psychologists, career practitioners, nurses and speech language therapists, the website tells us. Some areas will be served better than others, due to geographic limitations.

They are primarily physical rehabilitation experts, but apparently also deliver psychological services. They have been doing work for ACC, and some of it seems to have been commented on critically by persons affected. Again we have experts in rehabilitation and that almost exclusively physical rehabilitation, and one must ask, what “independent” work ability assessments will they provide, as the focus is clearly on establishing work ability for the purpose of employment, with probably insufficient direct medical practitioner input by the provider, apart from offering rehab professionals look at work ability.

It seems that for WINZ “Work Ability Assessments” are really about REHABILITATION, and work preparation measures, rather than independent, standalone assessments.

l) Te Oranganui Iwi Health Authority –

From their website:

Welcome to Te Oranganui Iwi Health Authority

Te Oranganui Iwi Health Authority is a leading Health Care provider delivering a quality service contributing to the mana motuhake of whanau, hapu, iwi and other peoples.”

Under ‘Services’ for ‘Pahake / Adults’ they offer:

Mental Health + Addictions Support

“Mental Health and Addictions

Te Oranganui Mental Health and Addictions Service provides a range of services from home-based care, support for youth and their families, a 24hr oncall support service, community support, rangatahi and adult counselling, intervention and prevention strategies, education awareness to whanau, referrals to external services and can provide support in the courts.

Our service views the whanau as being central to the well-being of Tangata Whaiora, which means that the whanau must be actively involved in Tangata Whaiora care and management.

We work with whanau, preparing the way for reintegration of Tangata Whaiora back into the whanau and wider community. Once connection has been established, we maintain contact to monitor development and to provide support when and where needed. This is an essential component for fostering ongoing wellness.”

Under ‘Disability Support Services’ they offer:

“Improving Access

The role of Disability Support is to facilitate improved access to information and services.

The Disability Support Service facilitation receives referrals from internal and external agencies, accepts self-referrals and whanau referrals. Contact with the client is made by the Disability Support Officer, an appointment is set and a full assessment is completed. If a person is deemed eligible for Support for Independent Living Service by Access Ability, a referral is sent through to Te Ara Toiora to provide this service.

The Disability Suport Service facilitator’s role is then to monitor the processes that are put in place for the client.”

Under ‘Vocational Services’ they offer:

Vocational Services

Vocational Programme

We provide a vocation programme for people with disabilities. Each participant is empowered and supported to develop their own plan and are supported to achieve their dreams and aspirations.

The main aims of our vocational service is to support perople with disabilities to:
Access and take part in activities in the community
Develop skills to participate in the community
Acquire the skills needed to obtain employment
Gain and/or retain employment

Participants enjoy daily social interaction whilst learning key living skills and interacting with the local community. Karakia, waiata and mihimihi play an integral role in the holistic provision of this vocational service.”

Address for ‘Te Oranganui Iwi Health Authority’ on their website:
57 Campbell Street, Whanganui

Own Comments:

There is no information on the website stating that the Trust offers any proper medical or even occupational type assessments that may be conducted by professional, qualified medical or other health practitioner staff. So far they appear to have worked with other separate providers that offer additional services. Besides of mental health and addiction counselling there seem to be only community support programs they offer. Disability support services are geared to some form of preparation for employment, amongst other things.

It appears they have been contracted only under a condition to expand their services to include proper “Work Ability Assessment” services. As a likely new provider, they so far seem to be insufficiently prepared to deliver such services.

m) WALSH Trust –

From their website:

Supporting people in Waitakere communities who have an experience of mental ill health or disability.”

“WALSHtrust stands for West Auckland Living Skills Homes Trust Board.

We offer support services that promote recovery for people whose lives have been affected by an experience of mental health that has been personally challenging or a barrier to participating in work or the community.

We nurture hope and new possibilities through communicating people’s worth and potential so clearly that they are inspired to see it in themselves.”

Under ‘About Us’ the website says:

A Leader in Community Based Mental Health Services

“West Auckland Living Skills Home Trust (WALSHtrust) is a non-government organisation located in Henderson, West Auckland.”

“We are an independent charitable trust, with funding coming from contracts with the Ministries of Health and Social Development and the Department of Work and Income, and charitable donations from organisations and individuals.

WALSHtrust Support Services:
Residential Housing & Recovery – seven houses across west and central Auckland with 39 clients receiving 24 hour support.
Mobile Community Support – to 155 people living in Waitakere in their own homes.
EmploymentWorks! – supported employment service placing and maintaining 100 people per year in open employment.
independent ENDEAVOURS – psycho-education service designed to address barriers to participation in the community, for 75 people.
jigsaw Peer Support Service – a team of people who live with their own experience of mental health issues, connecting with others who live with similar experiences.
Older Persons Service – residential care for older adults with 24 hour care and five beds with the option of a sixth, to be used for respite.”

Under ‘EmploymentWorks’ they publish:

Exceptional Recruitment Solutions

“”The biggest mistake people make in life is not trying to make a living at doing what they most enjoy.” Malcolm S Forbes

We believe people can, and do, recover from challenging health conditions. Appropriate employment is often a key factor in the recovery journey, and can make a dramatic difference to people’s lives – how they see their world, how they see themselves, how they see their future.
How supported employment works

See information for employers
See information for job seekers
See information about ACC Supported Employment”

Their newsletter for Summer 2014 had the title ‘Employment Works! Great Jobs for Great People’ and referred to a new contract with MSD:

Click to access summer-2014-e-newsletter.pdf

“Employmentworks have been successful in securing another employment focussed contract from the Ministry of Social Development, this new contract enables us to work with job seekers for up to 6 months to find permanent sustainable employment and once successfully in work, to support them to retain their employment for another year.

We are now able to offer employers a larger pool than ever before of potential candidates keen and ready to start work now!

This new contract has seen us welcome on board 2 new staff members. Both Adam Hindley and Deidre Doyle bring with them a wealth of experience and personal qualities that have seen them complete their first 3 months in fine form and with some great results.“

Also under ‘EmploymentWorks’:
ACC Supported Employment / Employment Placement Service

The ACC Supported Employment service is for job seekers who have been referred to EmploymentWorks! from ACC, through the National Serious Injury Service (NSIS) or Recover Independence Service(RIS) Teams throughout the Auckland Region, and it is for job seekers who have experienced a serious injury such as brain injury or spinal injury.

Our professional team of employment specialists will support each individual using a partnership approach to pursue their employment goals for as long as it takes; this is not sheltered work, nor work preparation, but ‘real jobs for real pay’.

The service has had excellent results in supporting those who have experienced a serious injury to either re-access the workforce in a similar career or start something entirely new. Either way, this supports the individual with a renewed confidence to get back on a career pathway and start moving forward towards independence once more.

WALSHtrust is a member of the Advisors for Supported Employment in New Zealand (ASENZ) and is actively involved in forums, conferences and training within the employment support sector.”

Under ‘For Jobseekers’ we read:

“For Job Seekers”

“We support job seekers in finding, getting and keeping work, remaining healthy to fully participate, and continue to develop in their chosen career. The service also works with employers, to ensure both parties are supported to ensure successful, ongoing employment.”

“The service is free for adults aged 17 and over:
• Whose ability to participate in employment has been affected by the experience of mental ill- health or ACC injury.
• Who want to get a job, or require support to retain their current job.
• Who are residents of Waitakere City.”

Re their “team” we find out this:

Our Team

We have 8 full-time and 3 part-time employment specialists, with a combined total of 20 years experience as supported employment practitioners.

We work together closely, and are passionate about supported employment, and committed to providing both employees and clients with a quality professional service.”

Under ‘About Mental Illness’ they write:

“One In Four People Affected At Any One Time”

“A recent New Zealand mental health survey shows nearly half (46%) of New Zealanders will experience a mental illness and/or an addiction at some time in their lives, with one in five (20%) of people affected at any one time.

Around 3% of those people – adults, young people and children – have serious ongoing and disabling mental ill health requiring treatment from specialist mental health, alcohol and drug services. The remaining 17% experience less severe, moderate and milder ill health and problems, which usually do not need treatment from specialist mental health services.

WALSHtrust’s philosophy is based on the fundamental belief that people can recover from mental ill health. Recovery is defined in the Mental Health Blueprint as the ability to live well in the presence or absence of one’s mental ill health – or whatever people choose to name their experience.”

Their address is on their website given under “contact us” as:
Physical Address: 8 Hickory Avenue, Henderson, Waitakere City 0650

Own Comment:

The website clearly points out that the Trust receives funding from the Ministry of Health AND the Ministry of Social Devlopment, i.e. Work and Income! So how “independent” is it then, as a supposed future provider for “independent” work ability assessments, for which they so far seem to be very ill prepared to deliver such services?

Going by the numbers Walsh Trust present on their website re the numbers of mentally ill in the population, and then looking at those mental health sufferers that have to resort to claim benefits from Work and Income, and basing calculations on the whole population and the percentage of those needing longer term or ongoing treatment, it is clear, that most of those on benefits are there for good reasons, and not the ones that are simply suffering “common mental health conditions” (as Professor Aylward likes to claim).

Apart from “peer support services” and efforts the Trust makes to work with community providers, I see NO treatment or rehabilitation program they offer, and I see NO information on assessments they provide, certainly nothing about medically qualified health professionals.

It is primarily an employment and community support service for those that suffer mental illness and / or injuries. Their focus is on helping those client groups into employment, and any “Work Ability Assessment” services seem to be something new that they are expected to deliver.

n) Wayne Hudson Physiotherapy Ltd – no direct website found!

Some relevant information found on websites:

Wayne Hudson
Rehabilitation Services Manager
Mobile: 021 616 356

About Work Recovery

Established in 2011, Work Recovery is a provider of rehabilitation and vocational services to those in the Eastern Region of the North Island, covering Hawkes Bay, Chatham Islands, Gisborne (Tairawhiti) and Wairarapa. Service provision is focused on rehabilitation and vocational training following an accident, where the goal is a a return to the workforce.

Work Recovery is a joint venture partnership between Plus Rehab @ the workplace & Accomplish Vocational Services who have been providing both rehabilitation and vocational services in both the public and private sectors for over ten years.

Plus Rehab @ the workplace has specialised in the delivery of rehabilitation and return to work programmes in the Hawkes Bay region, which has included: Workplace Assessments, Ergonomic Assessment, Activity Based Programmes, and Return to Work Programmes.

Accomplish Vocational Services, with branches in Hawkes Bay, Gisborne (Tairawhiti), Wairarapa, and Bay of Plenty have delivered a range of tailored vocational training programmes which have included: Curriculum Vitae Preparation, Ergonomic Assessments, Workplace Assessment, Pre-employment Preparation Training, Work Preparation Programmes, Work Experience, Computer Skills Training, Literacy/Numeracy Skills Training, Job Placement, Career Guidance, Initial Occupational Assessments and Vocational Independence Occupational Assessments.

The dynamic team at Work Recovery bring specific skills and strengths across a range of disciplines, which include: Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, Support Trainers, Psychologists, Vocational Consultants, Computer Trainers, Literacy Trainers and Recruitment Consultants. Working as a close multi-disciplinary team we are committed to providing a client centred service, targeted to the specific needs of the client to achieve a return to work outcome”.


Registered Address
3 Ormond Road, Hospital Hill, Napier, NZ

Shareholder name Shares Percentage
Rachel Louise HARRIS, Wayne Noel HUDSON, WTR TRUSTEE SERVICES LIMITED 998 ~ 99.80%
Wayne Noel HUDSON 1 ~ 0.10%
Rachel Louise HARRIS 1 ~ 0.10%

Companies Office entry:

Own Comments:

‘Wayne Hudson Physiotherapy’ or ‘Work Recovery’ again seems to be primarily a rehabilitation and vocational service deliverer, rather than an “independent” work ability assessor. There is talk of training, workplace assessments and job placement services. Yet they seem to offer initial occupational assessments and vocational independence assessments, which I presume are mostly provided to ACC claimants working on rehabilitation plans. There is a lack of other information on the staff they employ, and how they operate. As with so many other providers, the focus again seems to be on delivering additional services to prepare persons to work, and one must wonder, how sick, injured and disabled on WINZ benefits, who have so far been assessed as unable to work, will be fit enough to use these services and return to work. With those on the Jobseeker Support benefit only supposed to be suffering short term illness (which is not the case for all former sickness beneficiaries), this may make sense for some. But the suspicion remains, that this is all part of the greater plan, to reset the criteria for illness and disability, based on Aylward’s teachings, to usher more sick and disabled into jobs.

It does not generate trust in the whole scheme, as the mere talk of independent “Work Ability Assessments” is misleading, as it all seems to have further reaching goals that WINZ want to achieve.

o) WorkRehab Ltd –

From their website:

„Getting you back to work

At WorkRehab we have qualified staff who you can depend on to get you back where you want to be.”

The team consists of Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, Career Practitioners and other health professionals who provide a fully integrated service.

Vocational rehabilitation services assist injured workers to achieve their optimum function to safely return to work. The service involves a structured and solution focussed approach aimed at optimising independence. WorkRehab offices are located South Island wide.”

Under ‘Services’ the website shows:

Vocational Rehabilitation
Standalone Workplace Assessment

Undertaken at client’s workplace to gather information about their pre-injury work tasks.
Stay at Work (SAW) Level 1 Service

For clients with simple rehabilitation needs who require brief assistance to return to their pre-injury work.
Stay at Work (SAW) Level 2 Service

For clients who require more intensive input to achieve a full return to work.
Stay at Work (SAW) Level 3 Service

For clients who require more intensive input to achieve a full return to work and may also require a physiotherapy functional programme to assist in achieving their return to work goals.
Stay at Work Level 4 Tailored Service

For clients with more complex rehabilitation needs who require longer rehabilitation.
Work Readiness Level 1 Service

For clients who are unable to return to their pre-injury employment and require assistance to prepare for new employment.
Work Readiness Level 2 Service

For clients who are unable to return to their pre-injury employment and require assistance to prepare for new employment and also require a work trial.
Work Readiness Level 3 Tailored Service

For clients who are unable to return to their pre-injury employment and require intensive assistance to prepare for new employment. The service may also include a work trial and physiotherapy functional programme.
Job Brokerage Services

For clients without employment who are work ready with transferable skills who are provided assistance with accessing the job market.
Job Search Service

For clients without employment who have been referred following a vocational independence assessment. The aim of the service is to assist with seeking and securing employment.
Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE)

A structured assessment to determine an individual’s safe physical capacity following injury.
Initial Occupational Assessment (IOA)

The IOA is an assessment to establish work types that a client is able to pursue after an injury when they are unable to return to their pre-injury work. The assessment takes into account the individual’s skills, education and experience.
Vocational Independence Occupational Assessment (VIOA)

Assessment carried out to review the vocational services provided to a client and consider the suitability of types of work previously identified for the client in the IOA.
Social Rehabilitation
Training for Independence – adults with traumatic brain Injury

A integrated service for adults who have sustained a traumatic brain injury to help them develop life skills and increase their independence.


WorkRehab provides health and safety services tailored to your individual requirements. Services include”

Their ‘team’ is listed as:

Heather Agnew
“Heather started with WorkRehab late last year and works two days a week in the accounts department.”

Maria Donaldson
Maria graduated from CIT, Wellington with a Diploma in Occupational Therapy in 1987. Since this time she has worked in a wide range of areas. This includes Mental Health, Community Occupational Therapy, Orthopaedics, Stroke Rehabilitation, Gynae-oncology and Maternity.” “Maria has worked in Vocational Rehabilitation since 2007.”

Paul Merry
Paul has significant experience of working in vocational rehabilitation working for Workbridge and more recently for Scott Vocational Services Dunedin. Paul has an extensive rural teaching and management background and has lived and worked in the Otago, West Coast, Marlborough and Nelson regions. He recently completed a Diploma in Career Guidance. Paul particularly enjoys working with practical people.”

Bridget Clarke
Bridget enjoys working with people in transition helping people identify realistic goals, develop a plan to achieve these goals and motivate them to achieve positive outcomes. She draws on her expertise as a vocational consultant and counselor, and previous experience within the horticultural, education, food manufacturing and IT fields. Bridget has a Masters degree from Canterbury University and is an Associate member of CDANZ.”

Ali Birtwistle
Ali has come to WorkRehab after a varied career as an Occupational Therapist working with children in both acute and primary care settings. More recently she has been working in community rehabilitation with adults and children with a range of injury related difficulties including chronic pain, traumatic brain injury and musculoskeletal problems.”

Zelandia McAnally
I am originally from Dunedin and graduated in 2010 at Otago Polytechnic. I have spent the last 3 years in Timaru working in older person’s rehabilitation and the community setting. I really enjoy working in rehabilitation and am looking forward to working in vocational rehabilitation in the South.”

Robyn McDonald
Robyn graduated from CIT in 1978 and has worked as an Occupational Therapist in many settings since. She completed a Post Grad Diploma in Health Sciences in 2003 and a Pain Management paper in 2005 and Ergonomics Analysis paper in 2009. She has worked in vocational / health and safety roles since 2001. Robyn also enjoys working with people with disabilities.”

Helen Jeffery
Helen graduated from CIT in 1982 and have worked as an Occupational Therapist in a variety of settings. Her work has included periods of time in Australia and the UK, and has been interspersed with periods of travel and outdoor instructing.” “Helen works in the Central Otago region.”

Maria Donaldson
Maria graduated from CIT, Wellington with a Diploma in Occupational Therapy in 1987. Since this time she has worked in a wide range of areas. This includes Mental Health, Community Occupational Therapy, Orthopaedics, Stroke Rehabilitation, Gynae-oncology and Maternity.” “Maria has worked in Vocational Rehabilitation since 2007”

Emily Stephens
Emily graduated with a Masters of Science in Applied Psychology from Canterbury University in 2003. Emily has over six years’ experience working in vocational rehabilitation in Christchurch, assisting clients on their pathway back to work after injury.”

Tracey Flett
Tracey is a new addition to WorkRehab and works alongside the Administration team at Reception.”

Tracy Kovacs
Hi my name is Tracy Kovacs, I live in a lovely little town called Waimangaroa, situated approximately 15km north of Westport on the very scenic West Coast. I have worked with WorkRehab since 2012 in the area of Vocational Consultant. My main scope of work is carrying out the Navigate to Work Programme through the MSD Contract and Job Search Services through the ACC Contract. Both contracts are highly motivational to me as I love working with people toward obtaining employment or increasing their qualifications through training.”

Jane Ryder-Foskett
Jane Ryder-Foskett is an occupational therapist with 13 years’ experience in the areas of vocational rehabilitation, traumatic brain injury, paediatrics and mental health. Jane has spent a significant part of her career working with adults and young people to enable them to resume, enter and access employment and training environments successfully”

Neil Clapp
Neil graduated from Otago Polytechnic with a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy in 2011 and has worked in vocational rehabilitation ever since. He is completing post graduate study through AUT – currently pain management; and next year will study hand and upper limb therapy. His interest area is hand and upper limb rehabilitation. He completes regular observation at a local hand clinic and is an associate member of the New Zealand Association of Hand Therapists.”

Lorraine Moody
Lorraine is a new addition to the WorkRehab team and works in the busy role of Administration. She takes care of all the day to day running of the reception area and is the voice on the end of the phone when you call.”

Lee McKay
Lee started working with WorkRehab on a contract basis assisting with all the finance requirements of the company. Her skills however were quickly recognised and she became an employee 5 years ago. With the growth of WorkRehab Lee has now stepped up to the position of Financial Control Officer where she now oversees the financial management of the company, including carrying out more detailed analysis and budgeting.”

Angela Fletcher
Ange joined WorkRehab in the very early days as a part time typist working from her home in Cromwell which fitted in with raising her two young children. Following her move to Christchurch she became more involved in the company, eventually coming on board full time as our administrator. With WorkRehab’s recent rapid growth, Ange has stepped up to the invaluable role of PA to the director, Lenny O’Connell.”

Sarah Chapman
On Sarah’s return to the workforce after her youngest daughter started school, she joined WorkRehab as support for the financial team. She brings with her experience in the day to day Management of a Family Transport Business along with her excellent time management skills developed by being a busy working mother.”

Lenny O’Connell
Lenny is the Director of WorkRehab. He is an Occupational Therapist with a Masters in Health Science (Endorsed in Occupational Heath). Lenny has worked in Vocational Rehabilitation since he graduated and has developed the business into a fully inter-disciplinary service provider.”

Lisa Preece
Lisa graduated from Otago with a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy in 1998. As a new graduate she was involved in setting up a Mental Health Rehab Service in the North Island where she worked before travelling. Lisa then travelled to the UK and continued to work as an Occupational Therapist, with opportunities to work in both mental health settings and more recently in Vocational Rehab pilot schemes in Scotland. Returning to NZ Lisa has completed PGAP training (Progressive Goal Attainment Programme) which is a disability prevention program specifically designed to target psychosocial risk factors for pain and disability. She has worked in Vocational Rehabilitation for 6 years and enjoys the variety that the work offers and endless learning opportunities.”

Andy Strang
Andy is a Physiotherapist with interests in rock climbing, diving and getting outdoors as much as possible. Andy has a particular interest in amputees and shoulder rehabilitation and is working with Orthopaedic Surgeon Mr Alex Malone on protocol development and research around Acromioclavicular joint injuries and Bicep tendon repairs. He is currently working on an amputee pathway for Osseointegration – a new procedure becoming available for lower limb amputees in New Zealand.”

Tricia McGuinness
Tricia’s focus is on clinical and service development and standardising clinical excellence across all WorkRehab sites in the South island. She is also responsible for ensuring WorkRehab’s Quality and Health and Safety standards are maintained during service delivery. Tricia’s Vocational Rehabilitation experience includes working with Injury, Disability, Mental Health and the ID populations. Her special interest include work cultures, Health and Safety (private companies), mediation and training.”

Kate Dyer
Kate Dyer completed her Bachelor of Occupational Therapy at Otago Polytechnic in her home town Dunedin. After graduation she moved to Hamilton to complete a new graduate mental health programme, including completing her Post graduate certificate in mental health at AUT on North shore of Auckland. After two and a half years in Hamilton including a year in supported employment she decided to move back to the South and move further into the field of vocational rehabilitation.”

Andrea Robertson
Andrea graduated with a Bachelor of Physiotherapy from Otago University. Following graduation, Andrea went on to work in the musculoskeletal private practise field in Invercargill, as well as working with several sports teams. During this time Andrea graduated with a Post Graduate Certificate of Physiotherapy endorsed in Acupuncture. After gaining several years experience in private practise, Andrea decided to shift into vocational rehabilitation in 2011. She therefore brings a vast array of physiotherapy skills and knowledge to assisting the rehabilitation of Southland workers. Andrea has a special interest in exercise prescription for both home and gym based exercise programmes. She is a member of the New Zealand Society of Physiotherapists Occupational Health Special Interest Group.”

Chris Harris
My name is Chris Harris. I came to Occupational Therapy later in life after various careers as a Chemist, Teacher and a self employed Carpenter / Joiner. This wide ranging vocational experience has been of great benefit in vocational rehabilitation. I chose to embark on an Occupational Therapy degree at AUT(Auckland) after spending time working with Occupational Therapists installing level access showers. It looked like the perfect profession for me and it hasn’t disappointed.”

The Head Office address for ‘WorkRehab Ltd’ on their website is:
10 Nazareth Avenue, Middleton, Christchurch
(further offices or branches are in Nelson/Marlborough, West Coast, South Canterbury, Otago and Southland)

Own Comments:

The team of ‘WorkRehab Ltd’ consists of mostly occupational therapists, some physiotherapists, career practitioners and other health professionals who provide a fully integrated service, the website informs us. A long list of their team members is provided with introductory profiles. ‘WorkRehab’ offices are located South Island wide, we learn. They offer assessments for ACC related services and have a strong focus on rehabilitation by way of occupational therapy and physiotherapy.

The qualifications, experience and services mentioned appear convincing and good for the treatment areas covered. It can be fairly presumed that they can well conduct assessments such as those required by ACC and employers, potentially also for WINZ clients. There appears to be some shortage on psychologist and mental health experts, and as the focus at this provider is again primarily on treatment, it seems that “Work Ability Assessment” provision is in respect of WINZ meant to reach much further than simply asking such providers for an “independent” assessment of their clients.

WINZ and MSD appear to be rather dishonest about the actual scope of services they intend to send certain clients to. It remains to be seen, what “work ability criteria” will be used to assess clients, as the criteria that “experts” like Mansel Aylward recommend should be unacceptable in New Zealand.

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