Auditory processing disorder may be a specialised area of communication disorders but more than 80 people turned out for the official launch of the New Zealand Guidelines on Auditory Processing Disorder hosted by the Eisdell Moore Hearing and Balance Research Centre at the University of Auckland. Participants included audiologists, speech-language therapists, ENT surgeons, hearing research scientists, consumers, and special education teachers.

Kāumatua Piripi Daniels

Kāumatua Piripi Daniels opened and closed the event, and blessed the Guidelines as a taonga (treasure) that will benefit the tamariki (children) of Aotearoa (New Zealand) for years to come.

Leonie Wilson-Kilby

Other guest speakers included Professor Peter Thorne, Director of the Eisdell Moore Centre; Libby Gibbins, President of the NZ Audiological Society; Leonie Wilson-Kilby, Chair of APD support group Hear 4 Families APD NZ; and the Ministry of Education’s Director of Learning Support, Dr David Wales.

Messages of greetings and congratulations came from the peer reviewers in the UK, Canada, USA and Australia.

Professor Suzanne Purdy

Guidelines co-authors Dr Bill Keith and Professor Suzanne Purdy spoke about the Guidelines and some of their current APD research.

Dr Purdy began with a Māori whakataukī (proverb) about perseverance, a reference to the three year journey involved in writing the Guidelines, and ended with a whakataukī about a fledgling bird, a reference to the journey the Guidelines will now embark on as they take wing and influence APD service development.