ConSTANZ21 postponed

Kia Ora,

Unfortunately, due to the recent uncertainty around Covid restrictions, the conference planning committee alongside STANZ have made the hard decision to postpone ConSTANZ 21.
The conference will be held at the same time next year, and we will confirm exact dates as soon as possible.
This decision was made in the best interests of keeping everyone and their schools safe. It was reached following government guidelines, and restrictions for education and gatherings.
We will be in touch with registered delegates shortly around credit and/or refunds. Please be patient as we work through the details around these.
Thank you for your understanding,

The ConSTANZ 2122 Planning Committee

Ian de Stigter’s paper on pay relativity April 2021

School Science Technician and Librarian Pay Relativity to the average hourly wage, 1989-2020

by Ian de Stigter
April 2021

Data from all-sectors ordinary-time average hourly wage data was obtained from the
Quarterly Employment Survey produced by Statistics NZ, and this is compared in the graph
below against the maximum hourly wage indicated for school Science Technicians and
Librarians in the various collective contract pay scales from 1989 to2020. Read more….

Communications Report May 2021

Communications Officer Report for May 2021

I have taken on the role of Communications Officer until the end of the current Executive Term


The STANZ Executive met at St. Patrick’s College Wellington at the end of Term One. Here is a summary of decisions and discussions.



This was held on a Zoom Platform and a number of technicians from outside Wellington were in attendance and there were also a couple of local Technicians who attended in person. It included a Zoom Meeting with Chris Walker NZEI.

Chris bought us up to date with progress on our Pay Equity Claim which was lodged last year.

  • STANZ Executive meeting
    1. Helen Jordan from the ConSTANZ21 Organising Committee was present and bought the committee up to date with planning. (You may have noted that the ConSTANZ21 website is up and running and registrations are now open). Members can rest assured that planning for possible CoVID 19 eventualities is in progress. Hand sanitizer will be available at the venue for example. Keep watching scitech talk for details of the various Scholarships that will be available to help members attend the conference.
    2. Executive Elections for 2021-2023. Arwen Heyworth (retiring President) was appointed Returning Officer for this on- line election. Further details will be given as this term proceeds but do consider whether you or a colleague would be willing to stand for the election as there will be a number of vacancies to fill, we also do see the need for a wide geographical spread of members. Feel free to discuss this matter with any current Executive Member should you want more detail
    3. Privacy Policy. STANZ is required to develop a Privacy Policy and as a first step towards this we have appointed Monique Arts (Current Past President) to this role. There will a more formal discussion at the ConSTANZ21 General Meeting but in the short term we would like to mention that members have the right to opt out of any publicity photographs. The conference application form states that your photo may be used and give an opt-out option for this. Also note that any comment you post on Scitech talk may end up in Accumulated Wisdom with your name assigned. Photos may be used in Tech tonic newsletter so there will again be an opt- out option in due course.
    4. There was discussion about the HSNO exception for school laboratories which only applies to areas teaching science. Members need to be aware that this means areas like art, food technology and technology are not part of the Possible Responsibility of the Laboratory manager and that these subjects would have to adhere to the full HSNO regulations. Worksafe have said they would talk to MOE to clarify this issue. Arwen will send specific detail to members clarifying these changes as some lab managers were in charge of these areas previously.
    5. A reminder that STANZ has funding available for specific Cluster Groups or individuals to use for Professional Development opportunities. The details are available from the STANZ Website.
    6. We have decided to have a ‘member’s only’ section of our website to protect our collective intellectual property: look for details of this shortly.


  • Finally a reminder about the protocols to be followed by those posting to Scitech talk.
  • Keep the discussion to topics of interest to science technicians.
  • Keep posts to a reasonable length.
  • Be polite and considerate when commenting.
  • If you would like to thank someone, send it to their individual email rather than the group.
  • Do not send or reply to test emails.
  • Do not use icons in your email posts
  • Do not send copyright or paid content through scitechtalk Be aware and respectful of the intellectual property of members posting to scitechtalk
  • If you are unsure about your subscription, contact the Group Administrator, whose address can be found in the footer of all emails from Scitechtalk.
  • Respect the privacy of members and do not post photos or identifying material unless you have checked with the person involved. Be aware that attributed content may appear in Accumulated Wisdom or Tech Tonic unless you specifically ask that you not be identified.



David Cook

Health & Safety Officer

Acting Communications Officer


[email protected]

Communications Bulletin – Members Update Dec 2020

Hi Everyone


Your Executive Committee held a face to face meeting on 2nd November 2020, at Saint Patrick’s College, Wellington. All the committee members were able to attend.


It was decided that our next AGM will have the option for members to attend remotely via zoom or in person if alert levels allow. Details will be available after the date of the AGM has been announced.


David Cook can take on the role as a travelling ambassador. Schools can pay expenses for David to visit and advise on safety issues. STANZ could cover this cost for a cluster visit, or individual schools could apply for short course PD for funding. We recommend David Cook but he is not an official STANZ representative.


Next year we will be calling for nominations for members to join the Executive committee. You are welcome to put your hand up if you are a school science technician and have been in the role for at least 1 year.


Terry Price

STANZ Communications Officer

President’s Report ConSTANZ19

PRESIDENT’S REPORT  – AGM – Thursday October 10, 2019



It has been a privilege for me to be your President during this milestone 10th ConSTANZ Conference and a great source of pride to be part of a Committee that has come so far since its inception and humble beginnings in 2001. STANZ (Inc) has grown as a professional organisation that informs and educates its members. I am sure the late Peter Spratt of the Royal Society would be proud of the Association we have become.

I thank the hardworking and dedicated conference team, under the guidance of Jane Lieshout and Lesley Stephens, who have brought ConSTANZ19 to life for us in Wellington.

As was in the beginning, we still have challenges, from pay disparity discussions, to Code of Practice frustrations and working conditions. However, as the years have passed, the voice of STANZ (Inc) has grown considerably stronger enabling us to have active participation in discussions that are relevant to us. 

It was very pleasing to have so many people stand for The Executive this year allowing us to hold an election.

It must be said that the Executive was disappointed in the low number of people who voted. The voting process that we used was simple and quick, yet still less than half of the registered members had their say. 

Nevertheless, the standard of nominees was exceptional, and we have a new Committee that is strong and focussed. It is especially pleasing to see continuing South Island representation.

As happy as I am to gain new and enthusiastic members to the Executive, it does sadden me to lose the talents of both Ann Brimmer and Sheryl Fitzsimons this year. Both ladies have made invaluable contributions to STANZ (Inc) and their presence will be missed. Ann has been editor extraordinaire of Tech Tonic and in her time as editor has built the newsletter up to an exceptionally high standard. Sheryl farewells us as Past President, having served a term as President from 2015-2017.  Prior to her Presidency she served as Treasurer and has been a committee member since 2013. Sheryl has made valuable contributions to the running of STANZ(Inc) and has streamlined many processes. Sheryl has had her finger on the pulse on many governing issues. I thank you both for you years of voluntary service and wish you well in your ‘retirements’.

STANZ has been delighted to have been able to increase the number of scholarships available to its members and we had a record number of applicants this year, especially for the fully funded ‘STANZ Get Me To ConSTANZ’ scholarship. Congratulations to all the worthy recipients. 

The process of re-writing the Constitution has been finalised and will be ratified by the members at this AGM. It has been a demanding task but the results will see us better in line with pending government regulations.

Pay equity campaigns discussions are continuing and STANZ will keep you informed of any progress for Science Technicians as it comes to hand.

Regrettably, there is still no final word on the re-write of ‘Safety in Science’. Promised deadlines have come and gone with regrettably no final date set. Our Advocacy and Health and Safety Officer, Arwen Heyworth, has been heavily involved with the re-write and has tried to ensure that our technician  needs have been met in the new document. The writers have handed in their sections and the document has been passed on to proof readers and editors. Once it has been proofed, it will be passed onto the Ministry of Education and WorkSafe for approval. All this is likely to take some time and a 2019 release date now looks very unlikely.

We hope the new document will stand up to the task.

Issues with chemical tracking and the lack of reticulated gas in new buildings have also arisen sharply this year. Our Health and Safety Officers, Jane and Arwen, have dealt with many of these and we look to provide clarity to both those issues in the next term. 

Finally, as my tenure as President winds up, I would like to thank the Executive for their support, wisdom and encouragement over the last two years.  I would also like to thank those of you who have emailed me to say thanks or even just hello. Your words were always very welcomed and definitely appreciated.

I have learnt much and have thoroughly enjoyed my time as President and I look forward to working with the new Executive in the Past President role.

I know the new Executive Committee will continue their high standard of work and commitment to you, the members of STANZ, working with you to improve the conditions, recognition and standing of all School Science Technicians.


Nga mihi

Monique Arts.

Important Code of Practice announcement

STANZ has been working with the Ministry of Education, WorkSafe, NZASE and a number of other interested parties on the issue of the new Hazardous Substances Regulations.

At a meeting in Wellington during the October holidays we were able to secure a continuance for our Code of Practice for School Exempt Laboratories past the 1st of December this year. This is due to the fact that the new guidance and compliance documents will not be ready by then. However, due to changes in the new Hazardous Substance Regulations linked to the new Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, schools will no longer be able to use adherence to the CoP as a legal defence in the event that an incident occurs. Under HSWA 2015 EVERYONE in a workplace is considered to be responsible for health and safety not just the PCBU (employer) and must take all practicable steps to prevent an incident from occurring. Other than that the new regulations are pretty similar to HSNO.

This continuance means that you can continue to use the CoP (and the guide to the CoP) as a guide of best practice for hazardous substance management.

The Ministry has released an official statement today:


Removal of the Code of Practice for School Exempt Laboratories

Hazardous Substances Regulations come into effect on 1 December. At this time, the Hazardous Substances Codes of Practice will no longer be applicable.

For school laboratories, the Ministry of Education is working with WorkSafe New Zealand to develop guidance and compliance documents to replace the Code of Practice for School Exempt Laboratories. Until they are released, the Ministry of Education and WorkSafe suggest schools continue to use this Code,  as well as the Ministry of Education’s guidance to the Code, (which outlines your responsibilities as a board) as their guidance documents for hazardous substance management.

The Ministry of Education is working with a number of organisations to ensure that schools and their Boards are supported in complying with the regulations.


Don’t forget to utilize our safety documents page: //

We will  be keeping you updated as things change.


ConSTANZ17 website


Below are some handouts from presentations at ConSTANZ17:


The Universe via Science and Engineering Technologies – TN Chan


Camera Obscura


Van der Graaff demonstration – David Cook


Hazardous Substances Management – Hazchem Services     Word Inventory   Excel Inventory


​​ New Technicians – Monique Arts


Get Your Cellphones Out – Nick Major


Glass Bending


​And here are some photos, courtesy of Ann and Greg Brimmer, Monique Arts, Sheryl Fitzsimons, Arwen Heyworth and Andrea Paynter

President’s Report 2017

President Report

AGM Thursday 12 October 2017

Science Technician’s role & responsibilities within our schools are becoming greater. We are more and more often called upon to know & demonstrate experiments. We need to learn the practical part of the entire science curriculum, we are relied upon to know which experiments belong to which level/subject and we are often guiding teachers about what is and what is not allowable. We are asked to suggest safer or more workable alternatives and it is now more likely that it is us, and not the teacher, who ensures that unsafe practices don’t occur (as much as possible).


As we do constantly practice the appropriate Health & Safety procedures within our Science Technician roles (we are often unsupervised and alone in our work), being safe and sensible for our schools are characteristic skills that can be applied to all of us.


Science Technicians also share our collective knowledge via Scitech Talk (STANZ list-serv) and our newsletter ‘Tech Tonic’ as well as having our website resources available for all Technicians to access. Positive feedback from the other NZASE organisations, BEANZ, Chem Ed  etc has thanked us for our freely available support, advice and ideas, obtained by their schools Technicians via Scitech Talk.


We keep up to date on the latest changes to practical secondary science and safety and the Executive team monitors any information presented. This information is often checked for validity and we will challenge any information that we know to be incorrect.


We continue to use two main documents in our role to help us keep our students and staff safe.

The Safety in Science (first published in 1997, revised in 2000) manual from the Ministry of Education and the Code of Practice for School Exempt Laboratories (COP) (2007).

Most NZ Science Technicians are aware of these and refer to them often.


The recent Ministry of Education funded NZASE Guidance to the Code of Practice for School Exempt Laboratories overlaid with information about duties under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (2016) resource has caused confusion and frustration amongst our members and their schools. Many of us were anticipating a rewrite of the COP with corrections of previously known errors of which the Ministry had been made aware. Now we have a COP and a Guide to the COP with substantial repeated & new errors.  Having said that, the Guide is very useful in clarifying responsibilities of specific school personnel and we do appreciate the efforts to produce the document with limited information whilst awaiting updated Hazardous Substances Regulations.


STANZ observes the statement in the document preface that it “makes no guarantee of its completeness as the Hazardous Substances Regulations have not yet been released. When the Regulations are released this resource will be further updated. NZASE and the Ministry of Education are not responsible for the results of any action taken on the basis of information in this guidance, or for any errors or omissions.”


STANZ Inc. would gladly accept any opportunity to be included in any future changes or additions to the COP, Guide to the COP or any other literature that directly affects our tasks as Science Technicians.


Recently a Royal Society Report on the Science Technician Workforce has been conducted and presented. STANZ Inc. were delighted to be included. Executive team member, David Cook represented us in the Expert Reference Group for the project. STANZ Inc. has thanked NZASE for suggesting our inclusion and the Royal Society for hearing about us and subsequently involving us, not only in the development of the report but also in strategies going forwards to try to improve the numbers of students pursuing careers as Science Technicians.


This report, along with the data from Ian de Stigter and Michelle Kiernan’s (Mt. Albert Grammar) 2017 Science Technician Workforce survey will inform the Executive’s future work on a new job description for Science Technicians, provide supporting evidence for our stance on pay upgrades etc. As well as allowing us to track any progress made over the last 10 years. A concern we may need to address is schools continuing to hire unqualified persons (lacking the qualifications or experience) that is needed for the modern Science Technician role.


STANZ Inc. hugely appreciates the NZASE Scholarships offered to our mutual members, to assist with their attendance costs for ConSTANZ 2017, our biennial conference which is being held, 10 – 12 October 2017  at Kamo High School in Whangarei.

In addition, this year STANZ Inc. have been able to provide full fare ‘STANZ Get Me To ConSTANZ!’ grants to two Technicians who have not attended a ConSTANZ before. Our North Island recipient is Jacqui Binnie from Hutt Valley High School in Lower Hutt and our South Island recipient is Nicola Everett from Kaikorai Valley College in Dunedin. And our first Registration only grant recipient Homadokht (Dokhy) – Ayoubi from New Plymouth Girls’ High School in New Plymouth.


The Kay Memmott Award for Excellence was set up to recognise those who work to help other Science Technicians. There are many unsung heroes amongst us and this is our chance to recognise them and the work they have done. It has been an honour for me to present our third Kay Memmott Award for Excellence at this ConSTANZ.

Since our very first conference in Wellington in 2001 (organised by RSNZ & NZASE) we’ve been to (biennially in order): Napier, Christchurch, Hamilton, Auckland, Dunedin, Rotorua, Nelson and now Whangarei.  The next ConSTANZ is our 10th Conference. That is a huge milestone for us that I hope many of you will attend to help us celebrate.

The 2015-17 Executive has been a brilliant team. I sincerely thank each and every one of them for their many hours of voluntary work for STANZ Inc.

As I wind up my term as President of STANZ Inc. and move to the Past President role, I am looking forward to working with our new President and Executive team. I know they will go on to work hard on your behalf, to continue to improve the collective knowledge, standing and recognition of NZ Science Technicians.


Sheryl Fitzsimons

President 2015-2017

Science Technicians’ Association of NZ Inc.



Our next conference will be held in Wellington in October 2019.

read more….

The 2017 NZ Schools Science Technician Workforce Survey

read more….