New Zealanders with an interest in human factors/ergonomics have been represented by ergonomics societies for 50 years.  We are proud of this milestone - it represents the development of a considerable depth of knowledge, and the steady provision of human factors/ergonomics skills to the people and businesses of New Zealand.

In 1966, the Ergonomics Society of Australia and New Zealand (ESANZ) was established.  This followed on from the interest initially generated in 1964 when 90 people from Australia and New Zealand met in Adelaide at the first Australasian ergonomics conference.

During 1985, local interest in setting up an independent society developed to the point that, in February 1986, the New Zealand Ergonomics Society (NZES) was formed. This change occurred in consultation with ESANZ which has now changed its name to the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society of Australia (HFESA). In 1991, the New Zealand Ergonomics Society became a federated member of the International Ergonomics Association (IEA). In 2012, the New Zealand Ergonomics Society changed their name to the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society of New Zealand to align with worldwide understanding of the sector.  


Services to Members


The Society publishes the monthly 'HFE-News' distributed to members via email.  These are in the process of being stored in the membership database system for member access.  Additional member news may also be sent out.


'The Ergonomist' 

An arrangement with UK's CIEHF also allows HFESNZ members to purchase a subscription to receive the bi-monthly 'The Ergonomist' for even more up-to-date news from the profession. Contact the administrator to arrange this. It will cost around NZ$120 per annum for 6 riveting copies, direct to your door.


Conferences, Meetings and Webinars

Conferences have historically been held every 18 months, with the publication of conference proceedings. The society is moving to more regular meetings including regional events and webinars to provide a range of learning and networking opportunities to members. HFESNZ aims for a conference event annually, with the schedule linked with the Health and Safety Association of New Zealand (HASANZ) biennial conferences. The society supported the inaugural HASANZ Conference in September 2016 with HFESNZ members showcasing a broad range of human factors/ergonomics content relevant to the health and safety sector.


Member Network

Member’s contact information and areas of professional skill and interest are shared. Members may have specific training in human factors/ergonomics, and/or find their way to the field from a broad range of backgrounds - including: academia, architecture, engineering, industrial design, medicine, occupational health nursing, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, psychology, rehabilitation, work study, computer science, safety engineering, social research/science, and management – etc.  We are brought together by our shared interest in human performance and the understanding of the many aspects of systems that impact on this. Regular meetings and webinars are designed to provide members with the opportunity to network. As a member-driven organisation we invite all members to participate in and support/create these professional events – contact the administrator if you wish to host or arrange a meeting in your area.


Professional Representation

HFESNZ works to promote human factors/ergonomics to industry, policy makers, regulators, educators and research funders via a range of activities. Actively working with HASANZ allows a vehicle for raising professional standards and professional excellence within our own profession and the other professions working with the health and safety sector. HASANZ provides a forum for the promotion of human factors/ergonomics across government and educational agencies.


Awards and Grants

Society Award

HFESNZ has awarded three members the 'President's Award' (selected by an outgoing Society President) - these were to Carol Slappendel in 1991, for her 'outstanding contribution to the advancement of ergonomics in New Zealand'; to Len Ring in 2001 for his 'contribution to the advancement of ergonomics in New Zealand', and to Marion Edwin in 2009, for her 'outstanding contributions to the advancement of ergonomics in New Zealand between 1991 and 2009'. 

From 2017 the HFESNZ committee will be able to confer a 'Society Award'.  The committee will, from time to time, reflect on who has provided value and service to HFESNZ and to the practice of HFE in New Zealand, and may confer this award. 


Student Conference Attendance Assistance Grants

For HFESNZ Conferences the committee may make funds available to support students to attend and present.  This will be notified for each conference and applications invited.