Human Factors and Ergonomics Society of New Zealand (HFESNZ)

HFESNZ fact sheet

  • Established: 1986
  • Approximate number of members: approximately 100 members
  • Approximate number of certified HFE professionals: 16
  • Website:


In 1966 the Ergonomics Society of Australia and New Zealand (ESANZ) was established as an integrated society encompassing ergonomics experts from both Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia. During these initial stages, only a handful of the members were from New Zealand, but gradually, local interest grew.

In 1986 an independent society, originally named the New Zealand Ergonomics Society (NZES) was established. Although run as independent societies, HFESNZ maintains strong links with the Australian society (now called the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society of Australia). The inaugural NZES meeting in Palmerston North had 36 attendees. The first certified NZ Ergonomics were recognised in 1988. In 1991, the NZES became a federated member of IEA, and in 2007 the IEA endorsed NZES’s certification system. In 2012 the society’s name was changed to the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society of New Zealand (HFESNZ) to align with worldwide understanding of the sector.

HFESNZ currently has approximately 100 members, most of whom are general members. They have 16 certified professional members, 7 associate professional members (which is a level below full certification), 2 technical professional members (individuals with more specialised expertise), 4 student members and 10 life members.

Overview of HFESNZ activities

One of the founding principles of HFESNZ was that it be open to anyone with an interest in HFE. This foundation demonstrated commitment to a system based, participatory approach that continues to facilitate the small but vibrant HFE community. Although it has a small population, Aotearoa New Zealand holds a strong tradition of maintaining a high number of Certified HFE professionals per million of population. This is achieved through supportive informal networks, collaboration, and the Professional Affairs Board (PAB).

HFESNZ is a full member organisation of the Health & Safety Association NZ (HASANZ), which represents workplace health and safety professions in Aotearoa New Zealand and aims to raise professional standards. As part of HASANZ’s work, it was recognised that the HFE workforce in Aotearoa New Zealand currently faces several challenges including poor stakeholder awareness of HFE, an ageing workforce, and relatively few new HFE professionals coming through due to insufficient educational pathways. In response to these barriers, funding was provided for a multi-year HFE Workforce Development Project. This ongoing project commenced in 2020 and entails the following:

  • Reviewing the competency framework and membership categories,
  • Developing a new NZ-based educational pathway for HFE professionals,
  • Providing scholarships for postgraduate study in HFE,
  • Developing a new mentoring programme, and
  • Raising stakeholder knowledge to facilitate job creation.

For further information on the HFE Workforce Development Project, see:

HFESNZ members receive digital newsletters 8-9 times a year and have regular opportunities for continuing professional development and networking through virtual and in-person events, and a formal mentoring programme. HFESNZ runs annual conferences; the 2022 conference focuses on systems thinking and the future of HFE in New Zealand. Early career and student networking events are also being planned and undertaken for HFE community members within New Zealand.

HFESNZ also participates in initiatives to strengthen HFE awareness and education opportunities within New Zealand. Although HFESNZ is a small society, they have several special interest groups focusing on healthcare ergonomics, musculoskeletal disorders, transport and systems thinking. These special interest groups provide networking, learning events, and resources to their members. The society has also been developing connections with the Australian Aviation Psychology Association, to better support its members working in the area of aviation human factors.

HFESNZ includes a number of special interest groups focused on topics including transport, healthcare and musculoskeletal disorders.

Upcoming HFESNZ events

The society runs regular events for members, both online and in-person. These include two-day conferences (held biennially), half- or full-day meetings in person and online, webinars, and informal meetings of local area groups or special interest groups. We also keep in touch with our members through our regular newsletter, which is emailed out approximately every 6 weeks, usually following our committee meetings.

In 2023 HFESNZ will be organizing a two-day conference which will be held in Arrowtown (near Queenstown). The call for abstracts will be opened in November/December 2022. Everyone is welcome to participate in HFESNZ conferences, including international visitors.

HFESNZ Membership

Anyone interested in HFE can join as a general member, and those with relevant expertise can apply for certification as a professional member. Registration details can be found on the website. Alternatively, interested individuals can contact HFESNZ by emailing

Key Contacts:

2023-24 Committee

  • Stephven Kolose (Chairperson)
  • Fiona Trevelyan (Secretary)
  • Bikram Pandey (Treasurer)
  • Vanessa Beanland
  • Karl Bridges
  • Hamish Mackie
  • Karen Goodfellow
  • Rachael Gordon
  • Matthew Harris
  • Tahlia Fisher
  • Parul Dagar

2023-24 Professional Affairs Board

  • Leanne Hunter (Convenor)
  • Rachael Gordon
  • Sarita Dara
  • Nicola Green
  • Karl Bridges