Autism New Zealand Consumer Panel

Terms of Reference


For those with lived experience of Autism Spectrum Disorder to provide direction to Autism New Zealand. This is a voluntary role.


Autism New Zealand seeks to provide excellent services to people with autism and those who support them. To do this, we need to ensure that our service delivery, policies and projects serve the community we exist to support.

The panel will focus on four primary areas:

  • Outreach Services
  • Identification of needs and arising issues in the ASD community
  • Advocacy
  • The experience of individuals with ASD in New Zealand

Role and Function

  1. Discussing current outreach service delivery and how new developments may impact our community
  2. Advising in the development of best practice policy as concerns individuals and families living with ASD
  3. Working with adult individuals with ASD to improve all aspects of our service delivery
  4. Discussing the best means of delivering awareness, education and practical help for people with autism, families and carers
  5. Any other matters seen as relevant

Member Roles

The Autism New Zealand Consumer Panel will consist of a Chair (appointed by Autism New Zealand) and other members. Other experts may be called upon from time to time.

Members will have:

  • Lived experience with Autism Spectrum Disorder, either as an individual with ASD or a family member
  • Experience on other related panels
  • Experience providing advice to the health & disability and/or education sector
  • Ability to critically analyse and assess ideas, policy and other information
  • The availability to read papers between meetings

A member may appoint a proxy to attend Autism New Zealand Consumer Panel meetings with the consent of the Autism New Zealand. Autism New Zealand will provide a member to participate as an ex officio member of the Panel.

In addition, the current panel may also consider organisational representation on specific matters of importance, for example:

  • Pediatrician
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Sector representatives, education, health, emergency services
  • Other, as agreed by the chair and Autism New Zealand ex officio member

The Consumer Panel will:

  • Maintain a record of discussions at any meetings held.
  • Report to Autism New Zealand on new information and pertinent issues relevant to the development the panel’s role and function.
  • Provide guidance for Autism New Zealand’s written and oral central government submissions

Autism New Zealand will:

  • Provide secretariat support
  • Provide an agenda (informed by panel members)
  • Provide meeting venue
  • Pay the reasonable administrative costs of members’ participation in meetings, which will be agreed by Autism New Zealand in advance of being incurred. Please note that meetings will primary be held by utilising technology i.e. Skype, so travel costs will not generally include flights.
  • Organise meeting venue

Meeting Times

The panel will meet quarterly, utilising technology. The panel may occasionally be requested to provide advice between meetings when a matter is seen as urgent.

How to Apply

If you are interested in being a member of the consumer advisory panel, please send a letter, outlining relevant experience and your motivation to be involved, to This letter should be no more than one page in length. You may also include your CV. Applications close on October 31st 2017.

If you have any questions, or are unable to apply via written letter, then please contact Kirsti Whalen, Autism New Zealand Information and Administration Support Coordinator, by using the email address listed, or by phoning 04 803 3501.

Upon receiving your application we will arrange an informal interview, either in person, over the phone or by utilising technology. We will evaluate applicants’ suitability for the role on a case by case basis, and will inform you of whether you have been successful by November 31st 2017.