From the President

April 2021

Katie Haggath standing outside in the sun with trees in the background and her hand on a railing. She's wearing a black and red floral top and is smiling at the cameraKia ora koutou!

Goodness but there’s a lot to talk about this month.

First and foremost, I need to say “Hello!”

If you haven’t met me / heard of me / seen me around at Conferences and AGMs and the like, then let me introduce myself. I’m Katie Haggath, and I have stepped into Meredith’s shoes as the newest President of TechCommNZ. They’re big boots to fill! Thankfully, Meredith has stayed on as Vice-President to show me the ropes.

Now, if you missed the AGM, you might be wondering who the board is this year. You can find them here on the TechCommNZ website. We’ve bid a sad farewell to Earnsy and Abhay from the board, though we’re delighted to welcome Steph as our new Student Outreach Co-ordinator.

A lot has happened in the past year, and we’ve had a lot of time in lockdown and after to think about what we want for our organisation. Without further ado, let me introduce you to a few of the things we have in the pipeline for this year…

Five-year plan

We first introduced our Strategic Direction Plan at the AGM last October, as well as presenting it at the Meet the President Christchurch/Wellington branch event earlier this month. If you haven’t seen the plan yet, you can find the full presentation here.

The Strategic Direction Plan outlines where we want to be in 5 years, and how we can get there. We want TechCommNZ to be the go-to organisation for both New Zealand’s technical communication community and for people in other industries who may not call themselves technical communicators, but who are nonetheless doing technical communication work.

Our objectives, in no particular order, are to:

  • provide regular networking opportunities.
  • provide professional development opportunities.
  • be a conduit to other organisations.
  • be future focused.
  • build resilience.
  • grow our membership.
  • gain wider recognition of the role of technical communication in New Zealand organisations.

We’ve already started to address some of these goals, including the re-launch of the Student Outreach Programme, rethinking TechCommWire, the introduction of a Nationwide Branch events co-ordinator, and our first ever Conference Lite!

Relaunching TechCommWire

About a year ago, we had some feedback that TechCommWire was no longer meeting your needs. We also had some feedback around the same time that you were simply getting too many emails. So, we took a break for while to figure out what we all needed from our newsletter.

We’re pleased to say we’re relaunching TechCommWire as a 2-monthly e-newsletter. We’re bringing back some of the regular features you missed, like interviews and best practice, and letting some of the things you weren’t so keen on go quietly into the night.

We’re particularly interested in hearing from new voices: we’d like to invite you to write a guest article at any time. You get full credit and are welcome to share the published article in your LinkedIn profile or writing portfolio.

If you’re interested in writing an article for our newsletter, we'd love to hear from you. Students - this is a great way to get experience and get published. Email us to express your interest.

You can also reach out to us on Slack with any feedback about this inaugural communique.

Conference Lite

Here’s the plan: instead of planning a big 3-day Conference this year and running the risk of a COVID 19-related cancellation, we’re going to hold a one-day event in October.

Conference Lite will include 3 speakers, lunch, afternoon drinks and the 2021 AGM. You can come for the whole day or just for a few hours.

We’ll also be streaming the presentations live, so if you’re unable to get to Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch, you can still join us online.

Details are still to be confirmed so watch this space!

Ah, the Good Old Days before social distancing. This photo from Conference 2019.

Last but not least, let’s talk about the Salary Survey…

2020/21 Salary Survey

I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to the results of the 2020/21 salary survey. It will be interesting to see how the pandemic has changed our industry. After all, the lockdown at the start of the year saw many of us working from our living rooms, and some of us haven’t gone back. I’ve been excited to see a lot of writers striking out on their own as consultants too. Good for you!

We'll be sending you the results soon, so watch this space!

Heoi anō tāku mō nāianei.

That’s all from me for this newsletter, but I cannot wait to hear from you! If you have any feedback, questions or comments, please reach out to me on Slack or email