Patricia Cunniffe MNZM MA 


Managing Director, Joll Cunniffe Developments Ltd, an ergonomics consultancy.


After several years as a teacher of modern languages, Patricia moved into the disability sector, first via specialised teacher training, then as a research associate at the Institute for Consumer Ergonomics at Loughborough University in the UK, testing consumer products for use by people with disabilities, and doing some fundamental research.


Moving with her husband to New Zealand in 1974 to establish New Zealand’s first rehabilitation engineering centre, Patricia set up the New Zealand Disabilities Information Bureau and the national network of Disability Information Centres and completed a Master’s degree on Health Information Ethics.


More recently Patricia has been involved in the area of Standards, as consumer representative in New Zealand, in joint Australia/New Zealand projects and in international committees, specifically the IEC’s Active Assisted Living System Committee on which Patricia has been New Zealand’s Head of Delegation since its establishment.  


This work was acknowledged in 2002 with the presentation of a Meritorious Service Award by Standards New Zealand and in 2009 with the inaugural award for Outstanding Achievement in Standards and Standardisation.


Patricia also has significant involvement in the health sector, formerly as lay representative on Physiotherapy New Zealand’s Ethics Committee, membership of the Central Region’s Consumer Health Forum and as a Board member of the Whanganui Regional Health Network and currently as a member of the Consumer Panel of the National Health IT Board and the Telehealth Forum’s Telemonitoring Leadership Group. 


In 2012, Patricia was made a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit.