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Philip Patston - Diversity New Zealand Ltd. Auckland, , NZ

Philip Patston

Managing Director | Diversity New Zealand Ltd


Leading diversity, creating change




DISABLED AND GAY – THE IDEAL MAN? TEDxAuckland 2012 Dynamic leadership



The Label Libel, A New look at Diversity: Philip Patston at TEDxAuckland As Love Draws Near - Philip Patston Unique Extras — More Diversity On Screen




An alumni of the New Zealand Social Entrepreneur Fellowship and Leadership New Zealand, I'm a passionate believer that, individually and collectively, we have a powerful opportunity to significantly change our social fabric — simply by creatively reimagining diversity.

l began my career as a counsellor and social worker. Over the past 15 years I've combined working with people, entertaining and running a consulting business to create innovative ways to work with diversity, creativity and change.

I became self-employed in 1998 after getting into comedy, somewhat by accident, while working at the Human Rights Commission. I made regular appearances on Pulp Comedy and had a brief but acclaimed role in Shortland Street. In 1999, I received the Billy T Award for my commitment and contribution to comedy in New Zealand. I established my company, Diversity New Zealand Ltd in 2001. Four years later I founded Diversityworks Trust as a vehicle to create social change.

When labels are called for, I identify as gay, disabled, white and male. I live and work in beautiful Westmere, Auckland.

Industry Expertise (3)

Social Media

Staffing and Recruiting

Training and Development

Areas of Expertise (5)




Social Change

Executive Mentoring

Education (2)

Leadership NZ: Fellowship, Leadership 2012

University of Auckland: Diploma of Applied Social Studies, Social Work 1991

Affiliations (3)

  • NZ Social Entrepreneur Fellowship
  • Leadership New Zealand
  • Winston Churchill Fellowship

Event Appearances (1)

The Label Libel

TEDx Auckland   Auckland New Zealand


Sample Talks (2)

The Label Libel, A New look at Diversity

The Label Libel, A New look at Diversity

The session will allow participants to reframe and expand their understanding of and attitudes towards diversity. They will explore and deconstruct current notions of categorisation, labeling and representation. They will identify what creates misunderstandings and misinterpretations of diversity; and how these work against inclusion. Finally participants will learn how to overcome these barriers and the advantages of embracing diversity in the context of their work.



  • Keynote
  • Workshop Leader
  • Corporate Training


0 to 5000

Articles (1)

Constructive Functional Diversity: A new paradigm beyond disability and impairment

Disability and Rehabilitation Journal


This article presents a more dynamic and constructive paradigm than the current dominant ones (for example medical or social models), to describe and change the impact of impairment and disability. The reflections contained are inspired by personal and professional frustration with the existing polarised ideology of human function, which fails to adequately describe the diversity of physiological and psychosocial function amongst people. It aims to provoke and inspire dialogue about our current paradigm of human function in relation to value and capacity. Within this paper: I critique society’s biases regarding of functional deficit relative to the subconscious fear of losing function; I question the polarity of the negatively framed language of impairment and disability; I offer constructive, creative ‘solutions’ to describe the experience of atypical function. In so doing, an entirely new language of diverse human function and a concept of Constructive Functional Diversity (CFD) is proposed, which includes a complex yet logical array of modes and outcomes of function. Finally I suggest the benefits of a more dynamic paradigm of functional change in enhancing rehabilitative outcomes, including client-directed practice.

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