On November 4 2015, Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ proudly launched the first ever National Respiratory Strategy – Te Hā Ora, The Breath of Life.The strategy was presented at the NZ Respiratory Conference in Wellington and is the first of its kind in New Zealand and a call to action for urgent improvements in respiratory disease, which affects us all in shocking ways.


New Zealand has never had a national strategy or policy for respiratory health. This is needed now because New Zealand has high and worsening rates of respiratory disease, especially among Māori, Pacific peoples and low-income groups.The personal and financial costs will continue to increase without a new approach to improving respiratory health, and current efforts are uncoordinated. A considered national approach is needed to identify the gaps and inequalities in services and outcomes, and to address them in the most effective way. Making respiratory health a formal target, along with cancer and emergency waiting times, was a major recommendation.

Why is the Strategy so important?

The Strategy is a call to action. It’s an important step toward addressing the huge burden of respiratory disease on individuals, families and the New Zealand health system. It outlines what needs to be done to improve respiratory health, and will recommend actions for government agencies, district health boards, primary health organisations, health professionals and community organisations. It gives organisations across the board a framework and long-term outcomes to work towards.

How can individuals or organisations use the Strategy?
• Read the document and think about what is important and relevant to you.
• Use the content to guide you through challenging decisions, especially where there are competing priorities and resources
• Use the information, data and logic in your project plans and business cases for funding applications
• When working with other people and agencies, put the Strategy on the table to encourage shared vision and aims, so everyone can see how they fit into the bigger picture.

You can download a copy of the strategy here.

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