Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ anniversary: 13 February 2017

In 1963, a GP in Naenae, Graham Milne, despaired when he was unable to save the life of a young girl who died of an asthma attack. The Foundation had it's first meeting on 13 February 1964, when over 100 people met in the Taita community hall to discuss how to help people living with asthma, with the help of the Eastern Hutt Rotary Club. This year the Foundation celebrates it's 52nd anniversary. 

World Sleep Day: 17 March 2017

World Sleep Day is an annual event, intended to be a celebration of sleep and a call to action on important issues related to sleep, and is organized by the World Sleep Day Committee of World Sleep Society. The day aims to lessen the burden of sleep problems on society through better prevention and management of sleep disorders. The theme this year is, 'Sleep soundly, nurture life'. 

World Asthma Day: 2 May 2017

World Asthma Day is an annual event organized by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) to improve asthma awareness and care around the world. In New Zealand over 521,000 people take medication for asthma − one in nine adults and one in seven children.

World Allergy Week: 2-8 May 2017

Did you know that up to 80 percent of asthma in New Zealand is associated with allergy? World Allergy Week 2017 aims to increase awareness through the theme The Agony of Hives - What to do when hives and swelling don't go away. Find more information here about pollen and asthma triggers.

New Zealand Bronchiectasis Day: 7 April 2016

Bronchiectasis is a lung condition where the breathing tubes in the lungs have been damaged, enlarged and scarred – primarily due to infection. This causes mucus to build up in the extra space. Although bronchiectasis is much less common than other respiratory conditions, it affects an estimated 4,226 people in New Zealand, and hospitalisation rates are also increasing. 

The Bronchiectasis Foundation was founded by the incredible Esther Jordan Muriwai, who sadly lost her life to the disease. Bronchiectasis Day will be held on the day of her birthday, which is also the day the Bronchiectasis Foundation was formed.

World Smokefree Day: 31 May 2017

World Smokefree Day provides an opportunity to encourage and help those who want to quit smoking and support friends and whānau on their quit journey. 

World Lung Cancer Day: 1 August 2016  

Cystic Fibrosis Week NZ: 14 - 20 August 2017


Breathe Better September: 1-30 September 2017

Breathe Better September is a national movement for Kiwis to show their support for better breathing and healthy lungs. Over 700,000 Kiwis have a respiratory condition, it’s the third leading cause of death and costs the country $5.5 billion each year. But despite New Zealand having one of the highest rates of respiratory disease in the world, it is not highly profiled. Breathe Better September encourages Kiwis to start thinking about how they can improve their respiratory health.

World Pneumonia Day: 12 November 2017


World COPD Day: 15 November 2017

In New Zealand COPD is a major cause of ill health, disability, and death.  Unfortunately COPD is on the rise affecting an estimated 15 percent of our adult population over the age of 45 years (at least 200 000 New Zealanders) but most people have never heard of it.  In 2006 COPD was responsible for 9,250 hospital discharges and 88,800 bed-days – that’s a lot of funding from the health budget.
The good thing is, we do know how to prevent most causes of COPD – and the main way is to stop people smoking.  For those who already have COPD, our societies and trusts are running some excellent programmes to allow clients to live life to the fullest and stay out of hospital.
Find more information here about living with COPD.
For help to stop smoking – call Quitline on 0800 778 778
For media enquiries, including requests for comment on a respiratory issue, phone 04 495 0097 or email

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