The Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ (ARFNZ) is launching its Breathe Better September awareness and fundraising month in an exclusive Facebook Live session with a renowned breathing expert.

Dr Tania Clifton-Smith is a breathing physiotherapist with over 30 years of experience. She will be running a Facebook Live session on ARFNZ’s Facebook at 7pm tomorrow (Wednesday 1 September). Tania will talk about COVID-19, and will suggest some useful breathing exercises for energy and anxiety management at this stressful time. She will also answer questions asked by viewers during the session.

"I’m so pleased to be connecting with the respiratory community at this challenging time," says Tania. "With COVID at the forefront of all our minds once again, it has never been more important to look after your respiratory health. I’m looking forward to sharing some practical, easy-to-follow advice that should be helpful for people with respiratory conditions and also for the wider community.

"Breathing might seem simple, but it turns out that many of us are doing it wrong, and when it’s corrected it can be life changing. I’ve been helping people to correct their breathing patterns for over 30 years and have seen first-hand what a difference it makes."

"We’re delighted to have Tania running this session and offering live support to our community during lockdown," says ARFNZ Chief Executive Letitia Harding. "It’s a fantastic way to launch Breathe Better September, which is all about raising awareness and funds for people living with asthma and other respiratory conditions. Empowering people with good information about how to breathe well is an important part of our mission."

Over 100 people have signed up to complete challenges during Breathe Better September, and there has been a surge in registrations since New Zealand went into Level 4 lockdown. "Runs and walks in your local area are a great way to stay fit and raise funds at the same time," says Letitia.

New Zealand has one of the highest rates of asthma in the world, with 1 in 7 children and 1 in 8 adults living with the condition. Breathe Better September is a fun way to help raise the national profile of respiratory health in New Zealand and encourage better breathing.

The money raised contributes to the work the Foundation does to support the 700,000 Kiwis living with asthma and other respiratory diseases. The Foundation supports health professionals with resources that help people living with these conditions better manage their respiratory health. They also run asthma educational shows in schools with the ever-popular Sailor the Pufferfish, in both te reo Māori and English. The Foundation advocates for better lung health for all New Zealanders, by ensuring they are on top of pivotal legislative changes that can affect respiratory health outcomes.

To find out more, sign up or donate, visit:

For Tania’s Facebook Live event, head to


View all