The Asthma and Respiratory Foundation New Zealand will be shining a light on the gaps in New Zealand's asthma care this World Asthma Day, Tuesday 3 May.

World Asthma Day is an international campaign run by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA), an organisation affiliated to the World Health Organisation. The Foundation is the New Zealand-based advocate for GINA. The theme for 2022 is 'Closing the Gaps in Asthma Care'.

On World Asthma Day, the Foundation will highlight the ongoing, significant gaps in asthma care experienced by Māori, Pacific peoples and those living in our most disadvantaged communities. Research has repeatedly shown that these groups are more likely to have asthma, be hospitalised for asthma, and die from asthma.

"The statistics are stark and disturbing. Action on these inequalities is long overdue," says Foundation Chief Executive Letitia Harding.

As well as calling for urgent action to prioritise asthma in Aotearoa, the Foundation is aiming to raise funds to support its own work to close the gaps. “The Foundation has long seen a gap in reaching our Māori communities to help them better manage and understand their asthma, which is why this year we are excited to announce the appointment of the Foundation’s first dedicated Māori community liaison officer,” explains Letitia.

“We have established this role to allow us to meaningfully engage with Māori healthcare providers across the country, so we can better understand their community needs and provide ‘respiratory resource bundles’ tailored to those needs.”

The Foundation also provides essential asthma educational resources in Te Reo and Pacific languages; runs the Heremana Kōpūtōtara educational show, which is performed in Te Reo Māori to kura around the country; and offers online e-learning in asthma and COPD for health professionals.

For more on World Asthma Day, please go to


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