World Asthma Day is the annual awareness campaign hosted by the Foundation to educate Kiwis about one of New Zealand’s most prevalent respiratory diseases. It takes place in May each year. 

This year, ARFNZ launched a dedicated New Zealand Asthma Awareness Day: Aotearoa - Te Rā Whakaarohia te Huangō, which we held on Tuesday 4 May. One in seven Kiwi kids in New Zealand live with asthma, and we need your help to raise awareness and reduce this statistic. Asthma has a large prevalence within our schools and communities, especially among Māori and Pacific populations. We believe it’s time for Aotearoa to take asthma seriously and do it our way! 


The theme for World Asthma Day 2021 was Uncovering Asthma Misconceptions. This was a call to action to address common widely held myths about asthma that prevent people with asthma from enjoying the benefits of the major advances in asthma management. 

One big myth that can stop children from enjoying physical activity is that people with asthma should avoid playing sport. Sports and physical activity are great for maintaining healthy lungs, as long as asthma is well managed. It’s important that children living with asthma get the opportunity to participate and reach their full sporting potential. 

To keep their asthma well controlled and enjoy life to the full, children living with asthma need an Asthma Action Plan. Research shows that people who follow Asthma Action Plans have better control over their asthma and reduced emergency visits to general practice. With a plan in place, people can enjoy sports and physical activity while keeping their asthma symptoms under control. 

Stats show that only a third of children with asthma currently have an Action Plan. This year, ARFNZ is raising funds to get these plans into the hands of all New Zealand children with asthma.  

See our Asthma Action plans here 


This World Asthma Day, ARFNZ's new Medical Director Dr James Fingleton joined us for a live Facebook Q&A.

You can watch it here.  



Below are some downloadable activities that aim to teach kids about asthma and keeping their lungs strong. The activities involve games, arts, and crafts, colouring, and crosswords.

Asthma Wordfind - download hereAsthma Triggers Match - download here

Sailor Colouring Page - download hereSailor Maze - download here

Kikorangi Colouring Page - download here


Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ is a charity providing resources and education across our respiratory community. Despite receiving no government funding, we aim to make all New Zealanders asthma experts, and help improve the quality of life for those who live with the condition. 

All donations are greatly appreciated. If you’d like to donate to get Asthma Action Plans to children who need them, visit