About Us

Who We Are

Retina NZ is a registered charity. We are a member organisation of Retina International, the AMD Alliance International, and the Blind Foundation.  An Executive Committee elected from our membership is responsible for our day-to-day management.

Our membership is open to anyone with a retinal disorder or damage, regardless of your degree of visual impairment.  Family and friends are welcome to join too. We also have members with a professional interest in retinal conditions and their treatment.

Most of our members have degenerative retinal disorders such as retinitis pigmentosa (RP), macular degeneration (MD), Stargardt disease, and choroideremia.  Others have retinal damage as a result of diabetes, degenerative myopia, or retinal detachments which may have occurred spontaneously or resulted from injury.

Some of these eye conditions are very rare.  Others, like diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration (AMD), are becoming much more common, the first because of the increase of diabetes in the general population, and the second because of our ageing population. AMD is the leading cause of sight loss in New Zealand and other countries with similar population and health profiles.

What We Do

Our aims are to promote and foster:

  • research into retinal disorders, their causes and effects, treatments and eventual cure; 
  • mutual support by and for people with retinal disorders (and their families);
  • information about retinal disorders and services for people with retinal disorders; and
  • public awareness of retinal disorders.

We maintain links with the research community, and with professional organisations like the Save Sight Society and the New Zealand Association of Optometrists who are active in promoting eye health and awareness of the causes of vision loss. 

We produce a large quarterly newsletter for our members, and co-ordinate a telephone-based peer support network that provides non-medical advice and information free to callers within New Zealand.

You can read more about our activities over the years in Our History.

We're always grateful for donations to our research fund to support medical and scientific research into retinal disorders, and for small bequests in aid of our work.

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A copy of our annual report is available here.

Getting Together

Our AGM and Conference is held in a different part of New Zealand each year, usually at the end of August, so be sure to check each year's actual date and location on our News & Events page.

Around March or April each year we have a public meeting where you can find out more about us and meet our Executive Committee.  This is also held in different locations around the country, and the place and date is advertised on our News & Events page.

We have a youth network for the 15 to 30-somethings, and also several local groups in or near the main centres that hold meetings where members can socialise, meet others with eye conditions similar to their own, and learn from guest speakers. 

A number of small self-help groups get together regularly.  Their meeting times and places are listed on our News & Events page.  We are happy to help members set up self-help groups in their own areas. If you would like to get a group started, let us know.

Retinal photographs on this website are courtesy of the New Zealand Association of Optometrists. Other photographs in our page headers are courtesy of the National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health.