Retina NZ is a registered charity. We are a member organisation of Retina International, the AMD Alliance International, and the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind. An Executive Committee elected from our membership is responsible for our management.
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.
Our aims are to promote and foster:
- public awareness of retinal disorders;
- information about retinal disorders and services for people with retinal disorders;
- mutual support by and for people with retinal disorders (and their families), and
- research into retinal disorders, their causes and effects, treatments and eventual cure.
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.
Any donations we receive go into our research fund to support medical and scientific research into retinal disorders.
A copy of our annual report is available here.
Our Annual General Meeting and Conference are held in a different part of New Zealand each year. We like to hold this event on World Retina Day (the last Saturday in September) but this isn't always possible, so be sure to check the actual date on our News & Events page.
We also have several local groups in or near the main centres which 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 small group started, let us know.