Allergy New Zealand is a not-for-profit organisation that works to improve the quality of life for people with allergies, and their families. They offer support, education and information, and they also advocate in all aspects of allergy.
The organisation started out as a small Auckland support and self-help group in 1981, known as the Allergy Awareness Association Inc. From 1996, the Association grew steadily with a huge input of volunteer time, energy and enthusiasm. Three years later, it became a national organisation, reflected in its new name Allergy Awareness Association New Zealand Inc.
In 2001, they became Allergy New Zealand, and they now have 10 regional support groups around the country. They provide quality, up-to-date information and educational resources to the public, medical and health professions, schools and other key institutions. Their aim is for medical professionals to make them their automatic choice when referring their allergic patients. Their professionalism gives them the credibility to stand up and be recognised as one of the key patient support groups in NZ.
Allergy New Zealand is supported by a medical and scientific panel of New Zealand’s leading allergy and immunology specialists, dietitians, a breathing specialist and an immunology nurse specialist.
What does it do?
Allergies affect up to 40 per cent of the population. These people live with a variety of allergic conditions, ranging from the life altering to the life threatening. The one thing they all have in common is their need and desire for information and products to ease the difficulties of daily living. Allergy New Zealand provides this. It also works hard to raise awareness of how allergies have a dramatic impact on everyday life and, in turn, how people can improve their quality of life.
Allergy New Zealand’s goal is to help members be healthy and live safely with allergies by:
- Providing information and support
- Raising public awareness and understanding
- Advocating changes in society that will provide better protection and safer environments for people with allergies.
Allergy New Zealand offers a wide range of services, including practical advice and emotional support. It provides tips, hints, product alerts, books, videos, accessories and toys. It has a wide range of written material, which is reviewed by expert medical specialists. It also publishes a quarterly, glossy magazine, Allergy Today, which has the latest accurate information on reducing allergy symptoms and allergy triggers.
Allergy New Zealand works closely with the food industry and government regulators to educate and raise awareness of the importance of allergen management and accurate food labelling. Reading labels is a vital way people with food allergy are able to manage their allergy. Mislabelling is potentially fatal.
The Allergy Education Service has recently been established to develop educational resources and training packages. The current focus is on the implementation of allergy and anaphylaxis guidelines in schools and pre-schools.
This has included the production of an Allergy Education Kit for Schools and Pre-Schools; and a training course for public health nurses.
Allergy New Zealand is a founder member of the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis International Alliance, comprising seven member nations, including organisations from the United States, Canada, Australia, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
How is it funded?
Allergy New Zealand receives no government funding and relies on community grants, fundraising and membership fees.
It has a small Head Office in Auckland, and a volunteer national support network.
Why join Allergy New Zealand?
Recent research has found that allergy sufferers who belong to a support group are far less likely to suffer from a life-threatening allergic reaction because they have access to relevant information and the support of others in a similar situation.
Benefits of joining Allergy New Zealand as an individual or family include:
- Education kits
- Regional support groups
- E-support groups
- Practical advice on day-to-day aspects of living with allergies
- Food labelling guides
- Personalised emergency cards
- Product alerts
- Specialist/dietitian contact details
- Medical advisory panel
- International links, travel cards
- You can be linked to others affected by allergies who can give you information and support
- You will receive discounted rates on products and resources available through Allergy New Zealand, such as ‘Allergy Today’, videos, books and more.
By joining Allergy New Zealand, you not only have access to the latest information on allergies, you will also have the support of others.
How can I get their help?
You can get in contact with Allergy New Zealand in a number of ways:
- Phone their information support line on 0800 34 0800 if you are outside Auckland or phone 09 303 2024 for those within Auckland.
- Visit the website www.allergy.org.nz
- Email them on firstname.lastname@example.org
How much does it cost?
The services of Allergy New Zealand are free.
Link to the Allergy New Zealand website
This easy-to-use website provides all the information about Allergy New Zealand services with pages specific to various allergies. It also provides recipes, education resources and product alerts, as well as links to other international sites for further information.