Cleft New Zealand (formerly Cleft Lip & Palate Support Group)is a support group established in 1971 by a group of parents wanting to make it easier for other families of children born with a cleft lip and/or palate.

This support group is passionate about supporting others who are going through the cleft journey and want to make it easier for your family to cope, and to be an advocate on your behalf for improvements to the services available.

The group wants cleft children to benefit from excellent medical and support services, ensuring that they have life opportunities unmarred by their cleft. One of their main goals is to promote excellence in cleft care, and nurture the sharing of expertise between all involved with the care of cleft children in New Zealand.

What does it do?

Cleft New Zealand’s goals are to provide families with emotional support and provide the resources and information needed to make it easier to care for their cleft child as well as improving communication and understanding between parents and the medical profession.


  • Support Parent or Support Buddy Service
  • 0800 support line
  • Information – website and booklets
  • Community – the opportunity for the community to share their fears and their triumphs either online or at local support groups
  • Advocacy
  • Arm splints for all baby’s first and second repairs throughout New Zealand

They also hold regular meetings featuring interesting and informative speakers who are either involved in the care of your child or who have come through the cleft journey themselves. An annual Christmas gathering is a highlight of the Support Group’s activities.

How is it funded?

Cleft New Zealand is a non-government funded, not-for-profit, incorporated society, so funding is made possible through generous donations by cleft families through a pledge donation system and through community sponsorship and grant funding.

How can I get their help?

You can contact Cleft New Zealand in a number of ways:

  • Visit the website and contact them by email
  • Phone them on 0800 4 CLEFT (0800 425 338)
  • Email
  • Contact them through your Speech Language Therapist or any other member of the cleft team.
  •  Facebook pages for young people and parents.  Links are on the website.

There are a number of local support groups around the country – please visit the website to find out the details of your nearest group.

How much does it cost?

Cleft New Zealand’s services are free.

Of course, a donation would always be welcome, but this is in no way expected.

Link to the Cleft New Zealand website

The Cleft website has been designed to provide a wealth of information and tools to enable families to be better informed about cleft issues and events.

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This information was compiled by the Kiwi Families team.

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Miriam Matthews

This group is fantastic. Always great advice on the facebook pages from parents who have been there, done that, still going through it all.
My little girl was born with bilateral cleft lip & palate.

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