The History of
Retina New Zealand


1989 is Retina NZ's official birth year, but we can trace our origins back to the mid-1980s. That was when a number of men and women (such as Maaka Tibble in Auckland, Peter McGlinchey in Christchurch, and June Ombler in Dunedin) saw that people with inherited retinal conditions needed information and support. The groups they set up formed the basis of the New Zealand Retinitis Pigmentosa (NZRP) Society, which evolved into Retina NZ. A lot has happened along the way.

In 1989 the Auckland-based NZRP Persons’ Society had its first AGM, and the Dunedin-based Otago/ Southland RP Society its first public meeting.

NZ representatives attended the 6th biennial Congress of the International Retinitis Pigmentosa Association (IRPA) in 1990.

The two regional societies then formed a national NZRP Society which achieved full member status of IRPA in 1992. Christchurch branch was set up in 1993, followed by Wellington in 1996.

Each of the four branches had its own administrative structure, and was represented on a National Executive Committee.