Who is Retina NZ ?

“Retina New Zealand is a volunteer-led charity, providing information and peer support to people with some level of sight loss.”


Established in 1989, Retina NZ Inc. is an Incorporated Society and a registered charity.  We're a member organisation of Retina International, the Blind Sector Network Aotearoa, and a consumer organisation of Blind Low Vision New Zealand.  In 2019, we celebrated our 30th birthday!

An Executive Committee elected from our membership is responsible for our day-to-day management.  Our membership is open to anyone with some level of sight loss or damage, regardless of your degree of visual impairment. Family and friends are welcome to join too.  We also have a corporate membership option for those with a professional interest in retinal conditions and their treatment.

Most of our members have degenerative retinal disorders such as Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), Age-related Macula Degeneration (AMD), Stargardt disease, and Choroideremia.  Others have retinal damage as a result of diabetes, degenerative myopia, or retinal detachments that may have occurred spontaneously or resulted from injury.

Our Values, Vision & Mission

Our work is underpinned by our values: Empathy, Respect and Ethical Practice.

Our Vision is the equitable availability of safe and effective treatments for all people with degenerative retinal disorders.

Our Mission is to support people in NZ experiencing sight loss, and their families & friends, by providing easy access to the information and support they might need at different stages of their sight loss journey.

What do we do ?


Through our publications and our quarterly newsletter, we disseminate information about retinal disorders and services for people experiencing vision loss; we raise public awareness of issues relating to vision loss, by holding public meetings and through collaboration with other stakeholders in the Low Vision community.


We provide mutual support by and for visually impaired people (and their families). We co-ordinate a telephone-based peer support network that provides non-medical advice and information free to callers within New Zealand. We collaborate with a number of face to face support groups from around the country. Please contact admin@retina.org.nz to find out about a group near you.


We promote and foster 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. We work closely with tertiary educators to foster research through Summer-studentship research grants. 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.