29 November 2018


Epilepsy New Zealand is proud to announce that Sir Bill English has graciously agreed to become patron of the national organisation.

Chair of Epilepsy New Zealand, Dr Peter Bergin says: “We are grateful to welcome Sir Bill English as our patron. To have such a skilled person supporting our cause - which is to improve the quality of life of people and their families living with epilepsy - is invaluable.”

Sir Bill has agreed to be patron of Epilepsy New Zealand as the largest charity in New Zealand tackling the discrimination and stigma that faces the 48,000 people living with epilepsy throughout the country, and it provides day-to-day practical support for them.

Its National office is in Hamilton from where it operates 12 offices throughout New Zealand, employing 20 staff that deliver critical services to people and families living with epilepsy.

Sir Bill English says: "I am pleased to become patron of this important organisation that works to help the many New Zealanders who live with epilepsy. This is an illness that is often misunderstood. It is vital to improve understanding throughout the community and increase the support of Epilepsy New Zealand to ensure the significant work that it does up and down the country can continue."

Services provided by ENZ include providing information to people with epilepsy and their families; direct support and advocacy; education and training services for health professionals, schools and rest homes.

Broader public awareness campaigns about epilepsy are held each year. The two most notable include ‘Purple Day’ on March 26 and ‘November Awareness’ month.

CEO of Epilepsy New Zealand, Graeme Ambler says: “Every day six people will be diagnosed with epilepsy and we welcome Sir Bill's support as we strive to end the archaic stigma surrounding the condition. 

“As a registered charity, Epilepsy New Zealand is reliant upon community support to survive.

“We have a contract with all DHBs in New Zealand that provides revenue of around $400,000 per year. The remaining $1.2M needed to maintain our countrywide services comes from grants, donations and membership support.

“We want to find a cure for epilepsy, to find drugs with fewer side effects and to understand living with epilepsy better,” says Graeme Ambler.

“We invite businesses to become registered as ‘Best Practice Employers’ and to publicly display their support for people living with epilepsy. We encourage schools to receive presentations to students to increase awareness of the condition, especially seizure first aid.”

Find out more about epilepsy. Visit or contact Epilepsy New Zealand on (07) 834 3556.  For support call our freephone 0800 EPILEPSY.


Graeme Ambler 

M: 022 0800 105




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