Support for Newly Diagnosed Service

Struggling to understand your condition? We’re here for you! Arthritis New Zealand has a team of volunteers who live with different forms of arthritis and they’re keen to provide phone support to anyone who would like it.

If you would like to talk to someone who understands your condition, please call 0800 663 463 and we will refer you to someone who can support you.

Hip and knee OA: Survey participants wanted

How do you decide which treatment for hip or knee osteoarthritis is best for you or your patients? What factors are most important to you? (e.g. accessibility, benefits, cost, effectiveness, harms)

Researchers at Otago University want your opinion about different treatment options for hip or knee osteoarthritis. Your opinions will inform policy recommendations for managing OA in the public healthcare system.

All you need to do is complete an online survey. If you are living with hip or knee OA, or are a health care provider, health policy-maker or Māori health advocate with an interest in OA, please register your interest here:

This research is approved by the University of Otago Human Ethics Committee. The survey closes on 15 February 2018.

Arthritis & Experiences of the Benefit System

We are currently seeking information on the experiences of people with arthritis who have interacted with the benefit system, either on Jobseeker Support, Sole Parent Support or a Supported Living Payment. The information you provide will help guide our work in ensuring that people with arthritis are adequately supported.


Improving the life of every person in New Zealand affected by arthritis

If you have arthritis, or know someone with arthritis, we are here for you! We provide information, advice and support for anyone diagnosed with arthritis. We can put you in touch with healthcare professionals and other community supports throughout the country.

Our work also includes advocating for people with arthritis, funding research, and contributing to health policy. Arthritis affects more than 624,000 New Zealanders and is a leading cause of disability. There are more than 140 forms of arthritis and there is no cure, but it can usually be managed effectively. Most people with arthritis continue to lead productive and fulfilling lives.

Packaging survey – have your say


We know the problems people with arthritis face with opening packaging,
and we’re collecting information about this in a survey. Have your say here, and see what Fair Go recently broadcast about this very frustrating
packaging business.

Number of people (15 years and older) with arthritis in New Zealand (2016)


The ‘Your Community, Your Voice’ Bloggers

Exercise Classes

Avonhead Land-based Exercise Classes Avonhead Baptist Church, Christchurch 102 Avonhead Rd. Tuesdays 10-11am Thursdays 10-11am Arthritis NZ 0800 663 463 $8.00 per session Classes are generally run weekly but are closed for public and school holidays. To register or...

Phone coaching service in Waikato: take charge of your arthritis:

Take charge of your arthritis with a new phone coaching service available throughout the Waikato DHB region.  Call 0800 663 463 to sign on for three months of a telephone coaching service, and learn how to: Understand your arthritis Manage pain Gain skills for the...

Too stubborn to quit: My life with ankylosing spondylitis

Two days ago I felt on top of the world. I had lots of energy, my pain levels were very low and I had just completed a half marathon with no negative after effects. I was quietly confident that the new medication I started three months ago was having a positive...

One for my wife

As someone with arthritis, I find it a tough ask to deal with my ‘self’, especially as this self is in constant denial about medical conditions. This self needs to be the tough one in the family, to be able to know where to go, how to do stuff, on call and ready to go...

Hotriggeredkiwi: River reflections

It was so quiet and peaceful on the river this morning. The weather wasn’t brilliant, requiring the Swanndri for warmth and some protection from the impending rain. Even the hunter’s long pants got used as the riverbank grasses are now thigh deep; they dried quickly...

Hand hub: Exercises for thumb arthritis

Exercise for thumb arthritis There is increasing evidence for the benefits of strengthening exercises for thumb arthritis. Exactly which exercises? Still nothing specific from the literature! Go for pain-free We try and give pain-free exercises whenever we can,...

Kate Meldrum: My disease has made me a better person

“Your disease is something you have, not who you are.” “Don’t let your disease define you.” These are common phrases those with chronic illness often hear. When I think about it the flip side of these sayings, though, I realise that chronic illness is a major factor...

Sarah Shelton: Taking care of you

It’s pretty easy to forget about looking after ourselves some days, especially if we have a lot of things going on, or we are having a bad health day. A chronic health condition certainly makes this a little harder than ‘normal’, and the stress of daily living can get...

Olivia Hall: Mobility parking… a perk you really don’t want!

Yes, I know I am young and to you I look perfectly healthy sitting inside my car. I can see it in your eyes – you have already judged me before I’ve even attempted to move. I bet you didn't know that I get nervous butterflies every time I pull into that park. I...

Hotriggeredkiwi: All in a day’s work

Oh bother, it’s time; and, look, outside it’s dark and raining again. No, it’s hail too, wow, it must be cold, time for the Swanndri. Bah, it’s a struggle, what is it now? Oh of course, yesterday on the river with the whitebaiters in the rain, must’ve gotten wetter...

Hotriggeredkiwi: No one said it would be easy

This blog takes six hours to write up, on average. During the working week I spend a total of 56 hours at home, including sleep time. I struggle with reading and writing, always have, probably always will. What to say? Where to start? Letters, words, and sentences...

Alison Wilding: Exercises for thumb arthritis

Exercise for thumb arthritis An increasing body of evidence is out there for the benefits of strengthening exercises for thumb arthritis. Exactly which exercises? Still nothing specific from the literature! Go for pain-free We try and give pain-free exercises whenever...

Alison Wilding: OA of the thumb

Osteoarthritis of the thumb is one of the main arthritic problems that a hand therapist* can help with. The joint in question is the one at the very base of the thumb down near the wrist joint. You may hear the term ‘CMC’ joint being referred to, or the ‘basal joint...

Kylie Frost: Dinner won’t cook itself, but how do I open all of the product packaging?

It is 6 o'clock at night and I have finally finished work for the day. I head to the fridge to check what I can cook for dinner. In another life I was a chef and loved to cook. Now I dread it. Oh goody, mince again. Maybe lasagne? The thought fills me with dread. Not...

It’s the little things that matter

It’s amazing the small things in life that most people take for granted, like simply getting out of bed after a good night’s sleep. Or the jump-up-quickly-because-you-are-late spring that happens and the quick race to get ready for the day. Not the shuffle, roll and...

Hotriggeredkiwi: Never let the bastard (arthritis) win

The iciness quickly cut through to the bone as I walked to the beach. Then the pain transferred to the cutting of razor sharp edges of oyster shells and dull bites of stones on bones as they hit pressure points of my feet.

Val Bird: To loo or not to loo, that is the question!

I started gripping the toilet-roll-holder as a ‘push me up.’ However, while this helped me to get back on my feet, it still caused a nasty crunching pain in my knee. I was also concerned that one day the toilet roll holder would give way, causing both me and the toilet wall a significant problem.

Gezellig: How arthritis has made me stronger

what’s often overlooked with many chronic illnesses and disabilities is the way they can shape you in positive ways as a person. I think I would have grown up to relate to the world in a different way if I hadn’t had arthritis since childhood; not necessarily in a better way or a worse way, just differently. Some of the aspects of my character that I’m most proud of have, I think, been enhanced by the experiences I’ve had. Let me elaborate.

Sarah S: “Open here” a letter to pharmaceutical companies about medication packaging

Dear pharmaceutical companies,

I’m really reliant on you guys right now. These last few weeks I’ve realised just how reliant.

You see, I need your medications to lower my immune system’s response. Your creations keep me moving. They give me the ability to get up in the morning, care for my children, walk my youngest daughter to school, go to work, attend university, use a knife and fork, cook meals, and sometimes if I’m lucky, they give me the energy to catch up with my friends and have a good time.

Jane Wilson: Taking the next steps for arthritis our 2017 election manifesto

“Arthritis can affect anyone at any age.” “Gout is more common in New Zealand than anywhere else in the world.” “There is a shortage of rheumatologists in New Zealand.” “I really wish the newer biologics were available in this country.” I’m sure you are familiar with...

Jane Messer: Should we all move to Arizona or Queensland?

Find what works for you. Keep some energy for enjoyable activities. Hang in there and don’t go it alone – reach out for support. Spring is just around the corner!

Erin: When the glass is half empty, not half full

I would encourage you not to be afraid or embarrassed to talk to your GP or rheumatologist if you’re struggling with insomnia, anxiety, mood swings, lack of appetite or feelings of exhaustion. Six months on an antidepressant or anti-anxiety medication may make all the difference to you. It never hurts to ask.

Research Projects Requiring Participants

Do you have osteoarthritis of your ankle or hand? If so, we want to hear from you.

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