Mum and daughter

We hope that one day, no New Zealanders will suffer because of kidney disease. Until then, we’re here to help, and to bring the kidney community together.

How We Can Support You

Available Kidney Society services

Living with Kidney Disease

Most people seldom think about their kidneys and many don’t really know what they do, until something goes wrong.

Healthy kidneys go quietly about the business of cleaning the blood, removing waste products and unwanted water in the urine, and generally keeping people alive and healthy.

Unfortunately there are many diseases that can lead to permanent kidney damage. Sometimes the damage is permanent. This is very serious, and when kidney function drops below 15%, decisions need to be made about the future.

There are several treatments available, and people usually have a choice. Information to help you make a decision comes from many sources and in many forms: health professionals, leaflets and books, videos, the internet and people who are already having treatment. Kidney Society staff, because they are not part of the health service, can help by spending time with you to explore your options in your own time and in your own home. If we can’t visit you at home we can talk to you on the phone, as many times as you like.

Kidney health issues in New Zealand

Teresa’s story

Our inspirational client, Teresa Tangatakino.

In 2015, Teresa started her dialysis journey after her move to NZ from the Cook Islands.

In 2018, she had a below-the-knee amputation, and in the same year, had her toes on the opposite foot amputated.

Even though it was tough, Teresa didn’t let anything stop her. She continued to stay mobile and active, doing home-based exercises with our Wellness Programme and using a walker to help her get around.

In 2021, Teresa received a kidney transplant.

This photo, taken one year after her transplant, shows Teresa working hard at her local gym (YMCA Glen Innes Pool and Leisure Centre) to continue her mobility and fitness.

A self-confessed “water baby” Teresa had not been able to go swimming - one of her favourite activities - for seven years due to dialysis accesses and wounds.

Recently, she was able to get back in the water and she LOVED it! With the support of her wonderful support person, Joanne and our wellness educator, Tracey, Teresa was a real “fish in water”!

It’s been over eight years since Teresa has been home to the Cook Islands to see her family and her goal is to visit soon, without her walker!

Teresa on exercising equipment