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Category Archives: News

Youth Services Co-ordinator

The Organisation

Diabetes NZ – Auckland Branch is a branch of the registered charity Diabetes New Zealand Incorporated.  It has developed an operating model that reflects the strategic direction of Diabetes New Zealand while incorporating the unique cultural diversity of the Auckland region.  Its mission is to provide the one in four Aucklanders affected by, or who are high risk of being affected by, diabetes with the support needed to live a full and active life.

The youth division, Diabetes Youth Auckland (DYA), works to create a web of support networks for young people with diabetes and their families, and to empower them with the information they need to successfully manage the condition and family life.  Programmes include educational events, camps, fun events and practical resources.


The Role

Reporting to the Auckland Branch Manager, the role is responsible for developing and implementing programmes and activities that will provide education, advocacy, support networks, and resources to children with diabetes and their families in Auckland.

The person will become a key member of a tight knit and highly effective team and will have the support of and work with the Diabetes Youth Auckland Committee.

Key responsibilities:

  • Development of an annual plan and implementation including the proposed budget (income and expenditure) that supports service delivery for each year.
  • Planning, marketing and implementing the logistics of DYA youth activities, events and camps, ensuring Health and Safety obligations are met and Risk Assessment planning occurs for each event.
  • Provide support for parents and their families affected by diabetes: at all times demonstrate qualities of empathy and empowerment.
  • Support the DYA Committee’s fundraising activities and funding opportunities


Person Specification

Previous experience of working in a charity and children/youth is required for this role. You will need to have an understanding of diabetes and especially type 1, be a team player who is happy to get stuck in, is highly motivated with strong attention to detail and a skilled problem solver.  The role requires flexibility to work outside office hours and at the weekend. This role is for 20 hours and the office is based in Penrose.

Job Description

To Apply

If this sounds like the right job for you then please email an updated CV with a cover letter addressed to Sheena Duffy Vakatale, outlining your experience against the core competencies in the job description and tell us why you would want to work for Diabetes Youth Auckland.

The closing date for this role is 17th December 2018

Helensville Support Group Celebrates

On the 6th of August 2018 Helensville Diabetes Support Groups celebrated 10 years to the day since their very first meeting in 2008.

The day was enjoyed by all,  with a few games and a shared lunch.  Members of Helensville Arthritis Group with whom we amalgamated with in 2015 also attended.

Many thanks to Dr Phillip Barter who is always there to support the Helensville members,  and the two original nurses Christine Montgomery and Barbara McKenzie (pictured).

Our group who meets once a month warmly welcomes any new members to join us.

For any more  information you can contact Shirley in 4206501 or Glennis on 4202801.

More information on our support groups

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Diabetes and Eating Disorders

PLEASE NOTE as of 2020 this is no longer active

Recently eating disorders in our community have been highlighted through social media and on television. Diabulimia happens when those with type one diabetes avoid taking insulin.

From a recent study, a third of type one adolescents with type one diabetes that were surveyed are at risk of developing an eating disorder related to diabetes. This study was led by Professor Paul Hofman which surveyed 300 young people that were 12 to 25 years of age.

From this study, Hofman was able to identify that 12 year olds were at high risk. Maori and Pacific were also at a higher risk in comparison to European youth.

“There was a really major ethnicity issue. So the odds of having an eating disorder for Māori was about twice as much and Pacific Islander about five times as much.” Hofman also mentioned to Radio NZ that although this was a small study he is confident that it is a fair representation of what is happening around the county. 

Need more information?

DEDA, Diabetes and Eating Disorder Awareness provide support, advocacy and information. Stories as well as information if you need help, if you know someone or are a health professional is readily available.

If you would like more information around this please get in touch with DEDA, a health professional or you can contact us.

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Cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason

If you tuned in to watch, you would have listened to Cellist, Sheku Kanneh-Mason.

After Sheku played a mesmerising piece for the Royal Wedding, the internet erupted wanting to know about him and who he is. He won the BBC’s Young Musician 2016 competition. He also has type 1 diabetes; diagnosed at 12. He is the first African American to win this competition. He recently was also awarded Male Artist of the Year at the Classic Brit Awards.

It’s great to be able to share Sheku’s story with the diabetes community and reiterate that you can still achieve your dreams even when you are diagnosed with a life long condition. A great role model for anyone especially children living with diabetes.

From the DigiBete video: “Sheku Kanneh-Mason plays the cello and won the BBC’s Young Musician 2016 competition. He was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at 12.” Through the video he goes through how he manages his music as well as his diabetes.

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Diabetes NZ Sugar Tax Submission

Diabetes New Zealand is at the forefront of New Zealand’s greatest health issue, diabetes. The incidence of diabetes in New Zealanders is at epidemic proportions and rising. Diabetes is a chronic illness with significant morbidity and mortality burdens.

Obesity is a primary factor leading to Type 2 diabetes. The 2017 OECD Obesity Index analysis that New Zealand has the third most obese population out of 35 member countries is both shameful and unacceptable. This is an indictment on our country and the poor health of our people. The OECD report represents an emphatic call to action. The Rt Hon Helen Clark has described the OECD’s finding as “shocking” and has vigorously implored that “whoever’s in government needs to implement strong policy to stop this epidemic now”.

For decades, Diabetes New Zealand through its hard-working staff and volunteers has fought the war on diabetes across the whole country, deploying enormous resources to support and help countless thousands of people deal with their health problems and improve their lives. Raising awareness and prevention consumes a large part of the organisation’s resources. From all this involvement, effort and informed experience at New Zealand’s diabetes coal face, Diabetes New Zealand is ideally placed with this submission.

The bottom line is that despite many governmental programmes to address the problem, the incidence of diabetes in New Zealand is increasing, as is the rate of obesity. Something much more is needed to stem this fatal tide. Diabetes New Zealand earnestly believes that this ‘something’ is a Sugar Tax.

This submission carefully analyses the evidence and arguments surrounding the case for a Sugar Tax. We recommend this submission by Diabetes New Zealand to you, and its conclusion that a Sugar Tax will create a bow wave to behaviour change beyond any other governmental measure thus far.

As Patrons of Diabetes New Zealand, we appeal to you to follow the example of other nations in deploying the levers of taxation to intervene in this runaway health epidemic.

You have a unique opportunity to play a critical role in the health, well-being and longer lives of hundreds of thousands of current and future generation New Zealanders.

Yours Sincerely,

Sir Eion Edgar and Lady Beattie

Read the full submission here

What’s Your diabetes Why?

For the month of June we will be delving little deeper into why people were getting tested through our Mobile Diabetes Awareness Service – What’s your diabetes Why?

Getting people to share their stories with us and how they are taking control of their health.

Over the month of June, keep an eye out for stories shared from our diabetes community.

If you would like to share your story, head along and talk to Susan and Sandy through our Mobile Diabetes Awareness Service or contact us.

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OFFICE HOURS 2016 – 2017


Our Onehunga office is closed from 21 December 2016 and re-open 9 January 2017 with all staff back 16 January 2017

We wish all our members and community a wonderful Christmas and a happy New Year

Please note: online orders placed after 20 December 2016 will be sent on 9 January 2017 



World Diabetes Day

14 November 2016


Monday, November 14 was World Diabetes Day, and was marked around the globe with the international theme Eyes on Diabetes.

Everyone who has diabetes is at risk of complications from the condition that can lead to blindness, amongst other serious issues.

“Diabetes is a leading cause of blindness – the International Diabetes Federation estimates one in three people with diabetes have some stage of diabetic retinopathy,” CEO of Diabetes New Zealand and Acting General Manager of Diabete NZ Auckland Branch Steve Crew says.

“With up to 260,000 people on the Virtual Diabetes Register, that would equate to nearly 90,000 people in New Zealand.

“Those with diabetes can reduce the risk of diabetic retinopathy and other complications by leading a healthy lifestyle, and having regular check-ups, including eye health checks every two years.”

For the full media release from Diabetes NZ see their website.

For more information on the global Eyes on Diabetes campagin see the International Diabetes Federation website.

World Diabetes Day 2016 in Auckland

On Monday 14 November a group of staff from the Onehunga Office hit the road and visited loads of ‘EYE-CONIC’ sites to take photos for social media and spread awareness of Diabetes Day.



Media Release                  01 November 2016                                                                                        

Diabetes New Zealand today marks the beginning of Diabetes Action Month by launching a comprehensive online support and self-management toolkit, to help address the nation’s fastest-growing health crisis.

Twelve hundred people in New Zealandi, on average, will this month be told that they have diabetes – withmore than 120 of those in the Auckland DHB catchment alone.

More than 260,000 people in New Zealand – including over 27,000 in the Auckland DHB catchment area– have diabetesii; the prevalence has doubled in the past 10 years.

“There is a real need to help people with diabetes to live well,” Steve Crew, chief executive of Diabetes New Zealand, says.

“The reality of diabetes and the complications associated with it, can be consuming. It is not only a drain on our health system, it is incredibly life-changing and life-limiting for people living with diabetes – and that can lead to stress and anxiety and poor self-care.”

Diabetes New Zealand surveyed the nation in a Perceptive Research omnibus[iv] that revealed that less than half of those living with diabetes felt they are in control of their condition, and a third said it had a negative effect on their mental wellbeing.

“Living well is something people with diabetes battle to do on their own,” Crew says. “A third struggle with eating healthy meals, and almost 40 per cent struggle to be motivated and do physical activity. Diabetes New Zealand wants to change that.”

The Diabetes New Zealand Take Control Toolkit unveiled today will be a range of more than 60 online materials in downloadable print or video formats, that Diabetes New Zealand members anywhere in the country can access, offering them advice and information across three important categories – Food & Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Health & Wellbeing.

As the voice of those living with diabetes, the organisation wanted to gauge the public’s view on the proposition of taxation on sugar and fat in some foods.

The full release can be found here 

More information on Diabetes Action Month can be found on the Diabetes NZ website including events happening throughout New Zealand for Diabetes Action Month this year.




World Diabetes Day takes place on Monday, 14 November 2016

The theme for 2016 is Eyes on Diabetes with the main focus being;

1. Screening for type 2 diabetes is important to modify its course and reduce the risk of complications. 

2. Screening for diabetes complications is an essential part of managing all types of diabetes.

More information on World Diabetes Day can be found here.





[i] Source: Ministry of Health. 2015. Virtual Diabetes Register

[ii] Source: Ministry of Health. 2015. Living Well with Diabetes: A plan for people at high risk of or living with diabetes 2015-2020.

[iii] Source: Ministry of Health. 2015. Virtual Diabetes Register

[iv] Perceptive Research Omnibus September 2016.  1,004 respondents nationwide.

Note: Over 100,000 people in the wider Auckland region* have diabetes, with more than 460 people on average diagnosed each month.

*Includes three Auckland DHBs.

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Diabetes-related amputations are on the rise in New Zealand. With urgent action being called to tackle this severe health issue, Diabetes NZ CEO, Steve Crew appeared on Radio New Zealand to explain what leads to amputations, why the numbers are getting worse and what can be done.

Have a listen below:


Good in the Hood logo 2



Diabetes NZ Auckland Branch is delighted to announce that we have raised $8,929 through this years Good in the Hood initiative for Diabetes Youth Auckland.

Good in the Hood, a campaign by Z Energy held throughout the month of May sees a range of charities and not-for-profits across New Zealand working with Z to increase awareness of their work and raise money through donations from the public.

This year, Diabetes NZ Auckland Branch were present at nine Z stations across Auckland and the $8,929 we raise this year far exceeds are campaign from 2015 – a fantastic achievement from everyone involved.

We want to thank the following stations for having us and everyone who donated their Good in the Hood token to Diabetes Youth Auckland:

  • Highbrook and Ti Rakau Drive – $2,068
  • Glen Innes – $800
  • New Lynn – $978
  • Quay Street – $956
  • Royal Oak – $1064
  • Constellation Drive – $965
  • Harbour Highway – $844
  • Lakeside – $754

We were also fortunate to receive an extra $500 from Good in the Hood as part of their Wear Your Badge campaign, taking our total to $8,929!

A huge thanks to everyone who voted for us and to Z Energy for having us at nine of their stations. We look forward to an even more successful campaign in 2017!


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