The Pindrop Foundation

Providing cochlear implant awareness, education, information and support for adults.

Welcome to the Pindrop Foundation, a resource hub for cochlear implant education, information, awareness, and support in New Zealand. We are dedicated to assisting adults who are considering or using cochlear implants by
providing up-to-date, accessible resources and a supportive community connections that empower adults to make informed decisions about their hearing solutions.

Our services are not just about providing information-they are about empowering you. We offer detailed information on the cochlear implant process, personal stories from cochlear implant users, professional advice, and an active community support network. We host workshops, seminars, and events designed to educate and unite users of cochlear implants and their families, giving you the knowledge and support you need to take control of your hearing.

Whether you are just beginning to explore hearing solutions or are a seasoned cochlear implant user, the Pindrop Foundation is here to provide you with the information and knowledge you need. Join us as we work towards a future where every adult with hearing loss has the opportunity to hear clearly and participate fully in life.

Introducing the Pindrop Foundation Board of Trustees:


Peter Aitken

Peter Aitken (Chair of Trustees)

Peter is passionate about breaking down barriers many New Zealanders face in attaining a full and engaging life and this is the primary reason he joined the Pindrop Foundation. “I was so concerned when I read the grim statistics about the growing incidence of severe hearing disability in New Zealand and the difficulty many individuals were facing in accessing a cochlear implant. I wanted to utilise my professional skills and expertise toward breaking down those barriers.” Peter holds a BCA in Economics and retired as Managing Director of Mazda New Zealand a few years ago.


Lee Schoushkoff (Trustee and Chief Executive)

Lee has committed much of his professional career into growing sustainable and effective cause related organizations. He has held senior management roles with the National Heart Foundation, Presbyterian Support (Nthrn) and the Child Health Research Foundation. Lee brings a wealth of knowledge and fundraising experience to the Pindrop Foundation to grow their vision of ensuring the ability to hear well is available to all New Zealanders.


Bill Baber

Bill Baber

Bill is an ear, nose and throat surgeon with a special interest in ear surgery. Along with Ron Goodey, Bill played and integral part in the establishment of New Zealand’s first Cochlear Implant programme. Working with a team of dedicated professionals to restore or develop the sense of hearing has easily made this the highlight of Bill’s career in ENT Surgery.


Paul Dyson.jpg

Paul Dyson

Paul Dyson has spent over 25 years working in the medical device industry and brings to the Board a long-held commitment to improving the lives of others through the benefits of advanced technologies. Paul holds a BSc and a BE(Hons) from the University of Sydney and lives with his wife, Alison, and two children in Auckland.


Michael Neeff

Michel Neeff

FRACS, Neurotologist/Skull Base Surgeon, Hearing Implant Surgeon, Auckland. Michel graduated from The University of Auckland and completed his training in Otolaryngology, HNS with The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. He completed a fellowship in Manchester, UK in 2006 (skull base procedures including acoustic neuroma surgery, auditory implant surgery, oncological surgery involving the posterolateral skull base, as well as complex otological surgery). Since 2007 he has worked as a consultant at Starship Children’s Hospital, Auckland City Hospital and Green Lane Hospital. He is the Clinical Director at Starship Children's Hospital. He is a Senior Lecturer at the Auckland Medical School, and Chairperson and Implant Surgeon for the Northern Cochlear Implant Programme (NCIP). His research interest includes chronic ear disease, cochlear implant surgery.


Andrew Nicoll

Andrew Nicoll

Andrew has been a corporate and commercial lawyer in Auckland for over 25 years.  He is a partner at leading technology, media and IP law firm Hudson Gavin Martin.  In addition to his corporate practice Andrew has worked with many charitable organisations including chairing the Silo Theatre Trust and the Westlake Boys High School Board of Trustees. 


Ann Cooper-Smith


Ann Cooper-Smith has personal experience of a severe hearing disability, having lost her hearing as a teenager. Ann received a cochlear implant in 1996, is a successful chartered accountant with her own practice and has two teenage sons. When not busy with work and family, Ann enjoys reading, good food and wine, running, snow skiing, movies (preferably sub titled!) and traveling to new places.


Chloe Allan

Chloe AllEn

Chloe has seen first-hand how life-changing cochlear implants are for people with severe to profound hearing loss. Her husband has profound hearing loss (congenital) and has bilateral cochlear implants. His experience is the reason she chose to become an audiologist. Chloe has a Master of Audiology from The University of Auckland. She is an audiology clinic manager in the private sector in Auckland and has served on the New Zealand Audiological Society Executive Council. Chloe  is passionate about helping New Zealanders experience the gift of sound. She and her husband have two young daughters.


Patrick G Tuohy

Dr Patrick G Tuohy

Dr Tuohy is a registered Medical practitioner with almost 30 years experience as a consultant Paediatrician, and 20 years in the public service.  His current role is as a Community Paediatrician at Hutt Valley DHB.  This role consists of working to integrate community and hospital based services for children and youth.   He also undertakes clinical assessments of children in the care of the Department of Child, Youth and Family services. Dr Tuohy has worked in a number of positions including Medical advisor to the Royal New Zealand Plunket Society, and most recently as the Chief Advisor for the New Zealand Ministry of Health.  In his Ministry role Dr Tuohy led the development and implementation of the Newborn Hearing screening programme and played a major role in the clinical oversight of the paediatric cochlear implant programme.