History of THE Pindrop FOUNDATION and NCIT

An overview of the history, structure, relationship and purpose of the Pindrop Foundation and NCIT.


The Northern Cochlear Implant Trust (NCIT) was established in 2005 with the Pindrop Foundation being established two years later in 2007, both work closely together, sharing board members and a CEO.

NCIT holds the contract with the Ministry of Health (MoH) for providing cochlear implant services to Kiwis living north of Taupo and does not engage in advocacy or fundraising. It is funded solely by the Ministry of Health.

The Pindrop Foundation is a registered charity under the Charities Act 2005. No: CC32592 and provides cochlear implant awareness, education, information and support for adults and is funded through charitable donations and sponsorship. It receives no government funding.


1986 the Deafness Research Foundation, set up by Sir Patrick Eisdell- Moore funded the first 2 cochlear implants in NZ, but public funding for them did not become available until 2003.

By 2005, two cochlear implant trusts were established to deliver CI services in Aotearoa New Zealand; the Northern Cochlear Implant Trust (NCIT) in 2005 and the Southern Hearing Charitable Trust (SHCT (south of Taupo)), which hold Ministry of Health contracts to provide cochlear implant services for Kiwis.

Due to the small funding allocation for implants (20 per year) and lack of awareness of the life-changing benefits of cochlear implants, The Pindrop Foundation was established to raise awareness and advocate for better access to this life-changing technology.

Working closely with the CI trusts, CI clients, health professionals and funders, awareness and access to cochlear implants has continued to improve over the years.

Since the initial permanent base level of 20 adult cochlear implants per year was implemented in 2007, increases in funding have continued to occur, with a rise to 40 implants in 2013, then to 120 in 2021.

Currently, we are collaborating with the global cochlear implant community to close the gap in cochlear implant provision for those adults who need them while continuing to raise awareness, educate, inform and support people about cochlear implant services in Aotearoa New Zealand.