History of THE Pindrop FOUNDATION and NCIT

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


The Pindrop Foundation, a registered charity under the Charities Act 2005 (No: CC32592), was established in 2007 to champion cochlear implant awareness, education, information, and support for adults in New Zealand. We are dedicated to ensuring that individuals who can benefit from cochlear implants receive the necessary information and support to enhance their hearing and overall quality of life. We rely on charitable donations and sponsorships, as we receive no government funding.

Our Relationship with the Northern Cochlear Implant Trust (NCIT)

The Northern Cochlear Implant Trust (NCIT) was formed in 2005 and collaborates closely with the Pindrop Foundation, sharing both board members and a CEO. The Ministry of Health contracts NCIT to provide cochlear implant services to Kiwis living north of Taupo. NCIT, which receives funding directly from the Ministry of Health, focuses solely on service delivery and does not engage in advocacy or fundraising activities.

History of Cochlear Implants in Aotearoa New Zealand

In 1986, Sir Patrick Eisdell-Moore established the Deafness Research Foundation, funding the first two cochlear implants in New Zealand. Public funding became available in 2003, establishing dedicated trusts to deliver these services, including the Southern Hearing Charitable Trust (SHCT) for regions south of Taupo.

Despite an initial provision for only 20 implants annually, advocacy and increased awareness spearheaded by the Pindrop Foundation have significantly improved access. This effort has seen funding increments to 40 implants in 2013 and 120 in 2021.

Global Collaboration
As a founding member of the Cochlear Implant International Community of Action (, we are actively involved in global efforts to bridge the gap in cochlear implant provision. This international collaboration enriches our resources and amplifies our advocacy, ensuring we remain at the forefront of advancements and support structures for cochlear implant users worldwide.

Through ongoing education, support, and community engagement, the Pindrop Foundation remains committed to enhancing the lives of adults with significant hearing loss across New Zealand and beyond.