Advocacy 2023

Advocacy 2023-24


The Stroke Foundation of New Zealand is the only community service provider in New Zealand dedicated to the prevention of stroke and providing community support services to those affected by stroke across the nation. Our mission is simple; to prevent stroke, improve outcomes and save lives.



Advocacy is one of the essential tools we use to raise our profile with the public and with key decision-makers, to increase understanding and to affect positive change.



  • 10,000 strokes are experienced and this number is projected to grow each year

  • Stroke is Aotearoa’s second leading cause of death and the leading cause of adult disability

  • 75% of strokes are preventable and yet over 2,000 people die from stroke each year

  • Māori and Pacific peoples are 1.5 to 3 times more likely to experience stroke compared to other New Zealanders, have more severe strokes and have strokes at a younger age.

The New Zealand Institute for Economic Research (NZIER) estimates the economic cost of stroke in 2020 at $1.1 billion, set to increase to $1.7bn in 15 years. The social cost is immeasurable.



In 2024, during Salt Awareness Week (SAW) the Stoke Foundation NZ called for urgent government action to tackle the "hidden killer" of salt in our food. Consuming too much salt (sodium) can contribute to high blood pressure = the main risk factor for stroke. 

Did you know:

  • Many New Zealanders are consuming 70 per cent more than the recommended 5-gram daily intake of salt every day

  • Two-thirds of packaged supermarket foods in New Zealand have too much salt when measured against WHO Sodium benchmarks (salt limits)

  • Only 30% of packaged food display the Health Star Rating making it difficult for consumers to make healthy choices.


The Foundation is called for the introduction of mandatory World Health Organization (WHO) sodium benchmarks (salt limits) as well as a mandatory Health Star Rating on food packaging. We continue to seek engagement with the Minister for Food Safety on this critical issue.

See our salt infographic here

Read our press release here



In 2023 we sought to engage directly with politicians across the political spectrum to help us to implement the changes we know will help to improve equity in health outcomes for the stroke community and reduce the risk of stroke. 

We have produced a 2023 Election Manifesto that clearly outlines the priority action we believe will make the most difference to prevent stroke and improve health outcomes after stroke.

In the lead up to the 2023 Elections, we have three Missions for our future Government:

Mission 1: Reduce salt and prevent stroke

Mission 2: Fund community innovation to improve stroke outcomes – specifically a national rollout of our Taking Charge After Stroke (TaCAS) programme

Mission 3: Close the gap – eliminate the inequities in rehabilitation and life-after-stroke services.

Our three election missions are summarised here: Summary page


Click here for more information about how a low salt diet keeps you safe from stroke:

Please help us today

Stroke devastates lives. 
Help us rebuild the lives of New Zealanders who experience the impact of stroke. Together, we can give them hope.