Welcome to the Cochlear Implants in New Zealand website. This website has three purposes:

  • To advocate for the provision of two Cochlear Implants for children on the basis of medical need

Cochlear Implants (CIs) are a vital technology providing access to sound for children who have too greater hearing loss to benefit from hearing aids. But, unlike hearing aids, most children have been given just one Cochlear Implant (CI) despite the fact that all of us need two ears to hear fully.

New Zealand has fallen behind many other countries where two (bilateral) CIs – one for each ear – are routine, in recognition of the importance of two-sided (binaural) hearing and the significant cost savings.

[Note: in 2014 the NZ Government announced that children in NZ would receive bilateral cochlear implants. This section is retained for historical purposes]

For all children binaural hearing is vital in all settings, whether educational, work or social, and when it comes to being able to tell the direction of a car horn or a warning shout, it can be the difference between life and death.

New Zealand needs to provide bilateral Cochlear Implants to children on the basis of medical need.

  • To advocate for the provision of best practice therapy and support for children with Cochlear Implants, regardless of their geographic location

Fact 1 – 90%+ of hearing impaired children (and their families) choose oral language as their sole communications medium

Fact 2 – Auditory Verbal Therapy (AVT) is the accepted international best practice in catching children with hearing loss (and the resultant language development delay) up with their normal hearing peers

Fact 3 – Only The Hearing House and the Southern Cochlear Implant Programme are investing in Auditory Verbal Therapy (AVT) in New Zealand

Fact 4 – The bulk of deaf education funding goes to providers who are not investing in AVT and have explicitly said that they have no plans to make such investment

Conclusion – Children with hearing issues in many areas of New Zealand receive therapy significantly below international best practice and unsuited to their requirements

Solution – The Ministry of Education needs to adopt the Australian Better Start model for the funding of deaf education services

  • To provide a repository of resources about Cochlear Implants

This website aims to be the “one-stop-shop’ for people in New Zealand to come to for parent centred information about Cochlear Implants. One day we would like this to be the only purpose of this website.

Our goal is to see 90%+ of children with severe to profound hearing loss start school with no language deficiency.