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Dyslexia Foundation of New Zealand (DFNZ) was formed in November 2006 to provide a voice for, and services to, the estimated one in ten New Zealanders with dyslexia as well as to those supporting them.

The DFNZ launch was funded through the generous support of principal sponsor, Cookie Time Charitable Trust, which has also funded several key achievements along the way. Just six months after launch, DFNZ was successful in having the New Zealand Government recognise dyslexia for the first time. Since then, it has been working hard to facilitate greater recognition, understanding and action on dyslexia.

These three steps – recognition, understanding and action – are critical to effectively addressing dyslexia, and are based on the following principles:

  • Recognition: identifying and naming the issue
  • Understanding: noticing what this means for everyday life – at school, and within the family, and work
  • Action: adjusting the approach to improve outcomes – at school, within the family and workplace

DFNZ is the foremost lobby group Dyslexia, and DFNZ advocates for supporting Neurodiversity in two key areas – Education and Justice.
DFNZ works alongside schools, Ministry of Education, NZQA, Principal Youth Court Judge and The NZ Chidlren’s Commisioner , to improve the dyslexic student's experience and achievements by ensuring that legal rights to inclusive learning and accommodations are delivered on.

DFNZ is a registered Charitable Trust, and New Zealand’s only national organisation focused specifically on dyslexia. It does not receive any Government funding and derives its support from the Cookie Time Charitable Trust sponsorship, as well as private and Community Trusts, along with business and public donations.

Please click here to DONATE NOW.


DFNZ has an extensive membership base, from parents, students and teachers through to schools, companies and community groups. Working for and alongside our thousands of members, DFNZ provides an opportunity to build bridges between everyone working with and supporting dyslexic children and adults. This also includes wider agencies such as the Government and Ministry of Education, together with their social support agencies, as well as information and resource providers..

Click to view and download our Certificate of Incorporation, Certificate of Registration & Trust Deed.


   Guy Pope-Mayell: Chair of Trustees and Founding Trustee
Director of Cookie Time, Chair of Trustees of the Cookie Time Charitable Trust, and father of four. His passion for family, cookies, digital technology, and education, combined with his own family experience of dyslexia provides a solid base of experience and passion for making a difference in the education sector.
Email guy@dfnz.org.nz

Suzanne Pope-Mayell: Founding Trustee
Years of working alongside children and the experience of having established several Montessori schools, combined with her natural role as a mother of four, has given Suzanne a significant foundation to draw on. As Suzanne discovered her children's dyslexia and autism, she has also discovered her own dyslexic mind, a journey that has provided her with insight, empathy and a passion to help others.
Email suzanne@dfnz.org.nz

Lorna Timms (BEd Adult Education): Honorary and Founding Trustee

Lorna worked in  the field of adult education before becoming a Dyslexia and Autism Tutor and Presenter. Helping her dyslexic son navigate school and that of being dyslexic herself, Lorna brought a wealth of experience to founding the Trust. 
Email lorna@dfnz.org.nz

   Esther Whitehead (BSc (hons), DipTEFL, PGLitEd): Managing Trustee
Esther comes from a teaching background having taught primary, secondary, and adult students with learning differences in a variety of schools and workplace settings in several countries. Her passion is equity and diversity in learning, and Esther acts as a change-agent - leading professional development in these domains, particularly in workplace settings. She has worked as an independent educator and director of Education Centres in NZ, providing literacy and numeracy tutoring for students in consultation with parents, schools and Special Education Services. Esther manages the DFNZ and works closely with MoE and NZQA on select committees to address necessary changes in the system.


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