Tō mātou Kaupapa | Our Purpose

Our purpose is to unite caregivers, support whānau and individuals, strengthen communities and educate about FASD across Aotearoa.

We aim to pool our knowledge, strength and collective wisdom so that those living with FASD can grow and achieve. Our goal is to educate and provide strategies for those living with FASD.

The board of FASD-CAN are united in our commitment to make Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder more visible to the New Zealand public, and to push for more understanding of FASD in the home, in schools, in communities and in the justice system.

We want better access to Disability Support Services for those whose lives are impacted by FASD.

Ko ō Mātou Uaratanga | Our Values

Rangapū – Partnership

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Pono – Integrity

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Tūmanako – Hope

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Mahi Tahi – Collaboration

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Whakaute – Respect

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Mohio – Knowledge

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He Kaupapa Aroha Mātou | We are a Charity

FASD-CAN Incorporated is a registered charity in Aotearoa New Zealand. To become a registered charity FASD-CAN had to have a charitable purpose, provide a benefit to the public, and not seek to make profit from our activities.  In our case our purpose is supporting people with a hidden disability, and advancing the health and wellbeing of FASD individuals and their caregivers and whānau.

Our Charitable Organisation registration number is: CC53623
To learn more about registered charities visit New Zealand Charities Services / Ngā Ratonga Kaupapa Atawhai click here.

He Manatōpū mātou | We are an Incorporated Society

FASD-CAN Incorporated is also set up as an Incorporated Society.  This means we are a membership-based organisation registered under the Incorporated Societies Act 1908, and we exist for a lawful purpose other than making a profit.   Incorporated Societies in Aotearoa New Zealand must keep information about the society's address, name, operational rules, and membership up to date.  We also have to comply with our own operational rules, and meet other legal obligations as well.

Our Companies Office number is: 2583263

Our NZBN number is: 9429043251414

To learn more about our incorporated societies visit the New Zealand Companies Office click here.

Tā Koha Mai | Donate

Thanks so much for making the decision to donate. Your koha will help us spread awareness of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) and enable  whānau who are living with FASD to live their best lives.

PLEASE NOTE: 'One-time' donation is selected by default. If you would like to make a monthly donation, please click the 'Monthly' button. 

Tō Mātou Pūrākau | Our Story

FASD-CAN (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder - Caregiver Action Network) was founded in 2013 by a group of parents with children with FASD, and professionals who were FASD experts. The founding chair, Claire Gyde, together with a group of other parents, saw the need for an organisation that would unite caregivers and advocate for improved awareness, services, and greater support for caregivers and whānau of individuals coping with FASD. 

Now we are a New Zealand-based, non-profit incorporated society made up of parents, caregivers, extended whānau and health professionals, including our clinical advisor, Dr Valerie McGinn (Clinical Neuropsychologist and Clinical Director of the FASD Centre, Aotearoa), and our Patron, Judge Tony Fitzgerald.

Tō Mātou Tohu | Our Logo

Our original manaia-koru carving was hand-crafted by Taranaki bone carver Paul Gyde, the partner of our founder Claire Gyde, whose son has FASD. It's based on two traditional elements: the manaia, or bird form, is a spiritual guardian to ‘give strength, guidance and wisdom to another’, and the koru, which symbolises growth and adds elements of ‘hope, harmony, and new beginnings’.

The FASD-CAN strapline is linked to the symbolism of this carving: 'With shared strength, guidance and wisdom, those with FASD can grow and achieve'.

FASD-CAN has sought, and received, kaumatua approval of our logo, and we acknowledge with respect Aotearoa New Zealand’s rich Māori culture and the symbolism it has afforded us.

Tō mātou Hoahoa/design | Our Weave

Ma te rongo ka mohio, ma te mohio ka marama, ma te marama ka matau, ma te matau ka ora. 

Through listening comes awareness, through awareness comes understanding, through understanding comes knowledge, through knowledge comes life and wellbeing.

Throughout our website you may notice a graphic panel which brings to mind the iconic Māori woven kete.

The poutama is a stepped pattern commonly found in Māori weaving – you’ll see it in tukutuku panels in the marae, in piupiu (flax skirts) and also in many other designed mahi that is Aotearoa-centric. Some say they represent the steps which Tāne (son of Ranginui and Papatuanuku) climbed in his quest for the ultimate knowledge to bring to mankind.

The poutama is specifically linked to ascending the steps of education and religion but for all who are working with tamariki and mokopuna it is encapsulating and scaffolds the learner, the teacher, the parent, the child, the adult, the professional.

It’s about human growth and evolution, and as such it is essential to all who work alongside multiple generations, or with intergenerational thinkers in design and co-design. Often we learn from others, or we make mistakes and need to relearn, so it gives us a chance to go up and down the poutama – we may become the teacher, the peer, or the learner. The steps go both ways; they are interchangeable and dependant on skills.

The harakeke (flax) weave pays homage to foundation, whānau/family and whakapapa/genealogy – the blueprint we connect to. Often the weave is not designed to perfection, but it demonstrates our strengths and notes where we require strengthening.

The colours of Papatuanuku and Ranginui (earth and sky) depict the hopes, dreams and aspirations of life’s journey.


Acknowledging Huriana McRoberts, co-designer of the Weave, writer of the above kōrero, board member of FASD-CAN Inc. Ngā mihi.

Tō Mātou Poari | Our Board

Leigh Henderson Read more
Ross Porter Read more
Kathryn Lawlor Read more
Harmony Moki Read more
Michele Daly Read more
Gilbert Taurua Read more
Darryl Roycroft Read more

Ko ō Mātou Tāngata | Our People

Stephanie James-Sadler Read more
Judge Tony Fitzgerald Read more
Kim Milne Read more
Dr Valerie McGinn Read more
Anna Gundesen Read more
Janet Miller Read more
RuruHana Brownie Read more
Claire Gyde Read more
Kathy Hunter Read more

Our professional advisors

Our Education Advisory Group

We rely on a team of education experts to advise us on the latest information on FASD in schools, identify issues and help us develop FASD-specific resources. Find out more about our advisors here.

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Become a member of FASD-CAN

By joining FASD-CAN you’ll gain access to specific resources, advocacy, webinars and hui, you'll be sent a free printed copy of our Handbook – and you'll be with us as we campaign for those with FASD to live their best lives.

Join us now!

Hapahāpai | Advocacy

Speaking up for our whānau

FASD-CAN endeavours to enable the voices of families caring for individuals with FASD to be heard when policy matters which affect us are being considered. To this end we have provided submissions, participated in meetings with policy makers and practitioners and participated in consultations on a range of matters where FASD is in the mix – justice, education, social work practice, prevention of FASD and more.  

As an organisation we don't advocate for individuals, although some of our members actively assist others in advocating for their tamariki. That's the power of a network! We will provide our input to represent whānau when there appears to be a systemic issue affecting a number of them.  

Our advocacy role

  • To raise public understanding of FASD and the needs of individuals and families. 
  • To engage with government and government departments to improve outcomes for people with FASD and their families and to reduce the incidence of FASD. 
  • To encourage good practice – for example by disseminating information to professionals supporting individuals with FASD, providing generic advice to employers and collaborating on guidelines. 


Ko ā Mātou Kaupapa Mahi | Our Projects and Activities

FASD-CAN aims to provide support to caregivers raising individuals with FASD. We do this by hosting workshops, webinars and local support groups, and by preparing a range of online resources.


Current, recent and ongoing projects


In 2022 we launched a year-long programme of free webinars to extend our knowledge of FASD as caregivers and professionals. 

Click here to go to our Events page for upcoming webinars (and other events). 

Click here to find recordings of previous webinars on our Resources page.


Facebook page and support groups

Our social media pages all have an active following.


FASD-CAN Inc | Facebook    

This is our ‘public’ page – primarily for announcements and news items relating to FASD. It has an international readership.

FASD-CAN NZ Professionals & Parents Group | Facebook 

This page is open to all and provides an information exchange and discussion forum on matters relating to FASD in New Zealand. It's updated regularly. 

FASD-CAN NZ Parent and Carer Support Group | Facebook 

You need to be a member of FASD-CAN to access this page. It's open to caregivers and family members, including those with FASD, in New Zealand. It is a useful and much-used forum to discuss family issues and to hear about what's happening regarding FASD in Aotearoa. You'll find regular updates and frank discussion of FASD matters here.     

Carers Resource – our Handbook

We've developed a New Zealand-specific resource for caregivers providing information, advice on raising a child with FASD and connections to FASD services in Aotearoa New Zealand. This will be the most comprehensive guide in the country on FASD and a living document that will be constantly updated.

It will be downloadable for free, and if you sign up to become a member, you'll get a hardcopy for free. 

Professionals can buy the Handbook for $25 including shipping.

Click here for more information about the FASD-CAN Handbook.

Whānau Direct (Care in the Community) Grants

About the grant scheme 


Many of those caring for FASD individuals have extra financial support requirements such as a special needs worker, travel to educational events or other expenses (for example, relating to environmental challenges such as Auckland's recent floods).

Thanks to funding from the Ministry of Health, we ran a grant scheme over the first half of 2022 to offer payments of up to $500 per annum to FASD-CAN members to help purchase specific products, support or services which would improve their situation in some way. We helped many whānau with expenses they may not otherwise have been able to meet.

We now have a new round of funding with thanks to the Ministry of Social Development to double this grant for whānau in need – payments up to $1,000 per individual and $2,000 per whānau per annum have been cleared for gifting where applications are eligible. 

Click here to go through to further information including eligibility criteria and application form. 


Our Navigators

Early in 2021, we initiated a new support role we'd been planning for a long time – the FASD-CAN Navigator – to provide face-to-face mentoring and support to our whānau and caregivers. Now we have three Navigators!


Learn more


Hand holding compass

Hei Kaitūao | Become a Volunteer

The FASD-CAN team is keen to hear from anyone who is able to help us with our work! It really is possible to help us change lives, so if you have time, we'd love you to sign up.


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