Most New Zealanders have never heard of sepsis.

Unlike patients with major heart, lung, brain (stroke) or cancer diagnoses, “a little bit of sepsis is managed by everyone”.

This means that no one person, department or health discipline is responsible for sepsis or its outcome. This has led to a lack of research, awareness and advocacy which leaves sepsis patients and survivors with no natural advocate in the healthcare system.

It's hard to describe and it can be difficult to detect in its early stages, but if you can recognise the signs and symptoms early it could save a life.

The New Zealand Sepsis Trust aims to take up this role by promoting clinical tools, providing education and fundraising to build awareness and sepsis research capability.

People have often heard of blood poisoning (toto pirau) and septicaemia but sepsis is the accepted term for an overwhelming immune response to infection that damages the body’s tissues and vital organs. The New Zealand Sepsis Trust was formed when we found that no national organisation existed to bring sepsis into the public eye or to facilitate sepsis care and education.

Our Mission

Increasing awareness, saving lives

Our Vision

No preventable deaths from sepsis in New Zealand

Our Values

Our Team

Harvey Duncan

Harvey Duncan

Chief Executive Officer

Harvey is a retired banker who has a real interest in the need for the awareness of Sepsis in New Zealand and the need for support for Sepsis survivors and their families.

Prof. Steve Chambers2

Prof. Steve Chambers


Steve is an infectious disease physician and professor in the Department of Pathology at Otago University. Steve has extensive experience in the management of infection-related charities and public sector healthcare organisations and a research background in novel infectious disease diagnostics.

Dr Paul Huggan

Dr Paul Huggan


Paul is an acute medicine and infectious disease specialist at Waikato Hospital. He has a long-standing interest in the epidemiology and clinical outcomes of sepsis.

Mania Campbell-Seymour

Dr Mania Campbell-Seymour

Trustee | Te Aitanga a Mahaki, Tūhoe & Te Whakatōhea

Mania is training to be a medical specialist and is a member of Te Ohu Rata O Aotearoa, the Māori Medical Practitioners Association.

Paige Nicholson

Paige Nicholson


Paige is a patient at risk clinical resource nurse at Waikato Hospital and sepsis survivor. Her interest is supporting the proactive detection and escalation of sepsis treatment of in-hospital along with navigating the maize of sepsis for survivors and their families.


Dr Dan Dobbins


Dan is an emergency medicine physician with an interest in the acute management of patients with infection and sepsis. Dan is at the heart of efforts to improve sepsis recognition and resuscitation in his emergency department.


Dr Robert Martynoga


Robert is an anaesthetist and intensive care physician with an interest in maternal and perinatal sepsis. 


Jaclyn Aramoana-Arlidge

Board Member

Jaclyn is a general surgical registrar at Whangarei Hospital, on the general surgery training program. She is interested in Māori health equity and is a member of Te Ohu Rata o Aotearoa, the Māori medical practitioners Association.

Photo of Felicity

Felicity Leys

Board Member

Felicity has been involved in the advertising and design industry for many years, both in New Zealand and overseas. She has worked for a range of clients from not-for-profits to large multinationals and recently sold her shares in the Auckland advertising and design company which she co-owned for the last 15 years.

She is operating as an independent consultant/writer focussing on specific projects and areas of interest.

Together we can make a difference.

There’s a lack of sepsis research, awareness and advocacy in New Zealand often leaving sepsis patients and survivors with no natural advocate in the healthcare system.