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

  • Ensure all frontline health care providers can recognise and manage sepsis
  • Fund research and quality improvement initiatives that support our mission
  • Provide support for patients with sepsis and their whānau
  • Increase awareness and understanding of sepsis and the common infections that cause it

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. 

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.