Contact Us

New Zealand Organisation for Rare Disorders

PO Box 38-538,

Wellington Mail Centre

Phone: +64 4 471 2226


Charities Commission Registration CC22512

Our People

NZORD is headed by Executive Director John Forman, and steered by a Board of Trustees.

Photograph of John FormanJohn Forman, NZORD Executive Director

John is a parent of adult twins who both have a rare genetic disorder, Alpha-Mannosidosis. He has a long history as a volunteer and as a paid worker in disability services and related advocacy agencies. He is enthusiastic about the use of modern technology to reduce isolation and improve the health of those affected by rare diseases. John is on the Board of several local and international rare disease and advocacy organisations.

NZORD Board of Trustees

Photograph of Lucy Elwood.Lucy Elwood, Chair
Lucy is a public and commercial lawyer at Elwood Law, a Wellington based law firm. She is wife to one, mother to three, and step-mother to one. Lucy became a trustee of NZORD in 2013. Prior to that Lucy assisted NZORD with submissions to various Ministries, Pharmac, the Ombudsman and other bodies. Lucy has a science degree (majoring in biology) as well as a law degree. She has a deep interest in scientific research. Lucy is currently Chair of the Board of Trustees of Ngaio School and she is involved in numerous groups. In her free time, Lucy likes to explore the hills around Wellington with her springer spaniel.

Photograph of Bronwyn GrayBronwyn Gray
Bronwyn is a Justice of the Peace for New Zealand. Previously she was a Trustee for the Auckland Women's Loan Fund. She was a Secondary School English teacher for 25 years in Auckland and Wellington. Her daughter Lisa was diagnosed in 1997 with a rare lung disease Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM). Bronwyn works in New Zealand and with global LAM research groups. As the Director and Founder of the New Zealand LAM Charitable Trust since 1998, she raises funds for scientific investigation into the causes of LAM and works closely with Australian and US LAM research teams. She supports NZ patients with LAM and works as an educator to raise awareness of LAM in the GP community throughout New Zealand. Bronwyn was a founding trustee of NZORD when it was formally incorporated in 2001.

Photograph of Mike EcclesMike Eccles
Dr Mike Eccles is Associate Professor in Pathology at the University of Otago, with a background in Biochemistry and Genetics. His laboratory employs seven researchers and is focused on the genetics of cancer and kidney diseases in childhood. Outside work, his time is mostly occupied with family; his wife works as a General Practitioner, and they have three school-age children. Mike is a founding trustee of NZORD.

Photograph of Martin HanleyMartin Hanley
Martin has an adult son with a rare genetic skin condition, Epidermolysis Bullosa, EB, that causes the skin to blister and tear with the slightest friction. As well as hours every day of bandaging and caring for his son when he was younger, Martin has spent years negotiating the health and education systems on behalf of his son and the EB support group DEBRA NZ. Martin is a partner in Red Design Architects with his wife Anna Kemble Welch, and a part time tutor in design at the School of Architecture. He is also involved in organising the Newtown Festival each year, and assisting the Newtown Resident's Association on urban design and resource management issues and with community liaison while the new Wellington Regional Hospital was being designed and built. Martin is a founding trustee of NZORD.

Photograph of Stephen RobertsonStephen Robertson
Stephen has been the Curekids Professor of Paediatric Genetics at Otago University, since 2003. He studied Medicine and specialised in Paediatrics and then subspecialised in Clinical Genetics. From 1999 – 2002 he was Nuffield Medical Fellow at the Institute of Molecular Medicine at Oxford University, studying the genetic basis of a set of genetic disorders characterised by severe life-limiting malformations in children. His work in this area has led to the implication of several genes, in the generation of malformations in children, with a particular focus on conditions that affect the skeleton and brain. He was awarded the Health Research Council’s Liley Medal for outstanding contributions to medical research in 2010. Stephen continues to be an active clinician, staffing clinics throughout the South Island, in addition to teaching genetics to science and medical students in Dunedin. He joined the board of NZORD in 2013.

We are also very grateful to our previous trustees.