The NZDC formed in November 2011 as a grassroots initiative, a coming together of a wide range of people who shared the same overarching goal of improving the quality of life for people with dementia and their carers/family/whanau. The initiative was grounded in research that showed perspectives on dementia needed to change, and was started by a group of passionate people scattered across the country who saw the need for focused activity to improve outcomes. Enthusiasm for the NZDC soon spread with many people quickly recognizing its potential, and the membership numbers grew quickly.
The NZDC acts as a knowledge broker, channelling members' knowledge and expertise into the debate about the development of both policy and practice, and facilitates opportunities for the sector and government to work in partnership on dementia policy and service development.
It now has over 1000 members, the majority of whom are individuals who work in the sector, provider organisations or funders/government departments. They are drawn from a wide range of occupations and backgrounds, including medical, nursing, allied health, carers, managers, analysts and academics, who are employed in small private providers, large corporations, not-for-profit, religious and welfare organisations, professional organisations, Ministries, DHBs and NGOs from all around New Zealand.