Support groups for people with auto-immune diseases have merged to form a national organisation.
An estimated 10,000 New Zealanders suffer from Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis.
Brian Poole, head of the Wellington Crohn's and Colitis Support Group, will also lead the organisation.
He says getting information to those with the diseases, and support for young people, will be a key focus.
Specialists have welcomed the merging of groups from Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.