New Zealand proudly boasts a ‘clean green’ image and compared to other developed world countries we are seen as a great place that provides fresh unpolluted air, low cases of disease, easy access to fresh organic produce and clean drinking water.

Emergency telephone numbers are listed in the front pages of all local telephone directories and also displayed in public telephone booths throughout New Zealand. If you require the police, fire or ambulance services in an emergency you should dial 111.


Your General Practitioner (GP) is usually the first person you should contact if you require medical advice or diagnosis. (For all serious injuries and complaints you should go to a public hospital directly). GPs operate private businesses and so are able to set their own fees for consultations and other services. However, the Government provides a subsidy to reduce the cost of GP visits and prescriptions. The GP or the pharmacist claims subsidies from the Government so the effect for the patient is a lower fee.

You can select your own GP (Doctor) however it is usually more practical to select a practice/surgery that is local to you. If you choose to change your GP you should ensure that your medical notes or file is transferred to your new GP. To find a suitable GP look in the special medical section in the front of your local telephone book for a list of GP’s and contact details.


Pharmacists generally work in pharmacies (also known as Chemists) and can be found in suburban areas, shopping malls or near medical establishments.

Pharmacists are able to offer advice on the safety and use of medicines along with general information on some common health problems. They dispense medicines that have been prescribed by your GP as well as being able to sell ‘over the counter’ medicines that do not require a doctor’s prescription.

Public Hospitals

New Zealanders have an extensive health service available to them with approximately 445 hospitals in New Zealand. Approximately 85 of these hospitals are publicly funded and run by organizations called District Health Boards (DHBs).

The majority of essential health care services are provided free through the public health system (excluding dentistry and optometry) however most hospital doctors (specialists) can only been seen after referral from your local GP. If you are referred to a specialist or hospital you can choose to go publicly or privately.

Private Hospitals

There are a large number of private hospitals in New Zealand, if you choose to use a private hospital you will be required to pay for the services of the hospital, for example private specialists and consultants. The benefits of private hospital treatment are the lack of ‘waiting lists’ and more personalized care due to a smaller number of patients requiring attention and care compared to a public hospital. Many waiting lists for surgery through the public hospital system are long while private hospitals can provide quicker consultation and surgery options on a ‘user pays’ basis which reduces waiting lists for private care.

Family Planning Clinics

Family Planning Clinics are situated throughout New Zealand and provide sexual health, contraception and fertility health care. The cost of a consultation is similar your local GP’s fee.

Woman’s Health

New Zealand women have access to a large selection of women orientated services and programmes available throughout the country.

New Zealand pregnancy and childbirth related care is free (except for care provided by private obstetricians). This care covers the diagnosis of pregnancy, antenatal care, childbirth and postnatal care.

BreastScreen Aotearoa is the national breast cancer-screening programme which is aimed at promoting and educating on breast cancer and screening. This programme is designed to identify and contact women who are eligible for free breast cancer screening plus follow up support.

The National Cervical Screening Programme is aimed at reducing the number of women in New Zealand who develop cervical cancer and the number who die from it. Enrollment is free and available by contacting your local GP. Once enrolled you will receive results of your cervical smears taken within the programme along with a reminder when you are due for your next Cervical Smear.

Children’s Health

Government subsidies for GP visits for all children aged under six years is $35.00, which means that most visits for children under six years is free. Public health nurses also visit primary schools regularly to check children while most schools have a resident dental nurse. These services are free through the government education/health system.

The Ministry of Health (Government) fully supports immunization, which is why it is a free service. Immunization protects against measles, mumps, rubella, polio, whooping cough, diphtheria, tetanus, Haemophilus influenza (Hib) and Hepatitis B.

Plunket New Zealand is the major provider of child and family health services in New Zealand. The Plunket programmes aim to support families with young children and are the only non-profit organization to provide these facilities to New Zealand families.

Accident Compensation

Treatment by a registered health professional for accident related injuries is subsidized by the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) of New Zealand, however user part-charges for GP visits or other recommended treatments (such as physiotherapists) resulting from the accident should be expected. ACC cover is automatic, you do not have to join or register for this service.

About New Zealand: Recommendations, Facts, Tips & Travel Advice

  • New Zealand Food Cuisine

    Food & Cuisine

    The country’s Pacific Rim cuisine is based on its abundance of wonderful fresh produce. Tender lamb, beef, pork, venison, succulent green-lipped mussels, Bluff oysters, crayfish (lobster), paua (abalone), whitebait, scallops, salmon, deep-sea fish and, of course, kiwifruit.

  • New Zealand Shopping


    New Zealand offers a great variety of shopping experiences for visitors from overseas. With currency conversions invariably favouring the overseas visitor, a New Zealand shopping spree is a ‘must do’ activity. Shops are usually open from 9 am to 5.30 pm with late shopping available on Thursday.

  • New Zealand Internet Access

    Internet Access

    New Zealand has embraced the World Wide Web with a zeal and enthusiasm. Cyber cafes are widely distributed throughout the country to enable visitors to keep in touch with friends and relatives back home. Many hostels and backpackers have Internet rooms or booths, which are usually available.

  • New-Zealand-Electricity


    New Zealand’s swift-flowing rivers dissect steep, broken country making them ideal for generating cheap hydro power. The vast amount of energy contained in major river systems like the Waikato and the Clutha has been tapped through a series of hydro dams. The stored water is converted.

  • new-zealand-clothing-01


    New Zealand dress code is pretty much a reflection of the casual Kiwi lifestyle. Living the good life in ‘Godzone’ as Kiwis describe ‘God’s Own Country’, means dressing informally. This easy-going lifestyle is exemplified by the popular, sizzling backyard barbecue. To dress ‘a la mode’ in this situation.

  • New Zealand Weather

    Regional Weather

    Prevailing westerly winds have a major effect on our climate bringing warm, moisture-laden air in from the Tasman Sea. The South Island’s Southern Alps act as a barrier, creating annual rainfall of up to 7000 mm on the West Coast. By contrast the Canterbury Plains, lying in the rain shadow.

  • New Zealand Health Services

    Health Services

    New Zealand proudly boasts a ‘clean green’ image and compared to other developed world countries we are seen as a great place that provides fresh unpolluted air, low cases of disease, easy access to fresh organic produce and clean drinking water.

  • New Zealand Visa


    A Visitors Permit is an endorsement in your passport allowing you to visit New Zealand. It states the expiry date of your permit and allows you to visit as a tourist, see friends and relatives, play sport or perform in cultural events without pay, undertake a business trip and/or undertake medical treatment.

  • New Zealand Transportation


    New Zealand has an efficient transport system that is designed to move visitors around the main tourist routes with a minimum of delay. Advance bookings are essential in the summer high season (December-February) but at other times there is much less pressure on transport services.

  • New Zealand Accommodation


    The range of choice in larger centres is wide, from upmarket exclusive lodges and five-star hotels, through budget hotels, motels, motor inns, bed and breakfast guesthouses, homestays, farmstays, hostels, backpackers, holiday parks, holiday homes, motor camps and Department of Conservation.

  • Stewart Island New Zealand

    Stewart Island

    Stewart Island was known to the Maori as Rakiura (glowing skies) either on account of the striking sunsets or the periodic southern lights (Aurora Australis). The island is a dream location for ornithologists and bird watchers and offers the best kiwi watching in New Zealand.

  • South Island New Zealand

    South Island

    New Zealand’s South Island is a spectacular land, which has been uplifted by prodigious earth forces. The South Island landscape is so different from the rolling green hills of the north that crossing Cook Strait is akin to travelling to another country.

  • North Island New Zealand

    North Island

    New Zealand’s North Island is blessed with a mild maritime climate ranging from subtropical in the Far North to temperate in the rest of the island. The land was moulded aeons ago by the fierce fires of countless volcanoes - the last eruption was as recent as 1996, when giant Mt Ruapehu blew its top.

  • New Zealand

    New Zealand

    New Zealand holds a special place on the world travel circuit as a premier eco-tourism and outdoor adventure destination. It is also a great place for a relaxing holiday. This small, compact group of three elongated islands, stretching 1500km down the southern latitudes of the Pacific Ocean.