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New Zealand – Health Care

New Zealand is a very healthy place in which to live and no special health precautions are necessary prior to arrival. Parents are however advised to ensure that children have been immunised – as most New Zealand children are – against diphtheria, tetanus, measles, mumps, rubella, poliomyelitis etc.

There are no snakes or dangerous wild animals in New Zealand. The only poisonous creature is the rare katipo spider.

New arrivals should be advised to take extra precaution against over-exposure to the strong New Zealand sun. Burn times in New Zealand are often as little as ten minutes (even on cloudy days) and with the increasing rate of skin cancer the use of sun block and a sunhat is strongly recommended, especially for children. For more information visit:

It also should be noted that, although very rare, a specific type of meningitis can be contracted in the country’s national thermal mineral pools from a micro-organism, which can enter through the nose, mouth or ears, so it is essential to keep your head out of the water in these particular pools.

The New Zealand health system itself is made up of public, private and voluntary sectors, which interact to provide and fund health care. NZ Citizens, Permanent Residents and Residents are eligible for publicly funded health services. If on a work visa that allows you to be in New Zealand for at least two years you are eligible for publicly funded healthcare. A long term stay in New Zealand would require you and your family to register with your local Medical Centre (GP) as soon as possible. Children under the age of 13 are entitled to free visits with their registered Doctors at most medical centres.

For work visas valid for less than two years, some restrictions do apply. Anyone requiring acute/emergency services will be able to receive the services they require but if they are not eligible, they can expect to be invoiced for said services. It is therefore strongly recommended that you obtain comprehensive travel insurance if you are not entitled to publicly funded health and disability services.

More detailed information on eligibility can be found on the following site:

The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) is a New Zealand Crown entity responsible for administering the country’s universal no-fault accidental injury scheme. The scheme provides financial compensation and support to citizens, residents, and temporary visitors who have suffered personal injuries through an accident whilst in New Zealand. While ACC covers visitors’ accident-related treatment, comprehensive travel insurance is again recommended to cover repatriation expenses and claims that may not be accepted by ACC. For additional information visit: