New Zealand’s healthcare system is largely regarded as one of the best in the OECD countries. It is largely government-funded and many health services are free or subsidised. However, you have to pay for some services such as seeing a family doctor or dentist.
Click here for more on how the health system works in New Zealand.
District Health Boards
Public health services are managed and funded by District Health Boards (DHBs). There are two DHBs in the Wellington region. They run three public hospitals and a health centre.
Capital and Coast District Health Board operates:
Wellington Hospital, Riddiford Street, Newtown, Wellington
Kenepuru Hospital, Raiha Street, Porirua
Kapiti Health Centre, Warrimoo Street, Paraparaumu.
The Hutt Valley District Health Board manages Hutt Hospital on High Street in Lower Hutt.
Eligibility for Healthcare
To be eligible for free healthcare, you need to be a New Zealand citizen, a New Zealand resident, the holder of a two-year work permit, a refugee, or a child under 18 years who is being legally adopted by a New Zealand resident or citizen.
People who are not eligible must pay for the full cost of any medical treatment they receive in New Zealand. Medical staff will ask for legal verification so you must take your passport, visa material or refugee documents with you to a medical facility to prove your eligibility.
Hospitals in Wellington provide a free interpreting service for people who are not able to communicate in English. A request for an interpreter should be made in advance if possible.
Accidents Can Happen
In New Zealand you cannot sue anyone for compensatory damages if you are injured. Instead, the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) covers all injuries whether they are suffered at work, at home, on the road, or playing sport.
ACC claims may also be made for personal injury caused by a medical mistake or error, sexual assault or abuse, and some work-related conditions such as occupational overuse syndrome (OOS).
ACC helps fund or partially fund medical care for injuries and, when necessary, will pay a portion of a person's earnings for the period in which he or she is off work. If the injury is serious and long lasting, a lump sum payment may be made to offset the loss of wages. ACC does not cover illness.
Health Services in Wellington City
Wellington region offers a good choice of private hospital facilities and private medical specialists. Private hospitals provide non-urgent and elective treatments which complement the public health service's focus on urgent and essential treatments.
Private hospitals in Wellington region
One of the first things you should do on arrival in Wellington is find a general practitioner (GP), for you and your family. Most New Zealanders have a family doctor, who is their main source of health advice and assistance. GPs can examine, diagnose and write prescriptions for a wide range of medical needs.
If required, GPs will refer you to another healthcare provider or medical specialist. They can also refer you directly to hospital for treatment, if needed.
Choosing a Doctor
Most New Zealanders have a family doctor (also called a General practitioner or GP ) You can learn more about GPs here.
A full list of registered doctors can be found at New Zealand Medical Council.
There is also an online directory of doctors called Healthpages where you can search for a doctor who speaks a certain language.
If you have health insurance, some or all of your costs may be covered. To find out more about private health care and insurance, please click here.
Healthline is a free, 24 hour a day telephone advice service which now includes the Well Child telephone advice service.
Dental services in New Zealand are not subsidised by the government. Click here for more information on dental services.