Health & Safety

Health & Safety


In the case of an emergency, Dial 111 for police, fire or ambulance services. For non-emergency calls, full instructions appear in the front of telephone directories.

Accident Compensation and Personal Insurance

Visitors are covered by the Government-run scheme for personal injury by accident. Claims may be lodged with the Accident Compensation and Rehabilitation Insurance Corporation (ACC) irrespective of fault. Some medical/hospital expenses and physical disability compensation are covered, but not loss of earnings outside New Zealand. Actions for damages may not be brought, and personal travel insurance should therefore cover accidents. Medical services are not free. Accident care is subsidised. ACC does not cover any medical treatment relating to illness.  Please note that travel insurance is not included in your tour cost.  It is strongly recommended that travel insurance be taken out to protect you against cancellation charges, loss or damage of personal effects, ill health and medical expenses and any other unforeseen insurable events.

Bites and Stings

There is no dangerous wildlife in New Zealand; no snakes and only two poisonous spiders, the katipo and the white-tailed spider. Bites are serious but rarely fatal.

Health Services

Public and private health facilities have a high standard of treatment and care. Larger hotels and motels often have a local doctor on call; otherwise, doctors and other medical services are listed in the front of the telephone directory.

Pharmaceuticals and Medicines

Available from chemists during normal shopping hours. Most cities have urgent dispensaries open outside these hours, listed in the front of the telephone book under Hospitals. Chemists also sell cosmetics and insect and sun protections. A certificate for Customs is advised if visitors plan to bring pharmaceuticals into the country. Many drugs sold over the counter in other countries are often not available in New Zealand without a prescription.


Due to New Zealand’s high level of ultraviolet radiation it is highly advisable to wear sunglasses and/or a hat if spending time in the sun, and to use sunblock even if the day is overcast, or if skiing.

Water Supply

Tap (faucet) water is safe to drink. City water is chlorinated; most is fluoridated. Water sourced from rivers and lakes should be boiled or treated before drinking.

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