More things to know about living in New Zealand

By now you should have read about

There are more to know. I know it’s no easy task. It took me awhile to figure some of those stuff but hopefully with this blog posts, it will make it slightly easier for you. Or at least I hope that it will serve as a guide to get you started.

One obvious thing that I really like about New Zealand is the transparency. You basically can find any sort of information via their website and they will give you the exact information even when you call or see them. So starting with any New Zealand website is a good place to start if you are in doubt for information.

Few things that I have found helpful to know are

  • every city in New Zealand has its own local council website – this is a great source of information that applies to where you are located or plan to live. Information from community support, newcomer support, employment, main industries in that city, rubbish collections, parking, what’s on etc. So make sure you make use of this. Find your local council from below links:
  • Health Care

– yes, this is of HIGH IMPORTANCE to all of us. So it’s important to know how this work in New Zealand. General health care is provided free or subsidised for those who qualify through the public health system. For foreign nationals, eligibility is largely based on immigration status. How do you know if you qualify? Please read through Ministry of Health – ‘Eligibility for publicly funded health services’ for the exact details as it might change over time. For quick reference on topic covered for eligibility read ‘Eligibility questions and answers for consumers’. For those who has a work visa/permit that entitled you to work less than 2 years, I strongly advice you to have some sort of travel insurance or medical insurance. For some, your workplace might even provide you with one of these insurance already. If not, ask – you might just get it as part of your perks coming to work in New Zealand.

My suggestion: Even if you qualify for the free public health care, if money can be spared. I still think it’s a good idea to have private health insurance, to help pay with any private health care and/or to meet the remaining costs of any service that is only partly publicly funded.

The everybody website is a public information website that provide pretty useful and comprehensive details about consumer health information for New Zealanders. According to its website, it is written and reviewed by medical writers, consumer health organisations and health professionals. Here you can find some information around health insurance in New Zealand.

Quoting from the everybody website, “Not all treatments or costs are covered by the public health system, and you often have no control over the timing or quality of care you receive. Having health insurance, however, means that you can choose your doctor or specialist, and you can choose when and where you are treated. All with the assurance that you can recover all or most of the costs.

Free Health Advice – Call Healthline on 0800 611 116 for free health related advice or reference to local health services from the Ministry of Health trained registered nurses. You can call anytime, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Phone calls are free from within New Zealand.

Call Healthline if you’re:

  • feeling unwell – but not sure whether you need to see a doctor
  • needing some urgent advice about a family member or friend who’s sick
  • on holiday and want to know where the nearest doctor or pharmacy is.

Healthline nurses are specialists in assessing and advising over the phone.

If you need to talk to someone in your own language, Healthline can usually arrange this using an interpreting service.

For EMERGENCY – CALL 111  (Ambulance, Fire, Police)

  • Prescriptions

General Practitioners (GPs) do not dispense medicines directly at their clinic in NZ. Instead, they provide a written prescriptions that you take to a registered pharmacist to get your medication. Medications that are not fully subsidised may cost more. You can still get some non-prescription medicines over the counter at the pharmacy.

  • Oral Health

Unfortunately, oral health in New Zealand sucks! Yes, you heard me. The New Zealand dental/oral care sucks. Big time! If you are not a child/young people aged 0-17, you are out of luck. Dental care in NZ are horrendously expensive. Some free dental work is possibly available only for recipient that qualify to use the community services card (only applicable for New Zealand citizen or permanent resident).

Unless you had an accidental injuries that needed dental treatment. This will be funded by ACC (Accident Compensation Corporation) for all people in New Zealand.

  • Accident injury cover for everyone in New Zealand

Yup, it’s for everyone in New Zealand. Everyone in New Zealand are eligible for comprehensive injury cover:

  • no matter what you’re doing or where you are when you’re injured – driving, traveling, playing sport, at home, at work.
  • no matter how the injury happened, even if you did something yourself to contribute to it.
  • no matter what age you are or whether you’re working or a visitor

Read more if you are covered at ACC (Accident Compensation Corporation) website!

Next Post: Life after the first few weeks in New Zealand!

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