New Zealand residents

Guide to eligibility for publicly funded health and disability services.

Eligibility criteria:

A New Zealand resident who has:

  • a resident visa, or
  • a permanent resident visa,

is eligible for publicly funded health and disability services.

This includes people who were granted residency before 29 November 2010, who still hold valid residence permits (these are deemed "residence class visas" along with the two listed above).

Other people, including people who arrived in New Zealand before 2 April 1974 and have been in New Zealand continuously from that date, may also be permanent residents.  They need to contact Immigration New Zealand to get proof of their residence status.

Criteria: B3, Health and Disability Services Eligibility Direction 2011

Proof of eligibility:

You will need to show your health service provider:

  • your valid passport with a Resident Visa (or Residence Permit if issued before 29 November 2010) or Permanent Resident Visa OR
  • your Certificate of Identity issued under the Immigration Act 2009 OR
  • evidence you are currently getting a social security benefit (except Emergency Benefit) AND two forms of supporting identity documentation – one needs to have a photograph of you.

Examples of identity documents include:

  • a driver license
  • an 18+ card,
  • a community services card or SuperGold Card,
  • a school/tertiary ID card,
  • an employment contract, a rental agreement, or
  • letters addressed to you at your current address.

Requirements for these documents are waived for children. 

Note: Children aged 17 years or younger, in the care and control of a parent or legal guardian who is a New Zealand resident, are eligible for the same publicly funded health and disability services as that parent or guardian. The same applies if the adult is applying to be their adopted parent or legal guardian.

Except for maternity services, partners of people eligible for publicly funded health services must themselves meet the eligibility criteria.

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