Rural practice and travel supplements (RPaTS) for Lead Maternity Carers

This page gives Lead Maternity Carers (LMCs) information about supplementary payments for rural practice and for travel including:

  • how Rural Practice and Travel Supplement (RPaTS) payments relate to modules
  • how rural areas have been classified for the purpose of the RPaTS
  • a tool for LMCs to look-up a region’s classification
  • what to do if you think a RPaTS payment is incorrect
  • what to do if a RPaTS payment is rejected.

How RPaTS payments relate to modules

In the Primary Maternity Services Notice 2021 (the Notice), there is a RPaTS attached to each of the antenatal trimester modules, the labour and birth modules, and the postnatal module. 

The payment for each RPaTS relates to the provision of care in the module with which the RPaTS claim is associated. For example, the LMC is eligible for the Postnatal RPaTS payment when they provide the Postnatal care services listed at DA53 and meet the payment rules at DA54. The RPaTS are, therefore, paid as instalments attached to each applicable module of care. Full, first and last partial modules are payable (as applicable).

The RPaTS are found in the Notice following the module they are associated with:

  • DA23 Service specification: First trimester rural practice and travel supplement
  • DA24 Payment rules: First trimester rural practice and travel supplement
  • DA28 Service specification: Second trimester rural practice and travel supplement
  • DA29 Payment rules: Second trimester rural practice and travel supplement
  • DA30 Payment rules: Partial second trimester rural practice and travel supplement
  • DA36 Service specification: Third trimester rural practice and travel supplement
  • DA37 Payment rules: Third trimester rural practice and travel supplement
  • DA38 Payment rules: Partial third trimester rural practice and travel supplement
  • DA49 Service specification: Labour and birth rural practice and travel supplement
  • DA50 Payment rules: Labour and birth rural practice and travel supplement
  • DA59 Service specification: Postnatal rural practice and travel supplement
  • DA60 Payment rules: Postnatal rural practice and travel supplement
  • DA61 Payment rules: Partial postnatal rural practice and travel supplement

As an example, the Notice describes the Labour and birth rural practice and travel supplement as:

DA49 Service specification: Labour and birth rural practice and travel supplement

  1. For the labour and birth care of a woman living in a very remote or remote location; or to a woman living in a major, large or medium urban area; or an area with low, medium or high urban accessibility, the LMC must provide the following in-person services:
    1. early labour assessments, as required; and
    2. attending the labour and birth as soon as practicable when requested by the woman at:
      1. the maternity facility of the woman’s choice; or
      2. at a home birth, where this is requested by the woman.

DA50 Payment rules: Labour and birth rural practice and travel supplement

  1. Eligibility for a Labour and birth rural practice and travel supplement is determined by the urban area (UA) classification of the woman’s NHI address at the time the services were provided.
  2. Payment for a Labour and birth rural practice and travel supplement relates to the provision of labour and birth care and may be claimed after the completion of the module in which the services are provided.
  3. Only one payment for Labour and birth rural practice and travel supplement will be made per woman per LMC per valid Labour and birth care module claim.

How rural areas have been categorised for the purpose of the RPaTS

This information aims to support understanding of clause DA50 (1) and the corresponding clauses in all the RPaTS.

The rural categorisation for the purposes of distributing the funding for these modules is based on the StatsNZ Urban Accessibility (UA) classification system. The level of payment for each RPaTS is determined by the UA classification of the woman’s NHI address at the time the services were provided.

View a map of Aotearoa New Zealand with defined urban/rural geographies on the StatsNZ website (navigate to the Urban accessibility tab).

The StatsNZ UA classification approach effectively addresses the degree to which residents of an area are able to access urban services for the majority of the country. However, for some areas, access to health services is not adequately represented by this system. Accordingly, amendments have been made to the classification of some regions.

Tool to ‘look up’ a region’s classification

Please access the RPaTS Regional Classification Look Up tool (Excel, 3.3 MB) to determine the classification of a region for the purposes of RPaTS module claims.

These are the UA classifications and corresponding payments for the RPaTS as at 29 November 2021:

Classification Urban area High UA Medium UA Low UA Remote Very remote
First trimester 

$3.46

$17.92

$30.23

$56.08

$83.85

$102.85

Second trimester 

$3.46

$17.92

$30.23

$56.08

$83.85

$102.85

Second trimester – first/last partial

$1.73

$8.96

$15.12

$28.04

$41.93

$51.43

Third trimester 

$6.92

$35.85

$60.46

$112.15

$167.69

$205.69

Third trimester - first partial

$2.31

$11.95

$20.15

$37.38

$55.90

$68.56

Third trimester - last partial

$4.61

$23.90

$40.31

$74.77

$117.79

$137.13

Labour and birth 

$3.46

$17.92

$30.23

$56.08

$83.85

$102.85

Postnatal

$27.69

$143.38

$241.85

$448.62

$670.77

$822.77

Postnatal – first/last partial

$13.85

$71.69

$120.93

$224.31

$335.39

$411.39

Total (all modules of care)

$44.99

$232.99

$393.00

$729.01

$1,090.01

$1,337.01

Incorrect RPaTS payment

If an LMC believes a RPaTS payment they have received is incorrect they should check the NHI address for the woman is correct. 

  • If the NHI address for the woman is incorrect, please phone our Contact Centre  to request change of NHI address – 0800 855 066.
  • You will need your payee number. 
  • Once the NHI address has been corrected, email the Maternity Team, Sector Operations at [email protected] to ask for the RPaTS claim to be reversed.  

Rejected RPaTS payment

On occasion, a RPaTS claim will be rejected with the following error message: UAC ID could not be determined.

This means that the address in the NHI system does not match the format required by the StatsNZ UAC system. Sometimes this is due to an error in the way the address has been entered in the NHI system (not in an LMCs claim database or records) or may be due to the address being part of a new subdivision, or building.

If a claim you have submitted is rejected with this error message please email [email protected] with the woman’s NHI and the address you have recorded for her. The maternity team will then investigate the NHI address and arrange payment of the RPaTS claims.

Another common reason for a RPaTS claim to be rejected is that the associated module has not been claimed or has also been rejected. The error message resulting from the claim rejection should clearly identify if this is the case.

Back to top