Emergency services

New Zealand has four main emergency services - Fire and Emergency, Police, Ambulance and Civil Defence.

Call 111 in emergencies

In New Zealand, the number to call if you need Fire, Police or an ambulance in an emergency is 111.

You can call this number from a mobile phone, even if it is out of credit.

The operator will ask you which service you need and connect you to the right one.

Hot tip

If you are not sure if it is an emergency but you are still worried, call 111 and ask the operator. They will help you work out what to do.

Is it an emergency?

These are some situations when making a 111 emergency call is the right thing to do:

  • chemical spill or fire
  • medical emergency
  • someone is badly injured or in danger
  • a serious risk to life or property
  • a crime is being committed and the offenders are still there or have just left
  • you have come across a major public disruption, like trees blocking a road
  • a dangerous situation is happening now or has just happened.

If you are not sure if it is an emergency but you are still worried, call 111 and ask the operator. They will help you work out what to do.

Check the Police website for more information about making 111 calls.

For more information about medical emergencies, visit our Healthcare services page.

Calling emergency 111 | NZ Police

Healthcare services

Getting help without calling 111

If it is not an emergency you do not need to call 111.

To get help, call the local police station, your family doctor or after hours clinic, or Healthline.

If it is a medical issue and you just need advice, call Healthline on 0800 611 116.

To report a minor traffic incident, you can call *555 from your mobile phone.

Police station contact details | NZ Police

Healthcare services

Fire and Emergency Service

Fire and Emergency New Zealand has 637 fire stations around the country and is called out to around 75,000 incidents each year. Firefighters get called out to put out fires and to deal with other emergencies. They also spend time educating the community about preventing unwanted fires.

For more information on keeping yourself and your house safe, visit the Fire and Emergency New Zealand website.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand

New Zealand Police

The New Zealand Police are responsible for enforcing the law, maintaining public safety, and assisting with emergency management. You can trust the Police in New Zealand – they are here to help you.

If you need help, but it is not an emergency, call your local police station.

New Zealand Police 

Ambulance services

Ambulances respond to medical emergencies and accidents. Ambulance staff treat patients at the scene and, if needed, transport them to hospital.

You can call an ambulance at any time ‑ they are available to help in emergencies 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

St John delivers ambulance services to all of New Zealand, except for the greater Wellington region which is serviced by Wellington Free Ambulance.

St John Ambulance services

Wellington Free Ambulance

Safety

In a disaster

If there is a disaster, listen to your radio or TV for advice from Civil Defence about what to do. 

Civil Defence

Civil Defence provides leadership in reducing risk, being ready for, responding to and recovering from local, regional and national emergencies. It manages central government’s response and recovery functions for national emergencies, and supports the management of local and regional emergencies.

Civil Defence helps people get through natural or man-made disasters, like storms or floods, landslides, earthquakes, tsunamis, fires or volcanic eruptions.

The Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management coordinates Civil Defence nationally. Local Civil Defence is led by your city or district council.

Civil Defence is not an emergency service that will turn up at your door. But you may contact their office to find out information on local hazards and community response arrangements.

For details about who to contact in your area, visit the Get Thru website.

Who to contact | Get Thru

Natural disasters

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Page last updated: 26/11/2018

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