Emergency services

New Zealand has four main emergency services - the Fire service, the Police, ambulances and Civil Defence.

Call 111 in emergencies

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

You can call this number on a mobile phone even if the phone is out of credit.

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

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.

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

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

Calling emergency 111 | NZ Police

Getting help without calling 111

If you do not need to call 111, you can still get help by calling the local police station, your family doctor or after hours clinic, or Healthline on 0800 611 116. For more information about medical emergencies, visit our health services page.

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

Police station contact details | NZ Police

Healthcare services

Fire Service

Fire and Emergency New Zealand has 450 fire stations around the country and is called out to around 63,000 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. Police in New Zealand are trustworthy and 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, treat patients at the scene and, if needed, transport them to hospital. 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 services


In a disaster

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

Civil Defence

Disaster relief is the job of Civil Defence. Their job is to help people get through natural or man-made disasters, including storms or floods, landslides, earthquakes, tsunamis, fires or volcanic eruptions.

Nationally, Civil Defence is co-ordinated by the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management. But local Civil Defence is led by your city or district council. For details about who to contact in your area, visit the Get Thru website.

Who to contact | Get Thru

Natural disasters

Interested in coming to New Zealand?

Register with us and you’ll receive great info on jobs and upcoming events.


Is there anything wrong with this page?

Page last updated: 22/09/2017

Help us improve New Zealand Now

Your feedback is very important in helping us improve the New Zealand Now website. Please don’t include any personal or financial information.