Go well this winter

Find out how you and your whānau can stay healthy over winter and where to get the right healthcare if you need it.

Preparing for winter

Healthy behaviours

Prevent spreading or catching illnesses by:

  • Staying home and if possible, isolating if sick.
  • Wearing a mask in healthcare places and in enclosed spaces, like public transport.
  • Increasing airflow and ventilation.
  • Know when your child is well enough to go to school.
  • Washing and drying hands often and thoroughly.
  • Coughing or sneezing into your elbow.
  • Find up to date information about healthcare providers in your area. Find the services you need, where you need them.

    Find a healthcare provider — Healthpoint

  • Get advice on medicines and common issues like coughs and colds, bladder or eye infections, minor cuts and grazes, emergency birth control. They can suggest over-the-counter treatment, fill prescriptions, and some give immunisations.

    Find a pharmacy — Healthpoint

  • If you are enrolled with a GP — a doctor, nurse, or other team member can look after most of your healthcare. They review your symptoms, treat illness or injuries, prescribe medicines, and order tests or procedures.

    About GPs and how to enrol

  • Go to a clinic that offers urgent care if you cannot wait for your doctor, or do not have one, for bad cuts, sprains or breaks, minor head injury, or feeling really sick. You do not need an appointment but might have to wait.

    Find your nearest after hours clinic — Healthpoint

  • If you live or are staying in a rural area, you can contact Ka Ora Telecare afterhours to get medical advice or a consultation.

  • In any critical or life-threatening emergency call 111 for an ambulance.

    Critical or life-threatening emergencies include:

    • heavy bleeding
    • broken bones
    • chest pains
    • issues breathing or staying conscious
    • mental health emergencies
    • severe allergic reactions, or
    • injuries after an accident.

    About EDs and how to find one

  • The flu is a virus that spreads quickly between people. Flu causes symptoms like a fever, runny nose, cough or upset stomach. There can be different types or strains of flu that can make you sick each year. Vaccination against flu is our first line of defence this winter. 

  • COVID-19 is still in our communities and people are still getting sick. Being up to date with your COVID-19 immunisations and additional doses is one of the best things you can do to protect yourself.

  • Aotearoa New Zealand is at very high risk of a measles outbreak. 
    Measles is a serious and highly contagious disease. It can cause serious problems, including brain swelling, chest infections, or death. The measles (MMR) vaccine is very effective at preventing measles.

  • Whooping cough is a serious infection that causes a long coughing illness. It spreads easily between people through coughing and sneezing and can be very serious for pēpi, tamariki and older adults.

  • Winter is always a time when there is an increase in respiratory (breathing) illnesses in tamariki.

    You can call Healthline anytime on 0800 611 116 for free health advice and information.

    If you have a sick pēpi or tamariki with breathing difficulties, get medical care from your healthcare provider urgently or call 111.
  • Asthma is a common condition that affects the airways in the lungs. People with asthma have swollen (inflamed) airways that react to triggers like allergens and cold and flu symptoms.

    For severe asthma attacks or significant breathing issues, call 111.


  • Rheumatic fever is a serious but potentially preventable illness that often starts with a sore throat. Without treatment, sore throats can cause rheumatic fever, which can damage your heart — this is called rheumatic heart disease. 

    Rheumatic fever

Keep your whare warm and dry

Mental wellbeing over winter


Getting immunised protects you and others from serious illnesses like:

Make sure all the tamariki and older adults in your whānau are also up to date with immunisations. This protects them from some serious preventable diseases, reduces the risk of hospitalisation and sometimes fatal illness.

For advice

  • Call the Vaccination Healthline on 0800 28 29 26
  • Contact your healthcare provider or pharmacy.

Book a vaccine

Book vaccines for yourself, a whānau member or a group.

Book a vaccine