Kāore he utu mō te hunga he iti iho i te 14 tau te pakeke Zero fees for tamariki under 14

All tamariki aged 13 and under who are eligible for publicly funded health services, are eligible for free doctor visits and more.

Eligibility for zero fees

Your tamariki are eligible for some types of free healthcare if they are:

  • aged 13 and under
  • eligible for publicly funded health services
  • enrolled with a family doctor or general practice.

If your tamaiti (child) is not enrolled at a general practice additional fees will apply. It it free to enrol with a family doctor. Find out how to enrol with a general practice.

General practices

People aged 17 years old or younger

Eligibility criteria

You are eligible if you are 17 years old or younger, and are in the care and control of a:

  • parent
  • legal guardian
  • person in the process of legally adopting you or becoming your legal guardian.

They must also be either:

  • a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident (B2 and B3)
  • an Australian citizen or Australian permanent resident living or planning to live in Aotearoa for 2 years or more (B6, B7)
  • an interim visa holder (B4)
  • an work visa holder (B5)
  • refugee, protected person or victim of people trafficking (B10, B11, B12)
  • a New Zealand Aid Programme student (B13)
  • in the care and control of the Chief Executive of Oranga Tamariki - Ministry for Children.

Criteria: B16, Health and Disability Services Eligibility Direction 2011.


Proof of eligibility

You will need to show your healthcare provider both of the following:

  • proof that you are in the care and control of a parent, guardian, or adopting parent
  • proof that your parent, guardian or adopting parent is an eligible person.

You will also need to show them 1 of the following:

  • your passport and proof of relationship to your parent, guardian or adopting parent
  • your birth certificate (to prove your age and relationship to your parent) and supporting identity documentation
  • your birth certificate (to prove your age) and proof of guardianship or that adoption is in process, and supporting identity documentation.

Examples of supporting identity documentation include:

  • a drivers license
  • a school or tertiary ID
  • an employment contract
  • a rental agreement
  • letters addressed to you at your current address.

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

What the zero fees scheme covers

If your tamariki are eligible for zero fees, you will not have to pay for:

  • standard daytime visits with their doctor or nurse
  • after-hours visits to other 'zero fees' clinics
  • injury-related visits covered by ACC.

You may be charged a fee if you do not go to your regular general practice during the day. Make an appointment with your regular practice if you can. Check with the practice you are visiting to find out if there is a fee.

You will still be charged the usual fees for:

  • long visits (extended consultations)
  • medical procedures
  • extra services, such as certificates or equipment.

General practices

Almost all general practices offer the zero fees scheme.

They decide whether they provide zero fee visits. If they opt in they get an additional subsidy from the government.

Check with your general practice to see if they are participating. You can choose to enrol with another practice if they do not.

After-hours care

Health New Zealand | Te Whatu Ora will make sure that tamariki under 14 years old have access to zero fee after hours care.

After hours services are designed for urgent visits when the child’s regular practice is closed and when the child needs to be seen before the practice opens. Ask your general practice or pharmacist where to find these services.

ACC consultations

Most general practices will provide zero fee injury-related visits for tamariki aged 13 and under.

Prescription charges

From 1 July 2023, people will no longer have to pay the standard $5 prescription charge. Prescriptions were already free for tamariki aged 13 and under. This includes prescriptions written by:

  • hospital specialists
  • dentists
  • nurses
  • other health professionals
  • after-hours pharmacies.

Pharmacies may charge for extra services such as medicines delivery or packaging. Fees for medicines that are not fully funded by PHARMAC remain the same.

Check with your pharmacist about any additional fees.

Free prescriptions from after hours pharmacies

After hours pharmacies can fill your under-14 year old's prescription for free if the medication is fully funded both within normal working hours and after hours.

Health New Zealand will arrange for this service to be available to at least 95% of enrolled tamariki aged 13 and under within reasonable travel time (up to 1 hour).

This arrangement may be with one pharmacy or several in an area depending on the size of the area.

Where to go for advice

Talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist for more information.

You can also get free advice from:

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