Emergency phone numbers

When an emergency situation strikes, every second counts. Knowing the right number to call can be the difference between life and death. Here are 10 emergency phone numbers that everyone should have stored in their cell phone:

Emergency Services

In New Zealand, the number for all emergency services is 111. If you find yourself in a situation where you need to emergency services for violence or crime taking place, medical accidents and emergencies, or for fire, don’t hesitate to dial the number.


If you find yourself in a situation where you need to contact the police, don’t hesitate to dial the number.

If it is not urgent, dial 105 instead of 111. Use 105 to report things like:

  • You or someone you know has been hurt or threatened
  • Your house has been burgled
  • Your car or bike has been stolen
  • Someone broke into your car
  • Someone has damaged your property
  • You’ve lost your wallet or phone
  • Driving behaviour or an incident that you have seen
  • Someone has shoplifted or driven off without paying
  • You suspect a scam or drug dealing or other suspicious behaviour
  • or want to provide any other information onto Police

If something you’re worried about is happening now or has just happened, or if you or anyone’s safety is at risk, call 111 immediately.

If you can’t decide if it’s a real emergency and you’re still worried, call 111 and ask. They will help you work out what to do.


The New Zealand Fire Service state that if you see smoke or fire and believe there’s a risk to people or property, call 111 and ask for ‘Fire’ immediately. If you’re not sure whether it’s a real emergency or not, call 111 and ask.

When in doubt, call 111.

What you need to tell Fire and Emergency New Zealand
When you call 111, an operator will ask whether you need Fire, Ambulance or Police.

Ask immediately for ‘Fire’. Ambulance and Police may also attend but the first priority is to get a fire engine on the way.

Always call 111 if you need a fire engine. Don’t call your local fire station.

You’ll need to give our staff the following information to help us find the fire:

  • House number
  • Street name
  • Nearest intersection
  • Suburb and city
  • Rural Address Property Identification (RAPID) number if you have one

Once theyknow the location of the fire, we’ll ask about the nature of the emergency. We’ll probably ask if anyone is injured or trapped. This will help us make sure the first responders are ready to act when they arrive.


St John state that you should call 111 and ask for “ambulance” when there is a medical emergency

  • If it is an emergency – call 111 and ask for “ambulance”
  • If it is not an emergency – see your GP or an after-hours GP
  • If you’re not sure – phone Healthline on 0800 611 116 where Registered Nurses will advise you on the assistance you should seek – including whether you need an ambulance or to go to your GP

What is a medical emergency?

  • chest pain or tightness (may also be felt in arm, jaw, neck or upper abdomen (tummy))
  • difficulty breathing
  • choking
  • sudden weakness or difficulty talking (this may be a stroke)
  • fainting or unconsciousness (not being awake)
  • severe pain
  • severe bleeding or bleeding that won’t stop

Poison Control

If the person is unconscious or having difficulty breathing, ring 111.

If someone has been poisoned, or if you think they have been poisoned, you should call poison control. For information about poisons or in case of poisoning in New Zealand, call the National Poisons Centre on 0800 764 766.

When you call, you will speak to a Poisons Information Officer, who will ask you some questions before they can give you advice. Bring the product container to the phone, so you can provide any information asked by the Poisons Information Officer. These questions might include:

  • If an exposure has occurred, and if so, was the poison swallowed, splashed in the eye or on the skin?
  • When did the exposure happen?
  • The name and concentration of the substance involved (if known)
  • They may ask for other information from the container label
  • The amount of substance involved (e.g., a mouthful, or the number of tablets swallowed or even the approximate amount left in the bottle)
  • The age and weight of the patient
  • Any signs or symptoms that they show, or how they feel
  • Any first aid that has already been carried out

Power/Electricity Company

If your power goes out, or if you see a downed power line, you should call your electric company. According to Vector Power, you may need to submit your problem online using a smartphone. They also advise:

  • Use a torch instead of candles (a torch is safer). 
  • Switch off sensitive electrical equipment, such as your TV, computer and stereo as they can be affected by a power surge when power is restored. 
  • Keep the fridge closed so food will last longer while the power is off. A freezer will usually keep food frozen for up to 24 hours without power. 
  • Turn appliances off. Make sure elements on your stove, the kettle, and all heaters are turned off. This ensures they don’t come back on without you noticing when the power supply is restored. 
  • Don’t touch or use any electrical appliances while barefoot in damp or wet conditions. 
  • If you go out, be aware that streetlights and traffic lights may not be working. 
  • Don’t go near any damaged power lines and electrical equipment – stay at least ten metres away. 
  • ​If you are concerned regarding health and safety, please either contact the health professional responsible for your care immediately, or go to the local hospital, or if it is an emergency, call 111.

Find out today what you need to do, what number you could call, and save it to your phone.

Gas Company

If you suspect a gas leak inside your property, Genesis Energy advise that you should act on the following:

  1. Turn off your gas supply, if it’s safe to do so
    • To turn off your metered gas supply, turn the valve handle to horizontal (level with the ground). You may need a spanner to do this
    • To turn off your gas supply, turn the valve clockwise until it closes completely.
  2. Remember to keep flames and cigarettes out of the room and away from the area
  3. Ventilate the area by opening doors and windows
  4. Don’t touch any electrical appliances, including mobile phones, and don’t turn any switches on or off as this may cause a spark
  5. Evacuate the premises and use a phone away from the area to call Genesis on 0800 436 020


If you or someone you know is sick or injured, and you need to see a doctor, you should call your doctor. The right way to do this will depend on your region, so it pays to be prepared in advance.

Waikato DHB state that, when you’re unwell or injured we want to help you and your whānau get the right care.

  1. Do I need immediate/urgent help?
    • YES – Dial 111 for an ambulance, or go to your nearest hospital emergency department: Waikato Hospital,Thames Hospital, Tokoroa Hospital, Te Kuiti Hospital and Taumarunui Hospital.
    • NO – Call Healthline 0800 611 116. Free 24 hour health advice. They will tell you the best place to go.
  1. Can this wait 24 hours?
    • YES – Contact your general practitioner (GP). However if your condition deteriorates and you feel seriously unwell, go to an Urgent Care Centre or ring an ambulance.
    • NO – Contact an Urgent Care Centre near you. Or your own GP/medical centre may have an after hours arrangement you can use.


If you or a family member has toothache or an injury to your teeth or gums, get help as soon as possible.

Minor problems

  • If the problem isn’t too bad, phone your dentist, tell them you have toothache (or an injury) and make an appointment.

More serious problems

  • If the toothache is bad or the injury appears serious, get to an after-hours dentist. (If it’s normally safe for you to take painkillers such as paracetamol, you can do this before you see the dentist.)

Finding an after-hours dentist

  • Dentists in your region may provide an after-hours service. Your dentist’s answer phone will tell you where to go.
  • Your doctor may be able to provide relief from pain or infection – but you’ll still need to see a dentist later.
  • Your local hospital may provide emergency dental treatment (eg, to relieve pain) but this should be your last option. You may still have to follow up with a dentist later.
  • If you have a serious injury affecting your mouth, teeth or gums, go to the emergency department at your hospital.


If your pet is sick or injured, you should call your vet. Emergency vets see animal patients based on the severity of their illness or injury. You may need to be prepared to wait.

Search your local region now so that you know who to call when you need to.

Roadside assistance

If your car breaks down, or if you have a flat tire, you should call roadside assistance. In New Zealand there are two main roadside services, and both recommend becoming a member.

AA are one of the most recognised and respected organisations in New Zealand. Their services include roadside breakdown assistance, exclusive AA Smartfuel offers, insurance, finance, travel, a range of motoring services and advice and much more.

NZ Roadside Assist (NZRA), has been helping to keep Kiwis safe and moving on the roads since 2008. Servicing more than 450,000 customers, we’re trusted by some of the biggest names in insurance and vehicle rental services. Our quick, reliable knowledge and service has been recognised with an excellence award in the Service Provider of the Year category at the 2021 Insurance Business New Zealand Awards.


If your power goes out after hours, you may be able to get it back on without having to call an electrician. There are a few things you can check and do yourself before making the call. If your area is prone to power outages, it’s a good idea to keep a list of emergency electricians on hand.

However, if you are a landlord with properties in other cities, you should also have those numbers available. If you live in Hamilton but have property in Christchurch, or elderly parents who lives in Christchurch, research Christchurch Electricians immediately so that you are prepared.

First, check to see if there is a power outage in your area.

If there is, chances are your power is out because of it. You can check this by going to your local power company’s website or by calling their customer service number. If there is an outage, they will usually have information on their website about when power is expected to be restored.

If there is not an outage in your area, the next thing to check is your circuit breaker.

The circuit breaker is located in your breaker box, which is usually in your basement or garage. If the power is off to your entire house, the circuit breaker may have been tripped. To reset it, simply turn it to the “off” position and then back to the “on” position.

If your power is still not working, the next thing you should do is check all of your light switches.

sometimes a power outage can cause one or more of your light switches to become stuck in the “off” position. If this is the case, simply flip the switch back to the “on” position.

If you have checked all of these things and your power is still not working, it is time to call an electrician.

Emergency electricians are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They will be able to come to your house and diagnose the problem. Once they know what the problem is, they will be able to give you an estimate of how long it will take to fix it, and how much it will cost.


When you have a plumbing issue, you need a plumber. So make sure you already know the number of your local emergency plumber.

As with electricians, if you live in Hamilton but have property in Wellington, research Wellington Plumbers immediately so that you are already know who to call in an emergency.

First, try to determine the severity of the issue.

If it is a true emergency, then you will need to call a 24-hour plumber. If it is a less serious issue, you may be able to wait until the next morning to call a plumber during normal business hours.

If you do need to call a 24-hour plumber, be sure to have all of your information ready.

This includes your contact information, the address of the property where the issue is occurring, and a brief description of the problem. The more information you have, the easier it will be for the plumber to diagnose the problem and provide a solution.

When speaking with the dispatcher, be clear about the nature of the emergency.

This will help the dispatcher determine how quickly a plumber can be dispatched to your location.

Once the plumber arrives, be sure to point out the problem and show them where the issue is occurring. Plumbers are trained to quickly diagnose plumbing issues, but they may need your help in locating the problem.

Be prepared to answer questions about the issue. The plumber will likely ask you how long the problem has been occurring, what you have done to try to fix it, and if you have noticed any other issues with your plumbing.

When the repair is complete, be sure to ask the plumber for an invoice. This will ensure that you are charged the correct amount for the work that was completed.

If you have any questions about the repair or the invoice, be sure to ask the plumber before you sign anything. You should also ask for a copy of the invoice for your records.

It is important to have a plumbing issue fixed as soon as possible to avoid further damage to your property. By following these tips, you can be sure to get the help you need when you need it most.


If you’re locked out of your home or business and don’t have a spare key, you’ll need to call a locksmith. Locksmiths are trained professionals who can pick a lock or make a new key for you.

Many locksmiths have 24-hour emergency service and can come to you, wherever you are. Only call professional lockmiths, preferably one you have already started a relationship with. This way you will not get scammed.

When calling a locksmith, be sure to ask for an estimate of the total cost of the service.

Ask if there is a charge for coming to you, and if there is a charge for the actual work. Some locksmiths may charge a higher price for after-hours service.

Be prepared to show the locksmith your driver’s license or other form of identification.

The locksmith will need to know your name, address, and phone number. They may also ask for the make and model of your car, as well as the year, so they can find the key code for your car.

If you’re locked out of your home, the locksmith will first try to pick the lock. If that doesn’t work, they’ll use a drill to make a new key. If you’re locked out of your car, they’ll try to hot-wire it. If that doesn’t work, they’ll tow it to a nearby locksmith.

Most locksmiths will give you a warranty on their work.

Be sure to ask about this when you call. It’s a good idea to have a locksmith come to your home or business to take a look at your locks before you call them. That way, if there’s a problem, you can call them back and they can fix it for you.