What is Hospice New Zealand?

Hospice New Zealand is the national body which supports and helps its member hospices to care for people who are terminally ill. It is responsible for ensuring that these patients and their families/whanau have access to quality hospice palliative care.
Hospice New Zealand was established in 1986 as a charitable incorporated society and all hospices are members of Hospice New Zealand.

Each year many terminally ill New Zealanders and their families use hospice. Hospice palliative care is specialist care for people who are dying. This care extends to the patient’s family/whanau.

Palliative care can be provided in hospice inpatient units, hospital hospice wards or in a person’s home or place of residence in the community. Hospice is a concept, a philosophy of care where the focus is on total-patient care.

The aim is to enable the terminally ill person to maximise their quality of life by relieving their suffering through symptom control or providing emotional support during their illness or terminal care. Emotional support may be administered through family support or their bereavement services.

What does it do?

Hospice New Zealand’s focus is national – it works to improve national policies and resourcing that affect care. It is actively involved in education and workforce development; establishing standards of care, providing information and advice to hospices and the public, and in supporting and helping hospice palliative care providers through co-operative activities. This work positively impacts on service provision.

Because hospices have been established by communities in direct response to need, a range of services may be provided. Some communities have a comprehensive service including inpatient beds, at-home nursing, bereavement counselling; others have elements of service, for example, equipment loan.

The services may include inpatient and community care, bereavement care, counselling and spiritual care, day-stay care, respite care, equipment hire and some Hospices provide education and research.

The hospice service involves a specialised multidisciplinary team of dedicated health and allied health professionals such as doctors, nurses, counsellors, spiritual counsellors, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, social workers and volunteer coordinators.

How is it funded?

Hospice palliative care is free of charge to patients and their families.

Approximately 60 percent of hospices’ funding comes from the Government through the Ministry of Health. Hospices receive funding through their local District Health Board when contracted to provide palliative care services in that particular area. The rest of the money is raised by the community through a variety of fundraising activities.

How can I get their help?

GPs usually refer patients to hospices, but referrals can also be made by specialists, hospital doctors and health professionals, district nurses and sometimes self-referral.

There are 37 organisations providing hospice care in New Zealand.

For general inquiries email admin@hospice.org.nz or visit their website for local contact details. If you would like to support Hospice, please visit their website.

How much does it cost?

Hospice care is provided free of charge but communities are encouraged to help with fund raising in their local area.

Link to Hospice New Zealand


This is a comprehensive website encompassing, research and education, publications and events that Hospice New Zealand supports and/or organises. It includes a section on personal stories and also a section for health professionals.


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This information was compiled by the Kiwi Families team.

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