Palliative Care


About Palliative Care

The Ministry of Health describes palliative care as:

Palliative and end of life care provides people with humane and dignified support and services as they face a life limiting condition. This care is essential.

  • Palliative care in New Zealand aims to:
    optimise an individual’s quality of life until death by addressing the person’s physical, psychosocial, spiritual and cultural needs
    support the individual’s family, whanau and other caregivers where needed into bereavement.


The Australian & New Zealand Society of Palliative Medicine (ANSPM) represents palliative care doctors. Find out more here.

Palliative Care Nurses New Zealand (PCCNZ) represents nurses who provide palliative care in hospices, hospitals and the community. Find out more here.


New Zealand ranked 3rd best in world for palliative care

New Zealand is the third best country in the world for palliative care, according to a report by The Economist Intelligence Unit.

The United Kingdom and Australia are ranked first and second respectively, and Ireland is fourth. The United States is ninth.The report considered data in five categories to decide an overall Quality of Death Index:

  • Palliative and healthcare environment
  • Human resources
  • Affordability of care
  • Quality of care
  • Community engagement


Find A Hospice

There are now 29 hospices throughout New Zealand. The first was Mary Potter Hospice, opened in Wellington in 1979, followed soon after by Te Omanga Hospice in Lower Hutt and Saint Joseph’s Mercy Hospice in Auckland.

In 2014 New Zealand hospices provided palliative care services for 16,041 people facing a life-limiting illness, and their families. Hospices are funded by the Government and community fundraising, and are generously supported by more than 11,000 volunteers.

Click here to find your nearest hospice.