There are currently 19 full or part-time dedicated needle exchange services in New Zealand. All offer extended hours & full range needle exchange services. The part-time peer exchange (limited hours) services are located in Ashburton (South Island) & Wanganui (North Island) and a mobile operation operating on the West Coast of the South Island. Click on the links below to go to the page for the exchange at that location.
Local Needle Exchanges
To contact your local needle exchange click on the links below for contact details;
Whangarei - NINE
Auckland - ADIO [Central] & ADIO South [Manakau] & ADIO West [Henderson]
Hamilton - NEWS
Rotorua - RANE
Mt Maunganui - NEMMS
New Plymouth - NET Whanganui - Drugs Project Wanganui
Napier - DP. Napier
Palmerston North - DP. PNorth
Masterton - DHDP Wairarapa
Wellington - Drugs Project
Nelson - NICHE
Christchurch - The Rodger Wright Centre [Central] & RWC [New Brighton] West Coast SI - Mobile [operated from RWC ChCh] Ashburton - NEAR
Timaru - NEXT
Dunedin - DIVO
Invercargill - SHRP
This is located at 136 St Asaph Street, Christchurch
Peer Based Service
Unlike many other countries, all of New Zealand's needle exchanges are based on the concept of peer based service. This means that many of the workers and volunteers are either current or historic injecting drug users. This allows drug users to access services which have a high degree of empathy and understanding from people who have often shared similar experiences.
Free Help and Advice
In addition to exchanging injection equipment Needle Exchanges offer free help and advice to drug users about health issues relating to their drug use. Being a peer based service means that this can be more useful than some health professionals and treatment agencies. Although you should bare in mind that advice or information given is not designed to replace that of health or legal professionals but is of a more practical nature.
For this reason needle exchanges maintain lists of sympathetic health and legal professionals so that if you need specialist help we can refer you someone who will be sympathetic and understanding. Some exchanges operate their own medical and legal clinics specifically for people who inject drugs. using the links on or below the map in the right hand column you can check which services are available in you region.
Whilst none of the needle exchanges offer treatment for addiction problems we are able to give an impartial view of services available in the various regions of the country and to help people find assistance that is most appropriate for them. From a range of community based services such as detoxification and methadone through to more intensive residential based services. To learn more about addiction
Resources, Empowerment and Advocacy
All needle exchanges carry a wide range of printed booklets and leaflets about various aspects of health and safety relating to injecting drug use as well as having various sorts of reference literature. Most are based on the self empowerment principles of the Ottawa Charter model of health promotion. Many exchanges also publish free magazines made by drug users for drug users. Additionally some exchanges have advocacy and lobbying groups in operation, these mainly specialise in helping people receiving methadone maintenance treatment.