33 Sandyford Street
P O Box 22-176
New Zealand
Phone +64 3 366 9403
Fax +64 3 366 9405

The heightened risks faced by people who inject drugs can no longer be ignored
Free new for old [1-4-1] Needle/ Syringe Distribution Introduced
The Needle Exchange Programme (NEP) will shortly invite the outlets providing this service to participate in a free 'one for one' exchange of 3ml syringes with an associated needle.
What is the Needle Exchange Programme?
The Needle Exchange Programme (NEP) consists of approximately 200 outlets around New Zealand that sell new needles and syringes to injecting drug users.

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Welcome to the needle exchange

The New Zealand Needle Exchange Programme is a health education and health promotion service for people who inject drugs. 

These pages are designed for the use of people over the age of 16.

If you are under 16, or are offended by direct discussion of drug related issues, please exit this website. 

How the programme works
Needle Exchange in New Zealand is uniquely offered on the basis of user-pays. This means that, unlike other countries where the service is free, drug-users must buy new injection equipment. In October 2004, the NZ NEP introduced a voluntary free 1-4-1 [new for old] exchange distribution scheme.

Prices for injection equipment are set by the outlet concerned. Outlets may charge whatever they like for this service. Dedicated needle exchanges generally charge less, and some charge nothing, for equipment since this is their main activity whereas pharmacies may charge more.

This is no different to prices for groceries being higher in corner shops or a dairy than they are in supermarkets. Essentially users pay a higher price for the convenience of shopping locally. Prices for a single needle and syringe are generally less than NZ$1.

Comments and complaints about the price of injection equipment should be addressed to The Minister of Health, Parliament Buildings, Wellington (No stamp required).

Discounts off the price of new fits are offered by most outlets to encourage consumers to return used injection equipment. This discount is also set by the outlet concerned. Generally outlets offer a discount of around 20c if used equipment is returned.