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When to call 111

You should call 111 when you need immediate help with a life threatening or time critical emergency.


  • People are seriously injured or in danger
  • There is a serious risk to life or property
  • A crime is being or has just been committed and the offenders are nearby
  • There is a major public inconvenience (e.g. a road is blocked by fallen trees)

How to call 111

  • Dial 111 on any telephone
  • 111 calls on payphones and mobile phones are free
  • If you are using a work phone you may first have to dial a number (e.g. 1) for an outside line (1-111)
  • When the Telecom operator asks what service you need, ask for Police
  • When the Police communicator answers, clearly explain the emergency and answer their questions. The information you provide is vital to the type of police response.

Some emergencies will need more than one service (Fire, Ambulance and Police). Ask for the service which is needed most urgently. All emergency services have links to each other and the initial service called will notify the other services if they are required.

Calling *555

*555 should be used to report traffic incidents via mobile phone. It is not an emergency number. In the event of a serious, time critical traffic emergency, dial 111.

Impaired Hearing or Speech

Telephone Relay Service

People with impaired hearing or speech should dial 0800 16 16 16 (TTY phone only) or fax 0800 16 16 10.

111 Text Service

People who are Deaf or hearing impaired and can't use a phone to contact emergency services can now register for a 111 text service. To start the registration process, visit Deaf Aotearoa.

When not to call 111

Don't call 111 for non-urgent situations. It is not an emergency when the situation is not dangerous and an immediate response is not needed, such as when there is no risk to life or property or an offender has left and is unlikely to return. To report such incidents or crimes, you can personally visit or phone your nearest Police station. Click on the map to locate the nearest Police station.


There are only so many emergency services resources to go round. By not overburdening the 111 system, you can help the Police provide services as quickly as possible where they are most needed.

But, if you are ever genuinely in doubt about whether to call 111, police would prefer you did.

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