At present there are 20 dedicated needle exchanges throughout New Zealand. All of which offer extended hours and supply a full range of injecting equipment. There is also a rural service for the West Coast of the South Island.
Peer Based Service
We are unique in as much as, all of the New Zealand Needle Exchanges are based on the concept of a peer service. This means that many of the staff and volunteers are either current or historic injecting drug users, which in turn allows you to access a service that has 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 injecting drug users about health issues . You should bear in mind that advice or information given is not designed to replace that of health or legal professionals but is offered as a more user friendly, realistic and practical nature.
Whilst none of the needle exchanges offer treatment for addiction problems they are able to give an overview of services available in various regions of the country. We can also help people find assistance that is most appropriate to them, from a range of community based services, such as detoxification and methadone through to more intensive residential based services.
All New Zealand Needle Exchanges carry a wide range of printed booklets and leaflets relating to various aspects of health and safety in respect of injecting drug use. They also have a multitude of reference literature, most of which are based on the self empowerment principles of the Ottawa Charter model of health promotion. Some Exchanges also publish free magazines written by drug users for drug users.