Health care in New Zealand is certainly at a very good level. But it may follow different rules or different conditions may apply than the one you have in your country.
State healthcare is provided by the government through the District Health Boards and it is free for all citizens of New Zealand or those who have been living and working there for more than two years.
If you are in New Zealand, but you do not fall into one of the groups mentioned above, you will still be covered by ACC = Accident Compensation Corporation. This insurance is contributed to by road taxes, wage taxes, and partly by government tax revenue. As the name suggests accidents are covered, so you don’t have to be worried about those but it travel insurance is still worth paying for because diseases are not covered by the ACC and it does not include repatriation.
All other expenses connected to health (other than accidents) you will have to pay for by yourself, which can be pretty expensive, so taking care of your travel insurance in advance will certainly be worth it.
The dark side of New Zealand healthcare is its‘ availability. A lot of times it will be a lot more than just a 5 minutes’ walk to a healthcare worker’s office, and sometimes you will have to fly to the other side of the island. And then there are also long waiting times. They are essentially determined by the government and they can be about up to 4-6 months long. It is almost impossible to shorten since it involves GPs and other confirmations.
Because a lot of travelers are traveling to New Zealand as couples, it would be a good idea to mention a pregnancy too. While it‘s certainly a happy event, it can impact your travel plans, but there is definitely no reason to hurry back home. Just be aware that health care for future mothers has a few differences here. First, you should visit one GP (General Practitioner). He will conduct blood tests, take you to ultrasound and recommend you a midwife. A midwife is an assistant that assists future mothers from the beginning of pregnancy to childbirth. It is fairly common in English-speaking countries for expectant mothers not to be constantly surrounded by white cloaks like in Europe. Midwives often have several children of their own and lots of experience.
Local Kiwi women always make sure to keep reminding you that pregnancy is not a disease. However, health insurance companies will conveniently look at it somewhat similarly, so be certain that you will have to pay for it just like the midwife. Heads up though, there are bigger tasks in front of you :-)