Prime Minister Rt hon. Christopher Luxon and Minister of Health Dr Shane Reti have rolled up their sleeves to get this year’s flu campaign underway receiving their flu vaccinations in Auckland.

From today (April 2), flu vaccinations are available free of charge for people aged 65 and over, pregnant people and those most likely to get very sick with the flu. Eligible groups can get their flu vaccination from their local pharmacy, doctor, nurse or healthcare provider. 

The flu vaccine is free for people at higher risk of getting very sick from the flu including:

  • people aged 65 years and over
  • people who have a long-term medical condition like diabetes, asthma, or a heart condition (ages 6 months+)
  • pregnant people
  • children aged 4 years and under who have been hospitalised for respiratory illness or have a history of significant respiratory illness
  • people with mental health conditions, including schizophrenia, major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, or schizoaffective disorder
  • people who are currently accessing secondary or tertiary mental health and addiction services. 

Influenza and other respiratory illnesses have a massive impact on the health system over winter and we can do more to prevent this by taking action now, by getting vaccinated, preparing our homes and having a plan to help stay well through the colder months

There is an ongoing risk of a measles outbreak in New Zealand, so this is also a good time for families to be checking if their children’s immunisations are up to date, particularly MMR.

Immunisation records can be accessed on My Health Record ( or by speaking to your healthcare provider.  

There are many ways communities can prepare for winter, including making sure we have care plans for any vulnerable family members and remembering to stay home if you are unwell to avoid spreading illnesses.

The Healthy Homes initiative provides free support for eligible groups to make their homes warm, dry and healthy. This includes help with curtains, beds and bedding, accessing insulation, minor repairs, ventilation, heating sources and a range of other support.  

Those who are eligible include pregnant people, low-income families with children aged between 0 and 5 who have been hospitalised with a specified housing-related condition, and families with children between 0 and 5 who have at least two of the social investment risk factors. 

group photo of fono team with Christopher Luxon and Shane Reti group photo of fono team with Christopher Luxon and Shane Reti group photo of fono team with Christopher Luxon and Shane Reti