Brief description

The National Health Index (NHI) is an index that stores identity information — for example, a person’s name, address, gender and date of birth — and associates this information with a unique identifier, known as an ‘NHI number’.

Every person who uses health and disability services in New Zealand is assigned an NHI number. The purpose of the NHI is to ensure they are accurately identified and linked with the correct health records. Clinical information is not recorded.


This is a FHIR API made up of two resources: 

  • NHIPatient, derived from the HL7 FHIR Patient resource. 
  • NHIAddress, derived from HL7 FHIR Address data type. 

NHI numbers have one of 2 formats: 

  • AAANNNC (3 alpha, 3 numeric and one numeric check digit) – in current circulation 
  • AAANNAX (3 alpha, 2 numeric, 1 alpha and one alpha check digit). This format will be first issued circa 2025. 

Accessible data

The NHI holds the following information: 

  • name (including alternative names such as maiden names) 
  • NHI number 
  • address 
  • date of birth 
  • gender 
  • New Zealand citizenship status 
  • place of birth 
  • ethnicity 
  • date of death. 

The enrolled general practitioner details may include: 

  • enrolment ID
  • period of enrolment 
  • HPI practitioner 
  • HPI organisation 
  • HPI facility. 

The contact details that may be returned include: 

  • email address 
  • home phone number 
  • mobile phone number. 

Who can use this API

Health providers listed in Schedule 2 of the Health Information Privacy Code may access the information in the NHI. 

This includes:  

  • Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC)  
  • Department of Corrections Health Services   
  • Health New Zealand | Te Whatu Ora
  • Health Practitioners  
  • Hospitals  
  • Independent practitioner associations   
  • MedicAlert Foundation — New Zealand Incorporated   
  • Manatū Hauora — Ministry of Health    
  • New Zealand Blood and Organ Service   
  • New Zealand Defence Force Health Services 
  • Pharmaceutical Management Agency of New Zealand  
  • Primary health organisations (PHOs) 
  • Whaikaha, Ministry of Disabled People  
  • Any health agency that has a contract or is funded by the above list to.

Health New Zealand assigns appropriate permissions and monitors and audits the actions of health provider use of the NHI. 

Use cases 

Suggestions on how to implement the NHI FHIR API. 

  • A new patient presents for healthcare. 
  • A returning patient presents for healthcare. 
  • A notification is received that patient details have changed. 
  • A provider notices a discrepancy between local and NHI record, but does not have update access. 
  • A user needs to validate an NHI number. 
  • Look up the patient’s enrolled general practice. 
  • Look up patient’s contact details. 

Multi API use cases 

  • National Health Index and Health Provider Index. 
  • Lookup EDI for an enrolled patient’s general practice.

Onboarding and implementation

To begin the onboarding process for this API, please visit the Consumer onboarding page.

For more information on integrating, please review the Implementation guide.

Business functions and risk scores

To view what these risk scores mean, click here.




Clinical risk score 

Privacy risk score 

Security risk score 

Identity risk score 

GET Patient 

Get Patient using an NHI number 

Using a known NHI number, a GET Request is sent to the NHI, the request is validated and returns the patient data associated with the NHI number in the request. 

Returned results include a range of demographic data required to confirm identity — for example, name, gender, ethnicity, date and place of birth, address and New Zealand citizenship status. If the requester has the appropriate permissions the patient’s enrolled general practice and contact details, mobile, home phone and email are also included. 




Level 3 

GET Patient - Enrolled GP 

Get Patient using an NHI number and include the patient’s enrolled GP in the response 

The patient’s enrolled GP information is returned in the patient resource 
The source for this is the National Enrolment Service (NES) 




Level 3 

GET Patient - Contact details 

Get Patient using an NHI number and include the patient’s contact details in the response 

The patient’s contact details are returned in the patient resource. 
The source for this is the National Enrolment Service Patient Preferences. 




Level 3 

SEARCH Patient 

Search Patient using name, birthdate and other demographics 

A SEARCH Request is used when the NHI number is not known. The request is validated and data of patients matching the search criteria is returned in order of relevance. It returns only the core NHI fields (No enrolled GP or contact details even if the user has the correct permissions. 

Search parameters include, name, date of birth, gender, place of birth and address. 




Level 3 


Update Patient records 

Provided on a limited basis to primary and secondary healthcare providers, and health system data quality teams. Attribute dependent. 
Allows access to the following operations: 




Level 3 

CREATE Patient 

Create Patient records 

Provided on a limited basis to primary and secondary healthcare providers. 




Level 3 


Validate Patient using an NHI number and patient demographics 

A VALIDATE request is used when the NHI number and demographic details are known, but the requestor is not authorised to retrieve NHI details or they only need a match / no-match response. 

Validate parameters include NHI number, name, date of birth, gender, place of birth, and address. 




Level 3

API types


All FHIR API endpoints adhere to Fast Healthcare Interoperable Resources (FHIR) interoperability standards and follow REST protocols.

Service levels

Target 99.99 percent service availability 24 hours a day, seven days a week.


Geo restriction 
Geo restriction rules prevent access from clients with IPs located in countries other than those listed below.

  • New Zealand 
  • Australia 
  • Canada 
  • Cook Islands 






1 request per second 


10,000 requests per day 


5 requests per second 


250,000 requests per day 


10 requests per second 


500,000 requests per day 


All test accounts will be assigned to the bronze usage plan.  Production accounts will be assigned to the silver usage plan. If a vendor wishes to be assigned to a higher plan, they should contact us via the support form. Please request a change to the usage plan and make sure you include the ClientID at minimum (AppId and OrgId also recommended).