Do New Zealanders get free maternity care in Australia? Do we get free midwife services and child delivery services in Australia? Do we receive the newborn supplement?

Find the answers to the above questions and all the resources you need when having a baby in Australia as a kiwi.

There is no yes or no answer as it depends on your circumstances and what options you choose to go for. In Australia you receive antenatal care from your GP, midwife or obstetrician.

Medicare does cover all or some of your costs

In Australia, Medicare can cover some or all of your expenses during your pregnancy and the birth of your baby. Medicare covers:

  • free treatment and accommodation for public patients in a public hospital
  • free or subsidised treatment from health care professionals, including obstetricians, doctors and eligible midwives
  • 75% of the Medicare schedule fee if you are a private patient in a public or private hospital – this does not include hospital accommodation, theatre fees or medicines

Medicare and other benefits

Australian families are able to access health care and financial benefits including Medicare, newborn payments, child care payments and parental leave pay. Read here all the info you need to know about these foreign Government payments: http://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/medicare-and-other-benefits.

Being a New Zealand citizen residing in Australia qualifies you for enrollment in the Medicare program, so you will want to make sure you do this soon after arriving in Australia: https://www.movingtoaustralia.co.nz/medicare-australia/.

Newborn Upfront Payment and Newborn Supplement

The Baby Bonus is no longer available. It has been replaced by Newborn Upfront Payment and Newborn Supplement, which is a lump sum and an increase to your Family Tax Benefit Part A payment when you start caring for a baby or child that’s recently come into your care. Kiwi’s on a SCV are eligible for this.

Newborn Upfront Payment

A lump sum payment of $550 per child, which is not taxable.

Newborn Supplement

An ongoing payment for up to 13 weeks, which is not taxable.

The amount you receive depends on how many children you have and your family’s income. The maximum amount you can receive for your first child is $1,649.83. For subsequent children the maximum amount is $550.55.

If you’re eligible for the base rate or more of FTB Part A, you’ll receive the maximum rate of Newborn Supplement. If you’re eligible for less than the base rate of FTB Part A, you’ll receive a reduced rate of Newborn Supplement.

Multiple children

If you have a twins or more you may receive the following for each child:

  • Newborn Upfront Payment, as a lump sum of $550, and
  • Newborn Supplement, at a maximum rate of $1,649.83 even if you already have other children

This also applies if you:

  • adopt more than 1 child as part of the same adoption process, or
  • have more than 1 child younger than 1 come into your or your partner’s care as part of the same process

If you’re also eligible for Parental Leave Pay, you can receive Parental Leave Pay for 1 child and Newborn Upfront Payment and Newborn Supplement for other children.

Being Pregnant in Australia as a New Zealander

This is where you will get all the information on being pregnant in Australia: http://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/being-pregnant. There is great general information on having a healthy pregnancy, keeping fit, you and your baby’s wellbeing, etc. It also contains all the info on checkups, screenings and scans, if you have complications during pregnancy and if things go wrong.

Child birth in Australia as a New Zealander

This is where you will get all the information on having a baby in Australia: http://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/child-birth. There are lots of things to consider when planning the birth of your baby. Here you will find information on the options for pregnancy and birth care, what happens during labour and what to expect immediately after.

Is your baby a Australian Citizen or New Zealand Citizen?

Your baby will not be an Australian citizen if you are both in Australia on a non-protected SCV.

If you were born in Australia, and at least one of your parents was an Australian citizen or Permanent Resident when you were born, you are an Australian citizen by birth.

Your baby will be able to apply for Australian citizenship if they live in Australia until they are age 10: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/citizenship/certificate/get-a-certificate#Overview.

New Zealanders with a child born in Australia, who is not Australian citizen at birth, should apply for New Zealand citizenship by descent and a passport for the child as soon as they are born. Do not wait until you have a family emergency requiring you to travel overseas. New Zealand citizenship by descent and passport applications take up to 30 working days to be processed and costs AU$407. Urgent requests take up to 10 working days and cost AU$622.

Bringing up a child in Australia as a New Zealander

Here you can find info on bringing up a baby and child in Australia:

Pregnancy Birth and Baby – No Plunket!

Pregnancy, Birth and Baby is funded by the Australian Government and operated by Healthdirect Australia. This is a fantastic resoruce for New Zealanders living in Australia with a family: http://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/.

Who can I talk to?

They offer a fantastic help line and will be able to answer all your questions after you arrive in Australia. I called them but they unfortunately can’t talk to people outside Australia.

From pregnancy to preschool, guidance and reassurance, every step of the way. Free call 7 days a week – 1800 882 436.

Other Resources

Here is some useful info you will want to read about having a baby in Australia: https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/subjects/having-baby. It covers before your baby is born, when your baby is born, after your baby is born and tools and information.

Still got questions?

If there is anything else you would like to know about, please ask me a question using the below comment system and I will do my best to find the information you need.

28 Comments

  1. Michal

    January 13, 2020 at 4:37 pm

    Hi,
    I am a NZ citizen, but living in Australia since march 2016. Due to have first baby in June 2020. I have always worked full time, while I lived in nz, and now in Australia. However during 2019 I took some time off for my mental health; I had a 14 week gap between stopping work in June 2019 and starting work with a new employer in sept 2019. We didn’t exactly plan to fall pregnant in sept. Because of this, I will have only worked for my employer for 9 months before baby is due, and also not for 10 out of the 13 months prior to baby due date with a break of no more than 12 weeks… In short, not eligible for paid parental leave from centrelink under the eligibility and work test requirements. My employer is supporting and would love to be able to pay me Ppl, and also willing to allow me maternity leave even though I won’t have worked there for 12 months before giving birth… However it’s not ideal that I won’t be able to get Ppl. I miss out by 1 month or 2 weeks, whichever end of the 13month work test I look at. Even though I work full time and contribute to Australian tax system with my PAYG from earnings. People here can work only day per week for 10 months and be eligible. It doesn’t seem fair. And I’ve seen that in NZ you only have to had worked 26 of the 52 weeks prior to babies birth…
    I was looking to see if maybe I could claim Ppl from Nz govt since the Australian one won’t grant it. On all NZ govt and ird communications about eligibility for ppl from nz govt it actually doesn’t seem to specify that you had to be living and working in nz…
    Any chance they’d consider if I applied?
    Just feeling so let down.

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      February 3, 2020 at 11:16 pm

      Hi Michal,
      Thank you for your comment and sorry for the delay in replying.
      I’m so sorry to hear you aren’t eligible. When I moved to Australia 10 years ago, I didn’t need to have worked in Australia at all to get the Baby Bonus. Even now from my research New Zealanders on an SCV are eligible for the Newborn Upfront Payment and Newborn Supplement, but that is not Parental Leave Pay.
      I am guessing that you have talked to Centerlink and they have assessed your eligibility for Parental Leave Pay and confirmed the below?
      When I called the IRD to ask them some questions regarding New Zealanders residing in Australia and believe you are correct about living and working in Australia and still been able to receive paid parental leave from NZ. Here is the application and it states nothing about working in NZ: https://www.ird.govt.nz/-/media/Project/IR/PDF/IR880—2019.pdf.
      I recommend you call Centerlink if you haven’t already and the IRD to confirm the above. Can you please let me know how you get on?
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
      Thanks

      Reply
  2. Holley

    January 4, 2020 at 2:09 am

    Hello, I am 2 months pregnant and am wanting to move to Australia to work untill I give birth and then my partner will support me untill I am back at work, my question is will I receive free public hospital delivery? And do you know how long it takes to get Medicare once I get over there?

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      February 4, 2020 at 1:10 am

      Hi Holley,
      Thank you for your comment. Sorry for the delay in replying.
      Yes as a New Zealander on an SCV we do get free hospital delivery in Australia.
      You get a Medicare card when you enroll in Medicare, which you need to do in person in Australia. They’ll usually tell you your Medicare number straight away and send your card in 3 to 4 weeks. They’ll send it to the address you give them. You can use a digital copy of your Medicare card as soon as you enroll.
      Please note, on an un-protected SCV New Zealanders aren’t eligible for the Australia Government Paid Parental Leave. However, we can still receive the NZ Government Paid Parental Leave while living in Australia. You will need to arrange this with the IRD.
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
      Good luck with your move.

      Reply
  3. Katrin

    November 25, 2019 at 8:23 am

    Hi I am Mz citizen bu decent and my husband is Italian citizen. We are living in Perth and now Im pregnant but I can’t pass my NZ citizen to my baby if it not born in NZ.
    I know the baby will get Australia citizen by the age of 10, but meanwhile what status of citizen or can the baby stay in Australia until the age 10?
    Really appreciate your answer, thank you.

    Reply
  4. Aldrich tauro

    August 12, 2019 at 9:33 am

    Hi JJ, my wife and I are NZ citizens same as our 2 kids. My wife is a nurse and is 2 months pregnant. We are planning to move to Sydney this October-November. Will she be eligible for new born payments and parental leave eventhough there is only 4-5months before she gives birth?

    Reply
  5. Brittany

    August 7, 2019 at 6:35 am

    Hi there,
    My partner and I are NZ citizens but have only been in Australia a max of 5 years (me, 3 years for him).
    Our first baby is due in September and I am wondering when he is born if he will be an AUS citizen or what exactly happens? As he isn’t born in NZ we would need to apply for his citizenship there which is no problem but I’m wondering in the interim what happens for baby? Thanks so much in advance!

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      August 20, 2019 at 12:57 am

      Hi Brittany,
      Thanks for your comment.
      Your baby will not be an Australian citizen if you are both in Australia on a non-protected SCV.
      If you were born in Australia, and at least one of your parents was an Australian citizen or Permanent Resident when you were born, you are an Australian citizen by birth.
      Your baby will be able to apply for Australian citizenship if they live in Australia until they are age 10: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/citizenship/certificate/get-a-certificate#Overview.
      New Zealanders with a child born in Australia, who is not Australian citizen at birth, should apply for New Zealand citizenship by descent and a passport for the child as soon as they are born. Do not wait until you have a family emergency requiring you to travel overseas. New Zealand citizenship by descent and passport applications take up to 30 working days to be processed and costs AU$407. Urgent requests take up to 10 working days and cost AU$622.
      Let me know if you have any further questions.

      Reply
  6. Anna

    June 24, 2019 at 9:57 pm

    Hi Johanna,
    Exciting, we have officially sold our home in New Zealand so we are starting to plan.
    I read through our emails and I have asked about maternity leave. I am now concerned about my c-section and what this might cost me in Australia. I read through a link but it’s still a bit vague. Do you have a contact number I can call or another link?
    I might have to consider staying in nz if this is going to cost too much.
    Kind Regards,
    Anna

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      June 24, 2019 at 9:59 pm

      Hi Anna,
      If your C-section isn’t elective and you need one then Medicare will cover your costs.
      If you give birth using the public hospital system, your costs will be covered by Medicare. Read this article: https://www.finder.com.au/health-insurance-cesarean-section.
      From all the info I’ve read online, the main downside of going public is that you will probably end up sharing a room, rather than private, getting your own room.
      You can get a no obligation private health insurance quote here: https://migration.bupa.com.au/.
      I would recommend you to call Pregnancy, Birth and Baby on 1800 882 436 to speak to a maternal child health nurse, but they aren’t funded to talk to people outside. If you have family over there, they might be able to call on your behalf. Their website is pretty good: https://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/caesarean, but did not cover costs.
      Congratulations on the sale of your home! Make sure you read this article on foreign exchange, as you will want to keep as much of your money as possible when transferring it to Australia: https://www.movingtoaustralia.co.nz/foreign-exchange-money-transfer/.
      Please let me know if I can help in any other way.
      Thanks

      Reply
      • Anna

        June 24, 2019 at 10:00 pm

        Hi Johanna,
        Do you know of a contact number that I can call regarding paid maternity leave? I can’t seem to find anywhere to call online, and it is proving difficult to apply for anything online, or is this something that I can’t do until arriving to Australia?
        Kind Regards,
        Anna

        Reply
        • JJ Smith

          June 24, 2019 at 10:01 pm

          Hi Anna,
          You need to call CenterLink on 0061 136 150. I don’t know if they can help you until you get to Australia, but worth a try.
          Can you please let me know how you get on with CenterLink so I can add the info onto movingtoaustralia.co.nz.
          Thanks

          Reply
  7. Misty

    March 17, 2019 at 11:20 pm

    Hiya, I am a 23 year old single mother and I’m planning on moving to Perth with my 2 year daughter some time this year. I have family in Perth so we can stay with them until I find us a place for our own. I just have a few questions I was hoping you could help me with. If I apply for a rental property is it okay to use my references from the places I have lived in in New Zealand? Will I be able to receive any childcare subsidy at all? I have a part time job at the moment with a company who is based in Australia and they say I can continue working for them in Australia. I don’t have set hours though so I’m not sure how many hours/days I will need for daycare yet. I think I will be selling all our possessions before we leave so I’m not too worried about bringing much over with us. I think I had some more questions but this is all I can think of right now. Thanks!

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      March 17, 2019 at 11:22 pm

      Hi Misty,
      Thank you for your message.
      Regarding applying for a rental property in Australia. The rental managers definitely accept rental references from NZ. In the post below I go through what you will need. Make sure you turn up to a viewing with all the paperwork and photocopies of documents required to meet 100 points of identification The Australian rental market is more competitive than NZ: https://www.movingtoaustralia.co.nz/australian-real-estate/.
      You may be able to get some kind of childcare subsidy, depending on your individual circumstances. New Zealanders on a SCV are eligible to receive the benefit. Here is more info: https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/child-care-subsidy.
      Let me know if you have any further questions.
      Good luck with your move.

      Reply
  8. MJ

    February 25, 2019 at 1:08 am

    Hi,

    I am due to receive my paid maternity leave but planning to give birth in Australia. Will I continue to receive my Parental leave payments?

    Cheers

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      February 26, 2019 at 1:10 am

      Hi,
      Thanks for your comment.
      I believe you get one or the other depending on which country you are living in.
      Where are you planning on living after giving birth?
      Thanks,
      JJ Smith

      Reply
      • MJ

        February 26, 2019 at 1:51 am

        Hi Johanna,
        Thanks for your email.
        Planning to spend sometime in Australia (at least for 6 months) and then evaluate.
        Cheers

        Reply
        • JJ Smith

          February 26, 2019 at 3:44 am

          Yes you will still receive your paid parental leave.
          I have spoken to the IRD and there is nothing stating that if you have a child in Australia you will not receive these payments.
          You would be entitled to the Australian equivalent of this, since you are giving birth in Australia.
          As you will be transferring these payments to Australia I recommend that you read my foreign exchange page, as this will save you international transfer fees through your bank and you will get a better rate: https://www.movingtoaustralia.co.nz/money/foreign-exchange.
          Good luck with your move.

          Reply
  9. Ethan

    February 2, 2019 at 11:17 am

    Hey JJ
    My partner is a German citizen on a bridging visa, in the process of a nz partnership visa in Australia and we are expecting our first in late September…
    Phew, how many times I have said this sentence….
    Just wondering what our situation is with the birth here and if we(she) will receive any support from the Australian govt.
    -If you can answer this, I think we will name our child after you.

    Cheers, Ethan.

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      March 20, 2019 at 10:26 pm

      Hi Ethan,
      Sorry for the delay in replaying. For some strange reason your enquiry wasn’t emailed to me.
      This is a hard one… Have you got anywhere since you emailed me?
      I know that New Zealanders on an SCV get support from the Australian Government and you still should depending on when you move over after the birth.
      However, I am not sure about your partner.
      But you should be able to find some answers through this ‘Payment and Service Finder’ widget: https://www.centrelink.gov.au/custsite_pfe/pymtfinderest/paymentFinderEstimatorPage.jsf?wec-appid=pymtfinderest&wec-locale=en_US#stay. Helping you find, estimate and compare payments and services you may be eligible for.
      Let me know how you get on and come back to me if you need further help.

      Reply
  10. Brendan

    January 5, 2019 at 8:36 am

    Hi i am a nz cirtzen and worked in aus for 12 of my 13 months pregnant but gave birth in aus do a qualify for parental leave if i come back to aus a month after the birth

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      March 20, 2019 at 11:12 pm

      Hi Brendan,
      Thank you for your comment. Sorry for the delay in replaying. Your enquiry got lost over the school holidays.
      If you haven’t sorted your paid parental leave can you please explain again? I’m not sure what you are asking. Which country you are living in?
      I do know that New Zealanders are entitled to paid parental leave in both Australia or New Zealand depending on what country you are living in.
      Thanks

      Reply
  11. Kareshma Kumar

    November 20, 2018 at 1:29 pm

    Hi
    My husband is new Zealand and I have Fiji passport. Since dad has media care card not mum. Just want to ask will I get free midwife services and other maternity/child delivery services in Australia? Since dad is New Zealanders, are we eligible for that or we have to pay?

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      December 3, 2018 at 1:12 am

      Hi Kareshma,
      Thank you for your enquiry.
      Sorry but I don’t have a yes or no answer because there are different circumstances that get taken into account.
      Are you living in Australia? Have you applied for a Medicare card?
      Here is the link to the Australia government website outlining who is eligible to get a Medicare card: https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/services/medicare/medicare-card/eligibility/who-can-get-it.
      Through the above link you will find all the info you need including where your closest Medicare office is so you can apply.
      Thanks,
      JJ Smith

      Reply
  12. JJ Smith

    August 20, 2018 at 1:27 am

    Hi Ravneet,
    Thanks for your enquiry.
    Unfortunately there isn’t a yes or no answer to your question, it depends on your circumstances and what options you choose to go for. You will receive antenatal care from your GP, midwife or obstetrician.
    In Australia, Medicare can cover some or all of your expenses during your pregnancy and the birth of your baby. Medicare covers:
    – free treatment and accommodation for public patients in a public hospital
    – free or subsidised treatment from health care professionals, including obstetricians, doctors and eligible midwives
    – 75% of the Medicare schedule fee if you are a private patient in a public or private hospital – this does not include hospital accommodation, theatre fees or medicines
    Being a New Zealand citizen residing in Australia qualifies you for enrollment in the Medicare program, so you will want to make sure you do this soon after arriving in Australia: https://www.movingtoaustralia.co.nz/medicare-australia/.
    Here is the info you will want to read about having a baby in Australia: https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/subjects/having-baby.
    The Baby Bonus is no longer available. It has been replaced by Newborn Upfront Payment and Newborn Supplement.
    I recommend reading through this Australia Government website: http://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/. They also offer a help line and will be able to answer all your questions after you arrive in Australia. I called them but they unfortunately can’t talk to people outside Australia.
    Good luck with your move!
    Thanks,
    JJ Smith

    Reply
  13. Ravneet

    August 20, 2018 at 1:25 am

    Hi
    I am NZ citizen looking to move in Oct. I am 3 months pregnant and one 5 year old boy. I just want to ask will I get free midwife services and other maternity/child delivery services in Australia? Are New Zealanders eligible for that or they have to pay?
    Thanks

    Reply

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