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Support Services for Postgraduate Students

Associate Dean (Postgraduate Studies)

Associate Professor Margaret Currie
Tel +64 3 364 0544

Associate Dean (Māori)

Associate Professor Suzanne Pitama
Tel +64 3 364 3677

Māori Postgraduate Support Advisor

Pete Russell is able to support postgraduate students in Christchurch
Tel +64 3 479 8082

Associate Dean (Pacific)

Dr Kiki Maoate

Support services for international students

International Student Advisers (located in Dunedin) are available on a confidential basis to help students cope with the difficulties that arise when adapting to a new culture; such as the stress and unhappiness brought on by culture shock, homesickness, difficulties with making new friendships, financial arrangements or family difficulties.

You can contact a Student Adviser in one of the following ways:

Tel +64 3 479 5777 or +64 3 479 5921

In addition, an Adviser will visit the Christchurch campus during the year. The adviser will be available to meet with international students to discuss any concerns or problems they may have. 


Nikki Fahey, University of Otago Graduate Wellbeing Coach is based in the University’s Graduate Research Office in Dunedin but available via Zoom or phone for Christchurch campus postgraduate students.

Graduate Wellbeing Coaching is for anyone who needs some help with motivation and managing procrastination, problem solving, goal setting, keeping up with writing targets, concentration, managing the demands of their course of study or any other issue related to keeping on track academically. It also focusses on general lifestyle balance and overall wellbeing to see if any changes can be made to support academic performance. Additionally Nikki can direct students to other supports they may find helpful if it looks like they might be of benefit.

Nikki is available for postgraduate students at all three campuses for sessions of up to an hour, free of charge:

Nikki Fahey
Email to set up a Zoom appointment.
Zoom (video conference call) account

Nikki’s background is in occupational therapy and mental health and she works from a strengths focussed perspective with training in Solution Focussed Brief Therapy.

Health services

Christchurch services

The Christchurch Doctors provide a General Practice service to medical students and to full-time postgraduate students at the University of Otago, Christchurch.

  • When making an appointment, you must indicate that you are a University of Otago Christchurch student patient and also which doctor you wish to see.
  • The arrangements with The Christchurch Doctors follow negotiation with students and are covered in the Student Services Fee paid by full-time postgraduate students located in Christchurch.

Visit the Christchurch Doctors website

Other General Practitioners

Other General Practitioners may be used by full-time postgraduates located in Christchurch on a case-by-case basis with approval by the Associate Dean (Postgraduate Studies).

To organise this, please contact:


Community Services Card

If you are a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident you may be eligible for a Community Services Card.

Visit the Work and Income website for more information on the Community Services Card

International students are not eligible for a community services card and should request a receipt and lodge a claim with their health insurer.

Non-subsidised services

The following services will not be subsidised by the UOC but are available from the health centre:

  • House calls and after hours Diving medical assessment
  • Diving medical assessment
  • Insurance report
  • Immigration medical
  • Insurance medical
  • Well person checks
  • Depo Provera injection
  • IUD insertion
  • Wart removal

For after hours medical care or pharmacy:

24-Hour Surgery
401 Madras Street
Tel +64 3 365 7777
Visit the 24-Hour Surgery website for information

In an emergency, ring an ambulance by dialling 111, or proceed straight to the Emergency Department of the Christchurch Public Hospital, 2 Riccarton Avenue.

If you have a medical emergency while working in the main University of Otago, Christchurch building you can ring 777 for assistance. 

Flu vaccinations

CDHB Occupational Health run a free flu vaccination programme in March/April – times/venues are advertised around the hospitals.

External emergency support agencies

View the list of Emergency Services, Christchurch

PSOC: The Association for Postgraduate Students of Otago, Christchurch

As a postgraduate student studying through University of Otago, Christchurch, you are a member of PSOC. PSOC is run by postgraduate students for postgraduate students. Elections for PSOC Executive are held annually.

The PSOC Executive provides you with: representation, welfare, advocacy on research and educational issues, social events and networking opportunities.

PSOC Facebook page: where students can find information about the association and events etc.

Other services