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Support Services for Postgraduate Students

Associate Dean (Postgraduate)

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. Students can contact Nikki directly on to set up a Zoom appointment. Her Zoom (videoconference call) account is

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

On arrival in Christchurch it is recommended that students register with a local General Practice as there are no student health services on the Christchurch campus of the University of Otago. The Christchurch Doctors is a convenient local practice. Information regarding this practice can be found at after hours medical care or pharmacy, there is a 24-Hour Surgery at 401 Madras Street, phone +64 3 365 7777. Information on this surgery can be found at

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.

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

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. Contact:

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

Other services

  • Accommodation
  • Sport facilities. There are no University of Otago sports facilities at the Christchurch campus.
    The University of Canterbury Recreation Centre, 22 Kirkwood Avenue, has a University of Otago student rate. The YMCA, 12 Hereford Street, has a student gym membership rates which you need to enquire about. When you apply for membership please present your student ID Card. 
  • Cycling information is available on the Christchurch City Council's website.
  • Prayer room. The Hospital Chapel, ground floor of Christchurch Hospital is available to all denominations for prayer.
  • Chaplaincy. The Otago chaplains are available to help anyone, regardless of faith, with issues such as homesickness or grief as well as spiritual or religious questions. Students can also speak to Christchurch Hospital chaplains who are located on the ground floor of the parkside building.
  • Emergency services - Christchurch
  • Otago University Students' Association OUSA provides members with representation, welfare, advocacy, and media. OUCA is completely independent from the rest of the University. 
  • Māori student support services (Dunedin campus) The Māori Centre is a support service for all students of iwi descent. The Centre aims to encourage Iwi Māori to participate and succeed in tertiary education.
  • Pacific Island Student Support Services (Dunedin campus)
  • Healthy Campus Website