Welcome to Palmy! Below is information that you may need during the semester including details on what to do when you are sick, how to get around and other important information while abroad.

IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you keep the TEAN contact info on you at all times in case of emergency.

Accessing Money

Banking in New Zealand

ANZ, BNZ, Westpac, ASB and Kiwibank are the major banks in New Zealand. We advise talking to your U.S. bank and checking whether they have any relationship with any of the NZ banks mentioned above. A few past students have advised that Westpac is compatible with their bank back home and so they didn’t get charged the usual fees associated with international banking and withdrawals. You could also look at using a travel card or opening a New Zealand bank account. The universities tend to have a local bank on campus, so it’s easy to meet with a branch assistant and open an account there.



For most health services you are covered by the Student Safe insurance policy. When accessing health services outside of the university campus, you will need to pay upfront for the cost of an appointment and fill out a claim to get your money back later. Make sure you keep all receipts for the insurance claim process. Check with a service team member on where to get these forms and familiarize yourself with what your Student Safe insurance covers.

Massey On-Campus

Manawatu Student Health and Counselling Service
Phone: (06) 350 5533 or extension 85533
Email: s.counselling@massey.ac.nz or Medical-Centre-PN@massey.ac.nz


You don’t need to make an appointment before you go (for either of these locations).

The Palms
445 Ferguson Street
Phone: (06) 354 7737
They’re open from 8am – 8pm every day including public holidays.

City Doctors
22 Victoria Avenue
Phone: (06) 355 3300
They’re open from 8am – 10pm every After hours fees apply: 5pm – 10pm weeknights. Weekends and Public Holidays

Pharmacy (Chemist)

New Zealand pharmacies, also called chemists, stock vitamins, make up and over-the-counter prescription medicines. New Zealand tends to have less variety in pharmaceutical brands than the U.S., so it’s worth giving them a call first if there’s something in particular you’re looking for. For example, Benadryl does not refer to allergy medicine in New Zealand. If you have any questions, the pharmacy staff are very helpful and can walk you through the options on offer.

Vautier Pharmacy, Summerhill
198 Ruapehu Drive, Summerhill Village
Monday – Friday from 8:30am – 6pm
Saturday from 9am – 1pm

Vautier Pharmacy, Downtown Complex
Located inside the Downtown Complex (at the city bus stop)
Monday – Thursday from 9am – 5:30pm
Friday: 9am – 8pm
Saturday: 9:30am – 4pm

Life Pharmacy, Plaza Complex
Located at Shop 108, The Plaza Shopping Centre, 84 The Square
Monday – Wednesday 9am – 5:30pm
Thursday 9am – 9pm
Friday 9am – 7pm
Saturday 9am – 5:30pm
Sunday 10am – 5pm

Radius Pharmacy
445 Ferguson Street (12A bus)
Open 8am – 8pm daily including public holidays


If you’re not certain if you need professional medical attention, then use the free national advice service, Heatlhline. It’s free to call and the trained nurses will advise you on what treatment is in your best interest. You can call Healthline on 0800 611 116, 24/7.

Palmerston North Transport

City Buses

City buses anywhere, anytime are free for Massey students on presentation of your bus card, which is available for collection during the University Orientation.

You can take your bike on the bus with you too, so don’t be put off cycling by the weather as you can catch a bus back. However, be sure to check timetables before you go as buses further out are not as regular as in larger cities.

Check out the Metlink website to get your adventure rolling. Journey planner is an awesome tool for navigating timetables, bus routes and calculating fares. You just type in where you need to go and when you want to be there; the planner does the hard work for you.

Transport Beyond Palmy

Travel Beyond Palmy

NakedBus and Intercity are the main public transport companies that travel around the country. For touring bus options, check out Stray Travel and Kiwi Experience. These companies offer a ‘get on, get off’ service that extensively travels both islands and are a great way to meet other young travellers.

Travel by Plane

Air New Zealand is the national airline and has a good reputation for customer service and quality. For this reason it’s the more expensive airline option.

For last minute Air NZ deals, GRAB-A-SEAT is your cheapest resource when it comes to booking flights online. Sign up for the e-mail notifications as great deals get posted everyday and they often sell out fast! When booking online, tickets are sold as one-way, so this gives you plenty of flexibility to choose fares with the cheapest price and fit your schedule.

If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative, check out Jetstar. Be aware that Jetstar is a little less reliable when it comes to going through with flights, and they are known for last minute cancellations. If you’re on a budget, and your plans are flexible, they are still a good choice however.

Using the iSite

An iSite, or Information Centre, is a great resource for travellers and are found in pretty much every town/city in NZ. Staff can help with locating and booking activities in the local area. They have dedicated staff on site to help you organize your activities and are an excellent opportunity to gain local insight in an unfamiliar place.

Identification Card

Identification Card

Instead of carrying around your passport as legal identification in NZ, we suggest you apply for an 18+ Kiwi Access Card. The university will also suggest this during their orientation and will have forms available for distribution. Your U.S. driver’s licence is not accepted in NZ as a legal ID. The 18+ card application forms can be downloaded from here and we encourage you to do this early, as the processing time is about two weeks.

Before applying you’ll need to prepare the following:

  • A passport-sized photograph (NZ-sized, you can get this from any pharmacy)
  • Proof of your current address (ask your university support office for a letter)
  • Photo ID to prove who you are (your passport!)
  • A processing fee of $55 NZD

Groceries and Shopping

Supermarkets and Groceries

New World
In general New World is more expensive than other grocery stores, but offers greater variety and has slightly better quality stock. The closest New World to campus is the one in Summerhill, about 2.5 kilometres from student accommodation in the Atawhai Village. Alternatively, ask for their home delivery option. Summerhill is a great little village with a pharmacy, various eating outlets and places for coffee before you walk back. Two other New World locations are Broadway Avenue in the city and Pioneer Highway, which would mean a bus ride.

Similar to New World but with the bonus of online shopping and door to door delivery – check out their website. The closest Countdown is in the Plaza Complex, so hop on any of the buses into the city.

Pak ‘n Save
Pak ‘n Save is no frills and the cheapest of the supermarkets. The closest is located at the city end of Fitzherbert Avenue, hop on any of the buses into the city from campus when you need to really stock up on groceries.


When you need homewares, bedding and other miscellaneous items, head to the below stores. All three are chains so you’re likely to see them scattered across the country.

The Warehouse
The Warehouse is New Zealand’s equivalent to Target or Walmart but has less variety. The closest is located at 171 Church Street in the southern part of the city.

Briscoes is similar to The Warehouse but caters more extensively to homeware. It’s slightly better quality and therefore a little more expensive. Located near the corner of Cuba and Rangitikei Streets.

You may be familiar with this one! In New Zealand Kmart has a better range of items than The Warehouse and is just as cheap if not cheaper. Many students have found themselves on what can only be described as a ‘Kmart binge’ as it’s easy to buy far more than you really need every time you go there. Located in The Plaza Shopping Centre.



TEAN New Zealand students live in university managed housing in either a hall of residence, apartment or flat. Each housing type normally has a senior uni student living there as a residential assistant or Kiwi-host to provide a support and liaison function.

As you are living in a shared accommodation, it is important to be mindful of your behavior and impact on others in terms of noise and social gatherings, and to be respectful of shared household rules and responsibility for kitchen and bathroom cleanliness.

A housing bond is paid to the university (this is the $350 you already paid to TEAN). You can request the refund from TEAN at the end of the semester. It will be returned if your room and common living areas are left in a clean and tidy condition with no reported damages.

Important Contact Info

Important Contact Info

Emergency Services: If you’re in an accident or need urgent medical attention, call 111

You will be asked to choose from our ambulance, fire or police services. The person on the other line will walk you through what you need to ask for if you’re not sure.

TEAN Staff

TEAN’s Regional Resident Assistants are available to help if anything goes amiss. If you need advice or you simply want to talk, feel feel to give them a ring!

Dianne Fountaine-Cody : Palmy : 021 063 6921

On Lee Lau : Dunedin : 021 353 998
Geoff Ockwell: Dunedin: 020 414 89279
Allison Ferris: Christchurch : 022 045 2151
Shivani Rajan: Auckland : 022 390 6356
Josh Horrell : Auckland : 027 529 3232
Ashley Stewart: Wellington : 027 768 7815

Rachel Fenton : NZ Director, based in Auckland : 021 031 4248

University Contacts

Massey International Student Support Office
Phone: (06) 350 5701
Email: international@massey.ac.nz


Events Around the City

Sites like EventFinda and The Square are awesome for keeping up with what’s going on in the city. Free papers such as The Tribune or Guardian are printed weekly and delivered either Wednesday or Thursday. TEAN also emails a monthly newsletter ‘What’s on’ for a sampler of free and low cost events in the city and across the region.

Live Music

You will be surprised by the diversity of the Palmy arts scene. Buskers can be found at the local markets, around the Square or during regional events. Check out the link for gigs. The Globe Theatre Sunday Matinees at 2.30pm once a month or so are a showcase of the region’s talent.


Downtown Cinemas
70 Broadway Avenue (access from Main Street)

Palmerston North City Library
The City Library on the Square is often host to cinema events during the year.

Live Theatre

Palmy is a cultural hub and host to highly acclaimed performances from both domestic and international performances.

The Regent on Broadway 
53 Broadway Ave
The Regent on Broadway is a large, beautiful art deco-style theatre in Palmerston North.

The Globe Theatre
312 Main Street
Palmerston North’s home for community theatre.

Centrepoint Theatre 
280 Church Street, Palmerston North
New Zealand’s only regional theatre.

The Abbey Theatre and Costume Hire
397 Church Street East
‘The Abbey’ (as it is affectionately known) is the home of the Palmerston North Operatic Society and Abbey Musical Theatre since the early 80s and does several fantastic shows annually. It’s also a great place to hire costumes from for fancy dress parties.

The Darkroom – Centrepoint
Cnr Pitt & Church Streets
Palmerston North’s black box venue for theatre, music and comedy. They host an open programme of local, national and international work. They provide a platform for new and established artists to experiment and showcase their “stuff” in a variety of genres.

Palmy Bucket List

Palmy Bucket List

The Palmy Bucket List created by your TEAN Palmerston North Resident Director

  • Enjoy a lazy afternoon at the Victoria Esplanade Gardens
  • Visit the Wind Turbines at Te Apiti
  • Manawatu Gorge walking track
  • Visit the NZ Rugby Museum
  • Picnic in the Square
  • Enjoy the Pompeii Dessert Pizza
  • Dugald MacKenzie Rose Gardens
  • See a live performance at Centrepoint Theatre
  • Take a dip at the Lido Recreation Centre & Olympic-sized pool
  • Indulge in a large slice of chocolate silk cake at Cafe Cuba on George Street
  • Chill out at the Public Library
  • Te Manawa Museum for interactive science displays
  • Enjoy some beach time at Himitangi or Foxton
  • Horse trek along the Manawatu River
  • Visit Pohongina Valley for swim holes and bush walking
  • Visit Owlcatraz to see native birds and wildlife

Relevant Blog Posts