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Te Whāre Hauora

Health Centre

Providing professional, confidential services for the health and wellbeing of Ara students.

Ara’s Health Centre offers a range of discounted health services for students*. These include consultations with nurses, a doctor, a social worker and counsellors. Students can access free counselling sessions. We take Community Service cards** and offer ACC appointments.

All services are available at the City campus, while nurse consultations are available at the Woolston campus on Wednesdays and Fridays, and counselling is available at the Timaru campus by appointment. The social worker is available at the Woolston campus on Tuesdays and at the city campus the rest of the week.

If you’re a New Zealand resident enrolled at the Health Centre, you can receive cheaper doctor visits and reduced costs for prescription medicines.

You need to register to use the Health Centre’s services. Simply visit the Health Centre to complete an enrolment form (bring your Student/Staff ID card, or a course receipt). To book an appointment, either visit the centre or call us.

*Ara staff are welcome to see the Health Centre doctor on a casual basis, however students have priority for appointments. Occasionally we may have to reallocate a staff appointment to a student. In these situations we refer staff to their own GP or another medical centre (e.g. Moorhouse Clinic).

** You may be eligible for Community Services Card for discounted general practitioner services. You can find out more by calling 0800 999 999, Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.

Our nursing services at the City campus in Christchurch are confidential and available to both students and staff. This is appointments mainly but do offer drop-ins.


The nurse can help you with:

  • emergency care for accidents or illness occurring on campus
  • lifestyle, exercise, dietary and stress management advice
  • health education and promotion
  • health monitoring and screening for things such as asthma, diabetes, raised blood pressure
  • sexual health such as contraception advice, cervical screening, pregnancy testing and emergency contraception
  • wellness checks
  • wart removal
  • smoking cessation assistance
  • Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC)
  • treatment of minor illness.

To see a nurse come to the Health Centre. Depending on demand on the day, you may need to wait for a drop-in session time. If you prefer, you can also book an appointment by either phoning us or coming into the Health Centre reception.

Ara Social Worker, Emily, provides a wide range of services across a number of issues and is available on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at the Health Centre and Tuesdays at the Woolston campus (room VF109).

Emily can assist with:

  • Financial support
  • Housing support
  • Risk assessment and psychosocial assessment
  • Connecting to appropriate external support services
  • Work and income and student link support
  • Mental health support
  • Relationship conflicts
  • Domestic violence
  • Addiction support
  • Achieving study/life balance (self-care)
  • Support to ensure access to adequate services and resources within the community
  • Support to enhance support systems and connection
  • Support all learners from all backgrounds and cultures
  • Specific support for Māori, Pacific and disabled learners to ensure equitable access to resources, services and opportunities
  • Liaison with lecturers to ensure learners’ needs are being met in the classroom
  • Classroom visits and workshops

Emily is based at the Health Centre and works across departments and locations to increase the service accessibility for learners.

Emily is available from Monday – Thursday, 8.30am – 4pm

To make an appointment to see Emily, call 940 7566 or email

We are committed to support the learner's psychological health and wellbeing.  Sometimes learners need longer-term psychological support requiring referral to external agencies. 

Counselling is available every day at the Health Centre and we also have some *evening sessions on Mon, Wed and Thurs (*March - December).

Ara also has partnered with OCP to provide FREE counselling and psychological support services to Ara learners.  Learners can self-refer or the clinicians can make the referral.

Learners can access support with the Timaru counsellor from Ashburton, Oamaru too and can provide counselling support for online and rural students.  Face-to-face, online or phone appointment are available.   

Please contact: directly or telephone Ara Health Centre at 9407566 to book an appointment. 

See here for counselling information provided by the Timaru counsellor Timaru counselling

OCP - 0800 377 990

How to make an appointment 

Contact the Health Centre directly 
Phone: 03 940 7566


Health Centre Referral form 

Prices are subject to change

Doctor consultation Price

Enrolled patient

Enrolled patient with Community Services Card

International student

Non-enrolled patient

Non-enrolled patient with CSC

Ara staff







Nurse consultation  

Enrolled patient

International student

Non-enrolled patient

Ara staff or other

Sexual health consult (under 18 enrolled patients only)

Blood Test

Blood Pressure









Learners can access three FREE counselling sessions to talk about any personal issues.


Repeat Scripts  

Enrolled patient

Non-enrolled patient

Ara staff or other





Onsite injury

NOT Onsite injury



+Conditions apply, please discuss with the receptionist on booking.

Susan_Woods_small.jpg Susan
Health Centre Manager/ Registered nurse

Registered nurse


Registered nurse



Linda_180x250px.jpg Lynda

Dr James Shanks

Vicki_180x250px.jpg Vicki

Dr Penny Rice-Wilson



Leigh-Lawless.jpg Emily
Registered Social Worker
Leigh-Lawless.jpg Leigh*

*Leigh works at the Timaru campus in Room TA208.

Sydenham Dental Centre offers current Ara students dental check-ups for $35 and 10% off the cost of treatments such as fillings, extractions and emergency pain relief. You can find out more and make an appointment here.

Physiotherapy Service

Ara staff and students are able to receive discounted physiotherapy at the School of Physiotherapy Clinic, Christchurch.

This is a teaching facility run as a private musculoskeletal physiotherapy practice and is open to the public.

The clinic is located at 32 Oxford Terrace (Tuam street entrance) approx. 100m from the Manawa building.

You also have the option to be treated by fully supervised Otago University Physiotherapy students at a further reduced rate. Click here for further information.


Whareora, City campus, Madras Street


Phone (03) 940 7566
Fax     (03) 940 8680


  • Monday to Thursday - 9am to 4pm 
  • Friday - 9am to 3pm

Service availability

  • Nurses: Monday to Friday
  • GP: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
  • Counsellors: late night Mon, Wed and Thurs
  • Social Worker: Monday to Thursday

Key resources

Additional information