In an emergency, dial 111 (or 112)


Police had an information page telling people they couldn't dial 112 in an emergency.

Now, after bugging from busybody Paul Brislen, they've changed it to say that you can.

What gives?

111 remains New Zealand's emergency number.

112 is an international emergency number. It works in all countries, including here (technically, only countries with GSM networks, but these days that's nearly every corner of the globe).

It's a handy tip if you're business travelling through multiple countries. 

If, for example, can't remember the emergency number for Australia (it's 000), just dial 112. 

One qualifier: dialling from a mobile 112 will put you straight through to emergency services. Dialling 112 from a landline will lead to a recorded message telling you to dial 111 (or whatever the emergency number is for the country you're in).

There was some social media chatter that dialling 112 on a mobile will help you reach emergency services if a phone is locked. That's incorrect, or at least 111 or 112 are equally effective at skirting a lock screen for an emergency call (whether either can is dependent on the make and model of your phone; a handful of older phones don't support this feature).

Another key point from Mr Brislen (which telcos confirmed to NBR): an emergency call from your mobile will try to get through on any available network if your operator is unreachable.

So if, say, you're a 2degrees customer in a place where you can't get a 2degrees signal, your phone can connect to Vodafone or Spark's networks if they are available (and vice versa).

Pre-register for emergency txts
One other point: in Australia, there's an additional emergency number, 106, which the hearing or speech-impaired can text in an emergency.

Here, you can text 111, but only if you've registered your number (which brings to mind the nightmare scenario of trying to register as an emergency is happening; surely we can do better than that).

Emergency texts from phones that have not been registered (on this page) will not go through.

Lastly,  although Mr Brislen nudged the cops to correct their site to include 112, he emphasises people should call 111 when in NZ.


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