Choosing a Dietitian

If you think you could benefit from an appointment with a Dietitian, ask your doctor for a referral to one. Alternatively, you can go directly to a dietitian without a referral.

If you gain a referral and are seen at your local District Health Board or Primary Healthcare Organisation (PHO), this appointment is likely to be free of charge or subsidised.

Charges for private practice dietitians vary throughout the country. You may be able to claim your dietetic appointments on medical insurance, depending on the type of cover you have.

Make sure that your appointment is with a New Zealand Registered Dietitian (NZRD). It is illegal to use the title of 'dietitian' without holding a practising certificate issued by the Dietitians Board. Overseas trained dietitians are unable to use the title of 'dietitian' until they have fulfilled the Dietitians Board's requirements. You can check whether a person is able to call themselves a dietitian by viewing the Dietitians Board Register.

Your first appointment may last half an hour to an hour. The dietitian will take a thorough medical & nutrition history, assess your current eating patterns and discuss your goals. The dietitian will explain & educate you on how to achieve your desired results and design an individualized program specifically for you. Bringing support with you (family, whanau or friends) is sometimes a good idea, especially if they are in charge of the shopping or cooking.

Bring along any other important information, such as a referral letter from your doctor, recent blood test results and a 3-day food and fluid diary.

Subsequent visits may take from 15 minutes to half an hour.