New Zealand Health Terminology Service

Managed by: Health New Zealand — Te Whatu Ora

Access terms, codes, synonyms and definitions for clinical documentation and reporting in health information systems and applications.


When communicating with each other, healthcare providers use certain terms and code sets for different health concepts. The New Zealand Health Terminology Service (NZHTS) provides access to terminology and code set standards for healthcare systems which:

  • give health providers confidence they are speaking about the same concepts, and a better experience because reliable data is shared seamlessly
  • improve data quality and reduce data management overheads.


The NZHTS API provides read-only access to assured terminology and code systems.

There are two endpoints:

  • A FHIR API for a real-time code system, value set and concept map lookups.
  • A ‘syndication service’ that allows users’ own local systems and terminology services to receive code set updates.

The FHIR API and syndication service are available to developers now, and the syndication service will be added in early 2023.

Currently, the following code sets and terminologies are available:

  • SNOMED CT New Zealand Edition
  • National Health Index (NHI) code sets
  • Health Provider Index (HPI) code sets
  • MedDRA

More code sets will be added over time, including the New Zealand Pathology Observation Code Sets (NZPOCS) and code sets for the New Zealand International Patient Summary (NZIPS), Te Aho o Te Kahu’s CanShare and the Aotearoa Immunisation Register (AIR).

The NZHTS has an authoring platform that allow partners such as Te Aho o Te Kahu to contribute to the content of our code sets.   

Who can use this API

The NZTS is available to:

  • healthcare providers – government and private/non-governmental organisations (NGOs)
  • health software developers
  • healthcare commissions
  • population health professionals
  • health researchers and analysts
  • ACC, health insurers, and others who supply services or support the healthcare market.

Example use cases

Example outcomes that can be achieved when using the NZHTS API include:

  • Look up the details of a code you want to use.
  • Look up clinical finding, diagnosis and procedure concepts.
  • Search and filter content to find the correct term.
  • Make sure your local code set data is up to date.
  • Check you are using the correct codes and terms when sharing information with another healthcare provider.

API type



All API endpoints adhere to the FHIR® (Fast Healthcare Interoperable Resources) interoperability standard. CSIRO Ontoserver® is the software used.

Technical documentation

Technical documentation can be found on the Ontoserver – FHIR launchpad page(external link). This focusses on the FHIR Terminology Service resources and API.

Onboarding and implementation

To start using the terminology service API, first visit our SNOMED portal(external link) to register as a SNOMED user and then go to the NZHTS site to accept the terms of use and create an NZHTS account.

We will assess the registration information and, if required, request additional information. Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand will provide you with access credentials. You will then be able to use the FHIR API, with access to all content.

Learn more

NZ FHIR Registry(external link)

SNOMED CT NZ Edition(external link)

NZ Universal List of Medicines(external link)

NZ Pathology Observation Code Sets (NZPOCS)(external link)

HL7® FHIR® New Zealand Base Implementation Guide(external link)