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How much does home help for those with high needs cost?

The thing to remember about these services that they are usually required every day, and the type of care that’s needed, more complex. Naturally these factors increase the cost as can be seen in the table below. High level services generally include a mix of formal home help and personal care services and family/whanau support where possible. (You can compare the cost to residential care here.)

In reality, if you have high needs it is likely that your will have been assessed and qualify for some subsidised services. They may not however cover the full cost of what you require to stay at home. You may therefore wish to top up subsidised services with private services and with well planned and managed family/whanau support if this is possible.

Alternatively if you have the resources and the necessary administration/oversight skills, you may wish to fund and manage your own support. 

Daily high needs care provided by a GST registered agency. Registered Nurse oversight would be required, which would be an additional cost. Figures are variable and indicative only.

Assistance required

Cost (indicative only)

Per week - incl. GST. (prices rounded)

Per year - incl. GST. (prices rounded)
Daily personal care – assist out of bed, shower, mouth-care, dressing, pill dispensing etc.*

 $45 plus GST per hour. After-hours fees for late nights, weekends and public holidays apply.

$427* (averaged)


2 hours twice a week - i.e. 4 hours. Housekeeping – vacuuming, dusting, meal preparation etc. $45 plus GST per hour. (Week days - no overtime charges) $207


Daily - assist back to bed & related personal care as needed** $67.50 plus GST per hour for after-hours service 

$550** (averaged)

Daily - support worker travel 72 cents per km (8.4km round trip twice daily i.e., am & pm) $96                                                                                               $4,992
  TOTAL without sleepover $1,280 $66,560
Daily - support worker night sleepover $350 plus GST per night - flat rate. (After hours fees may apply.)


  TOTAL with sleepover $3,730  $193,960
Add in: Day programme ‘top up’ e.g., meals, shuttle service. Twice a week. $40 (small service provider not GST registered) 

$80 (no GST)

$3,200 (40 weeks)

  TOTAL with sleepover and day programme $3,810 $197,160

*Per year breakdown of daily personal care. Calculation shows public holiday and weekend rates.

  RATE ex GST incl. GST (15%)
249 days $45 (standard rate) $11,205 $12,885.75
104 weekend days & after hours $67.50 (time and a half) $ 7,020 $8,073
12 public and provincial holiday days $90 (double time) $1,080 $1,242
  TOTAL $19,305 $22,200.75

**Per year breakdown of daily assist back to bed care. Calculation shows public holiday and after hours rates

  RATE ex GST incl. GST (15%)
353 days  $67.50 (time and a half) $ 23,827.5 $ 27,401.62
12 public and provincial holiday days $90 (double time) $1,080 $1,242
  TOTAL $ 24,907.50 $28,643.62


If you get a price list from a GST registered agency check whether GST is included in the list of items or whether it's calculated when the items are totalled. In this example we have shown ex. and incl. GST prices. You can see how the price jumps when GST is added.

Other costs

Remember too, on top of these costs are the usual costs associated with living at home (food, rates, insurance, clothing, medical care, household equipment and maintenance, transport, hairdresser etc.). If we take the National Super payment (which is not considered to be excessive) as a rough guide this could cost around another $21,000 per year.

Updated: 11 Jun 2024
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