A new national campaign to educate people about the symptoms of a stroke has been launched, following a similar pilot in Waikato.
The FAST campaign - which stands for Face, Arms, Speech and Time - is designed to help people remember the three main signs of a stroke and call an ambulance if they see them.
The message has been proven to identify 90 percent of strokes.
Stroke Foundation head Mark Vivian said time was crucial in strokes because clot-busting drugs were very effective if administered in a three-hour window.
He said people should see a doctor immediately, rather than waiting to visit their GP or hoping their symptoms disappear.