An audit into stroke services has found fewer than half of all district health boards are providing services comparable with top international standards.
The audit also found people in New Zealand don't have sufficient access to organised hospital stroke services.
The Stroke Foundation conducted the audit.
Chief executive Mark Vivian says there are only 83 dedicated beds in stroke units, but during the audit there were 176 stroke patients in hospital.
He says the audit also shows not enough stroke patients are receiving a time-critical intravenous treatment, which breaks down blood clots, in time.
Mr Vivian says the findings provide a benchmark against which future improvements can be measured.