Stroke FAST campaign

The FAST campaign raises awareness that stroke is a brain attack. It is always a medical emergency. Know the signs of stroke. If you see any signs call 111 immediately.

The aim of the FAST campaign is to raise awareness that stroke is always a medical emergency, to help people know the signs, and to urge people to act if they see any signs of a stroke by calling 111 immediately. 

Each year in New Zealand about 9,000 people have a stroke.

Delayed recognition of a stroke can have tragic results, including further damage to the brain or death.

The 2020 FAST campaign builds on the success of past national FAST campaigns in 2016, 2017 and 2018. The campaign is a collaboration between the Ministry of Health, Te Hiringa Hauora/Health Promotion Agency and the Stroke Foundation of New Zealand.

FAST is a mnemonic used internationally to help people remember some signs of stroke.

Key Messages

A stroke is a brain attack. The blood supply to part of the brain is cut off.
A stroke is always a medical emergency, call 111 immediately.
A stroke can happen to anyone at any time – it could be someone you know or the person next to you. They could be younger than you expect.
It is important to recognise when someone is having a stroke and to start medical treatment as soon as possible because fast treatment can reduce brain damage and mean better outcomes.
Even if you are not sure it is a stroke – it is important if you see any of the signs to call 111 immediately.
Acting FAST can save lives, give people the best chance of recovery, and reduce ongoing costs from stroke to families, caregivers and communities.
Each year about 9,000 people in New Zealand have a stroke.


We want all New Zealanders to recognise the signs of a stroke so this campaign aims to reach people who may witness someone else having a stroke.

This year there is an increased focus on Māori and Pacific communities. A new key message for the 2018 campaign is that “a stroke is a brain attack” to help build understanding of what a stroke is and why urgent action is required.