Frequently Asked Questions


Do I need to know how to dive before the Diploma Course or any other Career Course?

No. We will teach you right from the beginning, starting with basic snorkeling, skin diving and scuba skills. Again if you are unsure if you think diving is for you. Come for a “no pressure” Try dive with us and meet the team.

What is Summer School?

Summer School is a course we run for University and College or school students who want to increase their skill set and get to PADI Rescue Diver (Foundation) or to PADI DiveMaster (Leadership) Depending on what diving they have already done before?

What are the benefits to a Student who chooses to do the Summer School?

They get to have a fantistic New Zealand Diving experience where they dive all summer. I total of around 40 dives. Meet a great new bunch of people and dive buddies and also also keep their Studylink stident assistance through the summer break.

How long is the Summer School Course?

The Summer School runs from November through to the start of February.

What are the hours for the Diploma?

Full time courses either Mon to Thurs or Tues to Thurs each week with some days finishing earlier and some evening sessions to com¬plete night dive training. Part-Time courses are usually held every other weekend 9am to 4pm. There will also be some evenings to allow for night dive training.

Being a small family run operation we try to work to your needs as much as possible.

How strong a swimmer do I need to be?

Every student must be able to swim 200m or snorkel 300m and float/tread water for 10mins at the start of the course. Professional level divers (Divemaster) and above will need to be relatively competent swimmers.

We have had non-swimmers learn to swim through the year and pass their swim tests when reaching Divemaster.

What equipment must I have?

This depends on the course you are enrolling on. Diploma students are required to own their own full snorkeling package; this must include a suitable wetsuit/drysuit, mask/snorkel/fins, weights and weight belt, gloves/boots, torches, knife etc. We highly recommend you purchase your own dive gear, and Dive HQ Westhaven offer great package deals and ‘lease to own’ options.

Foundation/Leadership students need just a few basics; gloves/boots, weights and weight belt, torches, knife etc.

What are the medical criteria?

All divers in New Zealand require having an RSTC Medical questionnaire completed and signed off by a Doctor. Professional divers must obtain an OSH medical if working in New Zealand.

If I have asthma can I dive?

This depends and can only be answered by a qualified Doctor.

Where do you dive?

Here in Auckland we are lucky enough to be surrounded by marine reserves all along the Hauraki Gulf. We dive mostly around Leigh; sites include Jones Bay, Goat Island, Ti Point, Mathersons Bay, this is not including all the extra trips we do.

Does Dive HQ Westhaven have its own boat?


What field trips does Dive HQ Westhaven do?

We do four dive trips in the year; Lake Taupo, Rainbow Warrior, Cape Brett & The Poor Knights. Transport, accommodation and boat dives are all included.

Am I able to get a student loan for my course at the Academy of Diving at Dive HQ Westhaven?

Student Loans and Allowances are available to eligible domestic students. You must be an NZ Citizen or permanent resident for 2 years or more. Please access the Studylink website at for eligibility criteria.

Can I try diving before I apply?

Yes, if you are seriously considering applying to complete a course but would like to make sure you will like diving then contact us at Dive HQ Westhaven to arrange a try dive. 09 307 3590.

Is it easy to get a job as a dive instructor?

It’s always down to the individual but, there are approximately 5-10 new jobs advertised EVERYDAY on the PADI website alone.

These jobs are based in over 180 countries and territories around the world including New Zealand.

Dive HQ Westhaven also has contacts and graduates placed around the globe and offer placement assistance, on request, after you graduate. We will support you in all your efforts to get your dive career going.

Visit: PADI to see some of the amazing careers that lead of from becoming a PADI Professional Scuba Instructor.

Do you dive in winter?

Yes, our Diploma programmes run over 36 weeks starting in February, March and August each year.

The equipment you will purchase/rent from Dive HQ Westhaven will be suitable for diving in our local environment, throughout the year.

How old must I be?

Diploma/Leadership students must be 18yrs old prior to Divemaster.

How do I enrol?

You need to make an appointment with the Tertiary Team for an interview and complete an application. You can make an appointment by calling Mike at DIVE HQ WESTHAVEN 09 307 3590; email us: Enquire: Or text ‘CAREERS’ to 021 025 08990.

Is my qualification valid Worldwide?

Yes PADI is the world’s largest diver training organization and is active in over 180 Countries and territories. Due to NZ diving conditions and the fact we dive all year round. Divers that train with Dive HQ Westhaven gain experience that will enable them to dive and teach diving in almost any environment in the world.

How much theory and class work is involved in the Course?

This depends on which course you complete. You need to have a good understanding of the theory behind diving to keep yourself and others safe. Most courses have a manual, that you read and then complete knowledge reviews. Once you reach Divemaster (professional level) and above the theory increases. You learn about the physics of diving, physiology, decompression theory and a few other subjects. You are supported in your learning and will be given good time to review your material and complete assignments.

What is the advantage of completing the National Qualification instead of just the PADI certifications?

With the National Qualification you obtain many other industry skills, which will aid you in your career in the dive Industry. PADI training alone does not necessarily cover these. You will complete more dives than the PADI courses alone because of field trips and also extra unit standards, which require additional dives. Unit standards assess extra skills such as assessing compressor use, tank filing, weather interpretation, risk management and creating a dive focused CV, along with many more essential skills. You are ‘job ready’ at the end of the Diploma course. Our Diving Academy is linked to a fully operational and busy group of NZ wide dive centres and their diving communities and clubs. Our academy graduates are well respected here in New Zealand, the Pacific Islands and Overseas.