Working as a Medical Professional in New Zealand


Sarah Peddie

Here at Odyssey Recruitment, we help medical professionals around the world secure their dream job in their choice of location. We offer many different professions in a range of different countries overseas. 

In this series, we will take a look at what it is like to work as a medical professional in the countries our clients are based in to help you decide whether it suits you.

Article 5 - A guide to working as a Medical Professional in New Zealand

New Zealand is recognised as a country with one of the highest qualities of life in the world. People from all over the world make the decision to go to live and work in New Zealand and this makes it a relatively young and growing population. 

As for healthcare in the country, it has both a public and private healthcare system. The public system is larger and accounts for 83 percent of the total healthcare spend. 

Overseas-trained medical professionals make up 41 percent of the total healthcare workforce. There are plenty of opportunities for healthcare professionals as there is a wide range of work in every discipline or speciality. 


There are many opportunities in New Zealand as hospitals and practices around the country are looking for doctors, midwives, surgeons and other occupations. 

The country has estimated that it needs around 380 extra specialists a year to meet the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) average by 2021. 25,000 nurses are expected to be needed by 2030.

Make sure you check out the skills shortage lists to see if there is an opportunity in the country for you. If your speciality is on the list and you have the qualifications and experience then your work visa application process is more likely to be successful and you may even be able to apply for a resident visa. 

Salaries and benefits

The salaries in New Zealand are attractive to doctors around the world as there is a low taxation and no National Insurance contribution. There are very good working conditions across the country which includes study and annual leave. There are also fewer working hours compared to other countries which allows a great work and life balance.

GPs tend to earn between NZ$150,000 and NZ$180,000 which all depends on experience and also location. Rate of pay depends on the same conditions for consultant positions as well. Total packages range from NZ$200,000 to NZ$300,000. 

You may get the opportunity to join a superannuation scheme - where you would contribute up to the value of six percent of your gross earnings, paid into a New Zealand fund of your choice by your employer who will then match the contributions you make. These funds are accessible either when you retire or when you leave New Zealand. 

Medical registration 

You should register with the relevant medical body like the Medical Council of New Zealand for doctors or the Nursing Council of New Zealand for nurses. Depending on the type of registration  you applied for, it could take between 20 days and four months to get sorted. 

As for the different types of visas you can apply for - a work visa is for a temporary stay in New Zealand but some can actually lead to residence. Resident visas like the Skilled Migrant Category lets you stay in the country for good.

If you are thinking about a move to New Zealand to work then register with Odyssey Recruitment today and we could find the perfect job for you!