Work in New Zealand | Medical Jobs in New Zealand

Work in New Zealand

24th May 2016

More and more medical professionals are looking to New Zealand as an attractive destination which could enhance their working life.


Attracted by its forward thinking and original healthcare system, relaxed lifestyle and beautiful scenery it’s not hard to see why many doctors and surgeons are starting to believe that their future could lie in its two islands.


If a move to New Zealand is appealing to you then this brochure should provide you with some basic information, and knowledge of the country, to help you to decide if the move would be the right one for you and your family.


The healthcare system in New Zealand is a mixture of a public/private hybrid system and a smaller fully private system. The public system is either free or heavily subsidised for the country’s citizens at the point of need, and this is paid for partially by an innovative scheme called ‘The Accident Compensation Corporation’ (the ACC).


The ACC scheme covers the cost of treatment for cases which are deemed to be as a result of an accident, such as injuries sustained playing sport or in a car crash. The funding is received from levies which are placed on employers, employees and even vehicle registrations.


Non accidental injuries and illnesses for which the patient requires treatment is provided free of charge, assuming that the patient has been referred by a GP or family doctor. Whilst this secondary treatment is free the initial visit to the GP will cost between $45NZD and $60NZD (around £21 - £28).


The public health system in New Zealand is split into 20 different district health boards (DHBs), 15 of these serve the 3.5 million north island residents, and 5 operate for the 1 million on the south island.


The private system is smaller than many other countries, making up roughly 23% of the market, but it plays a crucial role in loosening the workload on the state system. This keeps the average waiting times for common surgeries like knee and hip lower than they are in the UK, and ensures that a focus can be placed on the quality of the service not the time taken.


In the country as a whole 11.1% of the total GDP is spent on healthcare, a larger percentage than other major countries like the UK, Japan, Spain and Finland. This investment is reflected in the higher than average life expectancy, a figure that is continuing to rise at an impressive pace. It is estimated that a newborn child in New Zealand will now live to the age of 93. A tribute to the success of the system, and healthy lifestyle that it promotes.


New Zealand’s healthcare system involves a unique challenge, dealing with and treating the fascinating Maori people.


The Maoris are the indigenous people of the country, and mainly reside in the northern tip of the North Island - as high as 86% live in this area according to estimates.

To try and get the best possible understanding of their lifestyle, beliefs and culture you should ensure that you visit a Marae. This is a recreation area or, roughly translated, a ‘meeting ground’ where the local Maori tribe or subtribe meet up for events, celebrations, funerals and other gatherings.


The Marae will always contain a carved meeting room, dining room and kitchen with a Karakia (or church) situated nearby. It’s likely that your employer will take you to visit this area if you are practicing in an area with a high Maori population, and it’s important that you gain an understanding of who they are.


The Maori people not only bring with them a unique and fascinating culture, but also different health needs to other New Zealanders. Ischaemic heart disease, diabetes and arthritis are all far more common within the Maori people, whilst roughly 2 in every 5 Maori adults is classified as obese. As of 2012 they also had a far higher level of unmet healthcare needs than anyone else in the country.


Dealing with the Maoris can be challenging. The key can be showing a knowledge and understanding of their culture and even involving their whänau (or extended family in English) in the treatment process. You should also ensure that patients understand the treatment they are receiving, and what they have to ensure they do to make it is successful. Maori English literacy rates are often lower than those of other New Zealanders, and so simple instructions and demonstrations will help them to understand potentially complex medical matters. Maoris also prefer face-to-face communication, so try to always build a relationship with the patients base on this.


If you elect to move to New Zealand then you will learn more about the Maori culture, but having some prior knowledge of it before making the move is something that employers will look upon extremely favourably.


Often the main factor that deters people from moving abroad is the confusing and time consuming immigration and registration processes. In New Zealand this isn’t a major issue however. Whereas often waiting times for a visa in Australia will be over 9 months in New Zealand it can be received often in as little as 3, furthermore unlike in other countries you aren’t channelled into an area of need, and are free to work wherever you can find employment.


The faster paced, more relaxed system is also reflected in the Medical Council of New Zealand’s registration system which allows you to qualify in a variety of ways. In order to grant you registration the system will take into account your qualifications, experience and how long you are intending on staying in the country - be that a 6-12 month contract, as a locum, or more permanently. Commonly this only takes between 20 and 100 days to be fully completed.


If the medical system’s makeup, and quality of life, are appealing to you then it could be time to consider the social benefits of living in the country.


New Zealand has the 3rd best quality of life in the world according to Mercers’ quality of life survey, which also listed Auckland as the third best city to live in, in the world, behind only Vienna and Zurich in Austria and Switzerland.


This is hardly a surprise. New Zealand can boast a relaxed lifestyle, plenty of attractions, and an absolutely stunning variety of scenery for visitors to explore.


If it’s unspoilt natural beauty that you want to admire then New Zealand is hard to beat, with an average of just 17 people per kilometer squared, and vast amounts of wide open land it is a true natural paradise. The centre piece of this natural beauty is Mount Taranaki on the North Island.


This active stratovolcano, which stands at over 2500m above sea level, is located within the Egmont National Park, and closely resembles Mount Fuji in Japan. Like Mount Fuji it is also home to some of the most stunning ski-slopes in the world.


If skiing doesn’t appeal to you then a guided tour of the South Island’s Fox Glacier might. These safe climbs and walks allow you to quite literally walk through history!


As well as natural beauty onshore New Zealand can also boast one of the largest coastlines in the world. 15,134km. Watersports are therefore big business in the country, and the facilities and conditions are ideal for activities like surfing, windsurfing, kitesurfing and diving.


This coastline is also home to some alluring beaches and stunning bays and coves, no more so than Onetongi on Waiheke Island - a paradise like retreat just 30 minutes by ferry from bustling downtown Auckland, which also houses a vineyard where you can taste New Zealand’s famous wines.


Don’t fear that a move is into a desolate (but beautiful) wilderness however, as it is home to some of the world’s best cities which boast plenty of amenities and attractions and less pollution than other major cities.


The capital city, Wellington, is home to all the facilities you’d expect to find in any other major capital. Plenty of shops in the heart of it, with a 32 acre zoo and nature reserve on the outskirts and plenty of world class museums and attractions in between.


Wellington is perhaps most well known for its cable car system which was opened over 100 years ago. The 2060 foot system takes passengers from Lambton Quay - the main shopping area in the city - to the Wellington Botanic Gardens almost a kilometer away.


Whilst Wellington in the southern tip of the North Island is the capital there are plenty of other major cities in the country which are packed full of facilities and things to see and do. In the far north of the North Island lies Auckland with its world renowned Sky Tower and Rainbow's End amusement park, whilst the far south of the South Island is home to the town of Invercargill and its wide range of art galleries and museums.


No matter where you elect to reside you won’t be far away from the action packed cities and beautiful, unspoilt countryside that New Zealand has to offer.


Of course salary packages and the cost of living are two potentially deal breaking factors when considering a move abroad. They are also one of the main reasons why people are attracted to New Zealand.


Salaries in the country are usually similar to the UK, a GP can expect to earn between $150,000NZD to $180,000NZD (£70,000 - £85,000), whilst consultants’ salaries are commonly closer to $200,000NZD - $300,000NZD (£94,000 - £140,000), but with plenty of added incentives. The income tax rate in the country is just 33% whilst there is no National Insurance contributions that are needed meaning that net earnings are often more than they are in the UK.


The attractions aren’t solely financial either, working hours in New Zealand are lower than they are in the NHS, and medics can benefit from more annual leave and study breaks. Whilst the relaxed lifestyle in the country also makes it a great place to move to if you want out of the NHS bureaucracy, and get back to enjoying your career.


New Zealand is certainly not for everyone. Whilst it does appear to be similar to the UK in terms of culture there is a big difference both culturally and within the daily lifestyle. If you believe that your future lies in the country however, be that for a short 6-12 month spell or more permanently, then receive job alerts by signing up to our website:


























New Zealand Facts and Statistics





Largest City



English (95.9%), Maori (4.2%) Sign Language (0.6%)

National Anthem

‘God Defend New Zealand’

Total Area

268,021 km2





GDP Per Capita



Elizabeth II

Governor General

Jerry Mateparae

Prime Minister

John Key


New Zealand Dollar

Population Density

17.2 people per km2

Calling Code




Unemployment Rate


Net Migration


National Animal


National Plant

Silver Fern

National Colour



New Zealand is split into 16 regions, each with their own council



Council Name



Northland Regional Council



Auckland Council



Waikato Regional Council


Bay of Plenty

Bay of Plenty Regional Council



Gisborne District Council


Hawke’s Bay

Hawke's Bay Regional Council



Taranaki Regional Council



Horizons Regional Council



Greater Wellington Regional Council



Tasman District Council



Nelson City Council



Marlborough District Council


West Coast

West Coast Regional Council



Canterbury Regional Council



Otago Regional Council



Southland Regional Council


Quick Health facts


338 out of every 100,000 people have cancer


16.6% of the population smoke tobacco


79.5% of the population drink alcohol


4.6% Have Ischaemic Heart Disease


16.3% Have High blood pressure


19.9% Suffer from Chronic Pain


80% Have visited their GP in the past 12 months


80% Say that they have definite trust in their GP






























District Health Boards


North Island




Area Covered



Far North, Whangarei, Kaipara


Waitemata DHB           

North Shore, Waitakere, Rodney



Central Auckland

Counties Manukau

CM Health      

Manukau, Papakura, Franklin

Bay of Plenty


Tauranga City, Western Bay of Plenty, Whakatane, Kawerau



Waikato DHB 

Hamilton City, Waikato, Matamata Piako, Thames Coromandel, Hauraki, Waipa, South Waikato, Otorohanga, Waitomo, Ruapehu





Lakes DHB

Rotorua, Taupo



New Plymouth, Stratford, South Taranaki

Hawke's Bay


Napier City, Hastings, Wairoa, Central Hawke's Bay, Chatham Islands



Wanganui, Rangitikei, Ruapehu



Palmerston North City, Manawatu, Horowhenua, Otaki

Capital and Coast


Wellington City, Porirua City, Kapiti Coast (excluding Otaki)

Hutt Valley

Hutt Valley DHB

Upper Hutt City, Hutt City


Wairarapa DHB

Masterton, Carterton, South Wairarapa









South Island



Nelson Marlborough   


Nelson City, Tasman, Marlborough

West Coast


Buller, Grey, Westland



Christchurch City, Kaikoura, Hurunui, Waimakariri, Selwyn, Ashburton

South Canterbury


Timaru, Waimate


Southern DHB

Dunedin City, Waitaki, Central Otago, Queenstown Lakes, Clutha, Invercargill City, Gore, Southland



what is the procedure for new foreign medical graduates who are just fresh out of internship/housejob
Posted on Wednesday, May 25, 2016 21:00 by Roobila Naz

Post Comment