Country Profile:

New Zealand 

An overview for expatriate professionals

Aotearoa, the Land of the Long White Cloud

Mammoth national parks, dynamic Māori culture, and world-class surfing and skiing. New Zealand can be mellow or action-packed, but it's always epic.

New Zealand is ranked one of the world's top expatriate destinations. Famed for its magnificent landscape and the beauty of it lakes and mountains, natural flora and fauna, New Zealand also offers a strong diversified economy, excellent educational facilities, good career opportunities and a relaxed outdoor lifestyle with a huge variety of leisure interests in lakes, seas, mountains and cities, all at close hand.

There are many opportunities to work in New Zealand in permanent or short term positions in the major cities and rural heartland. The country is sparsely populated with just under 5 million inhabitants, mostly living in the major cities.

The three largest cities are Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

Basic Facts

Capital - Wellington

Population - 5.3 million

Currency - New Zealand Dollar (NZD)

Official Languages - English, Maori and Sign Language

Major Religion - Christianity

New Zealand Medical Careers and Jobs

New Zealand Economy

Currency: New Zealand Dollar $NZ (NZD)

The former British colony of New Zealand is one of the Asia–Pacific region’s most prosperous countries. Far-reaching deregulation and privatization since the 1980s have largely liberated the economy.

Services account for 63% of GDP. Agriculture is important, as are manufacturing, tourism, and a strong geothermal energy resource base. 

The top income tax rate is 33 percent, and the top corporate tax rate is 28 percent. Other taxes include goods and services and environmental taxes.

The NZD is the 10th most traded currency in the world. 

New Zealand is at the forefront of resarch and development  in many areas of information technology and in biological and medical research.

Healthcare Sector New Zealand

The national health service provides personal medical and dental care and public health via 20 district health boards, 15 on the North Island and 5 on the South Island. 

Medical care is divided into two major sectors: primary care, mostly community based, and secondary care which is hospital based. There are 5 tertiary medical centres and 2 medical schools, Auckland and Otago.

New Zealand citizens and permanent residents are entitled to access free healthcare but expatriates resident on visas are not eligible for free medical care and need to have private health insurance.

Working in New Zealand

Odyssey recruits candidates for jobs throughout the whole of New Zealand from major cities to rural areas working with major public hospitals managed by the district health boards, private hospitals and community clinics and partnerships. 

New Zealand has skills shortages within the healthcare sector and medical professionals are recognised as priority candidates for New Zealand immigration.

Advantages of working in New Zealand

  • excellent working conditions, well equipped and managed medical facilities comparable to other developed nations
  • sound postgraduate structured educational programmes leading to internationally respected qualifications, achievable in a shorter time than in many other countries.
  • opportunities for academic research, specialist fellowships and teaching
  • devlopment of skills in clinical leadership, service design and development and quality frameworks
  • the right to obtain residency status until the age of 56 with the right to obtain work permits after the age of 56. 
  • Superb work life balance with an exceptional range of outdoor and cultural activities.
  • Magnificent scenery and native wildlife, without snakes and dangerous animals.

Medical Practice Opportunities in New Zealand

  • Specialists in all disciplines for permanent and fixed term contracts
  • Junior doctor - registrar and house officer - training and service roles, 6-12 month or longer contracts
  • General Practitioners and Rural Generalists 

To practice in New Zealand you will need to have knowledge of the Treaty of Waitangi 1840, employment law and privacy law and data protection details of which can be found using the link below.

Employment Law and Policies New Zealand

Obtaining a Practice Certificate for New Zealand

You will need to obtain a license to practice your profession with the appropriate regulatory board in New Zealand and details of the boards can be found via the link below.

General requirements include:

  1. IELTS Academic module or OET 
  2. EPIC Primary Source Verification of Qualifications
  3. Application to the appropriate licence board.

Professional Registration Boards - New Zealand

New Zealand Culture and Lifestyle

New Zealand’s cultural influences are predominantly European and Maori. Immigrant groups have generally tended to assimilate into the European lifestyle, although traditional customs are still followed by many Tongans, Samoans, and other Pacific peoples.

The state has moved progressively to assist and encourage the arts. Creative New Zealand, the national agency for arts funding, gives annual grants in support of theatre, music, modern dance and ballet, opera, and literature.

The national orchestra is supported by the government through the Ministry for Culture and Heritage. The government also provides taxation and other incentives for the motion-picture industry, and New Zealand-made films have received growing international recognition.

New Zealanders enjoy a balanced lifestyle with great career opportunities and plenty of time for recreational activities. Outdoor activities are abundant, including water sports, snow sports, extreme sports, as well as some of the most beautiful walks in the world.

New Zealander's, called Kiwis, enjoy access to some of the world's best food and wine, and are famous for their good old fashioned kiwi hospitality.

Cities of New Zealand


Auckland is the largest and most heavily populated urban area in the country with 1.7 million residents and 32 percent of the country’s population. The city lies across an 8 mile wide volcanic isthmus separating two harbours.  Auckland is a centre for yachting in New Zealand, having hosted the America’s Cup regatta, and has more yachts per capita than any other city in the world.  Culturally, Auckland is a melting pot with the largest Polynesian population of any city in the world as well as being home to communities of a number of other cultures.

Auckland is classified as a Beta+ World City because of its importance in commerce, education and arts. The University of Auckland is the largest in New Zealand. Auckland is consistently ranked highly for quality of living. 


The capital city of New Zealand, Wellington is the North Island’s southern most city, nestled between its harbour and surrounding hills.  Wellington is the home of New Zealand's Government, Parliament Supreme Court and major cultural institutions including the National Archives, National Library, National Museum, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and Royal New Zealand Ballet company.

Described by the Lonely Planet Guide in 2011 as the “coolest little capital in the world”, Wellington has a thriving arts scene and is home to many museums, theatres, galleries and arts festivals. Internationally it is known for filmmaking, with a growing number of creative professionals including Sir Peter Jackson based here.


Christchurch is the largest city of New Zealand's  South Island and the third largest city in New Zealand. Internationally famed as ‘The Garden City’, Christchurch is promoted for its close proximity to a wide range of outdoor activities including skiing golf, surfing and mountain biking.  Christchurch is one of five 'gateway cities' for Antarctic exploration, hosting Antarctic support bases for several nations.

Agriculture is the mainstay of Chistchurch's economy and strong technology based industries have developed out of co-operation between local businesses and the academic strengths of the University of Canterbury and other local educational institutions.

While Christchurch did experience a devastating earthquake in February 2011, recovery work is underway, and the city as a whole continues to operate with more and more of the city being re-opened as work is completed.


Information about moving to New Zealand

To make your move easier and help you transition into New Zealand society, here is a list of good websites with abundant information about living in New Zealand.

100% Pure NZ An excellent website for resources and information about living in New Zealand.

Working in New Zealand Excellent information about jobs and work in New Zealand.

New Zealand Immigration Information about visas, work permits and residency in New Zealand.

New Zealand History A wonderful website about the culture and history of New Zealand.

Encyclopedia of New Zealand Information about New Zealand's culture, history and society.

New Zealand Weather Latest weather forecasts across New Zealand

Travelling in New Zealand Information about travelling around New Zealand 

Driving Licenses in New Zealand Information about driving in New Zealand

Schools and education in New Zealand Details of New Zealand's education system

Opening a bank account in New Zealand What you need to open a bank account in New Zealand

Taxes in New Zealand Inland Revenue website with tax information

Register for Medical Jobs in New Zealand

Register your details and Search for Jobs in New Zealand