Guide to Working As An Independent GP in New Zealand

Published on 09/02/2021

Working independently as a General Practitioner in New Zealand? Here’s what you need to know.

Staying on top of all your financial obligations can be tricky when you're a doctor in NZ. While you get a lot of freedom through a flexible work schedule and a healthier work-life balance, there’s still a lot of admin involved that would otherwise be taken care of by a permanent employer. And you definitely don't want to be spending your free time thinking about tax.

There are some things that will cost you a lot of time and money as a doctor in New Zealand if you're not aware of them.

Income tax payments

You might have someone helping you file an income tax return, but it will be on you to come up with the money once the tax bill comes – this means you’ll be responsible for making accurate payments, or risk underpaying your tax and being charged later on.

GST payments

Much like income tax payments, you’ll be responsible for making sure you’ve collected and paid the right amount of GST during your GST cycles.

ACC payments

You’ll also need to pay ACC levies, and you’ll therefore be on the hook for any out-of-the-blue ACC bills.

Claiming your expenses

Knowing what you can claim can be a real headache. You’ll need to collect expense receipts throughout the year and hold onto those receipts for seven years in the event that the IRD wants to audit you.


As an independent worker, you’ll need to nominate a KiwiSaver percentage. If you contribute up to $1,043 to your KiwiSaver per year, the government will match your contributions 1.5x, up to a maximum of $521—that’s basically free money!

Register as a business?

You don’t actually need to be set up as a registered business to earn independently in New Zealand. You can still be registered for GST, claim expenses and get professional insurance if required and you’ll still get all of the benefits of working as a General Practitioner in NZ.

These are the most common challenges for independent workers, but with the right planning and tools at your disposal, you can be up-to-date and confident on all your obligations and avoid getting caught out later on.

If you’d rather not worry about any of the above, Hnry is there to help take care of it all for you, so you can focus on doing what you do best. As a registered tax agent with the IRD, Hnry can handle Income Tax and GST calculations, filings, payments, even expenses and complex tax affairs.

Ochre Recruitment has a comprehensive range of job offerings for general practitioners and locum doctors in New Zealand. If you wish to know more about working as a doctor in NZ, please contact us.

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