• New Zealand

Locum and Permanent General Practice Jobs New Zealand

Working in New Zealand as a Doctor is an excellent career and lifestyle move.

There is currently a huge demand for doctors to fill job vacancies and help reduce current patient backlogs. We are working medical centres across New Zealand to find General Practitioners from Australia, the UK, Ireland, USA, Canada and The Netherlands.

If you are a British or Irish Doctor considering the move to New Zealand, we have clients that are particularly keen to talk with you.  With exciting one-year contracts for General Practitioners offering great salary packages and an opportunity to gain experience in a new healthcare system, now is the perfect time to start the conversation.  

Why Do Doctors Work in New Zealand?

  1. Unparalleled work-life balance, most Doctors work between 32-40 hours per week;

  2. The pace is slower with less population and people are generally more relaxed;

  3. Broad scope of work presents more opportunities in specialisms;

  4. Excellent working conditions amidst or close to some of the most visually stunning environments on the planet.

Please contact Angelique Rahme on +64 4 894 3320 or 022 463 7328

Why choose Ochre Recruitment for
your NZ medical career move?

We take careful note of your personal needs - a successful move to New Zealand from overseas relies on this. We are very interested in learning more about you, and if travelling with a partner or family, understanding their needs as well.   

It is equally important to situate you in a role that suits your experience and skills; job satisfaction is crucial, and we take great pride in finding the right NZ jobs for doctors. 

We emphasise the ins and outs of what it’s actually like to work as a GP in NZ. If you have any specific interests it is important to discuss these to see how they fit in with medical practices and hospitals in the New Zealand setting. 

We have been helping doctors from overseas move their careers and families to New Zealand for 20 years, and we’re genuinely excited about helping you too.

Discover your options for jobs as an international doctor in New Zealand.

Our New Zealand Team is ready to help you make the move.

Contact our NZ team

If you love an adventure, New Zealand is there place to be

View a selection of GP Jobs in New Zealand

Permanent GP - Waikato

Permanent North Island Salary on application

A great place to live and work!

Read more

Permanent GP - Manawatu-Whanganui

Permanent North Island Salary on application

This fantastic practice is looking to grow the team!

Read more

Permanent GP - Ashburton

Permanent South Island Salary on application

Join a friendly and supportive group that are motivated to provide the best possible health care services to patients of the Canterbury region.

Read more
NZ page content image 2 Sunset Wharariki Beach

Where can I work as a Doctor in New Zealand?

Doctors from overseas can generally work where they want. It is best though to start your initial location search with an open mind. Being a small country, it is easy to get around to enjoy all the attractions and landscapes.

Pre-COVID, Doctors from overseas were able to work their way around both Islands in six-month contracts or even shorter locums. With current border restrictions and quarantine laws, practices and hospitals are still very much welcoming international Doctors, but they are asking for a minimum commitment of 12 months.

Where you settle and establish your 'home away from home' is up to you.

Some international Doctors prefer urban locations, as they aren’t keen on covering on-call or they prefer to be closer to a secondary or tertiary hospital. On the other hand, some Doctors love the challenge of rural practice, covering on-call and completing ward rounds at the local rural hospital.

The best places to work in NZ

Salary expectations for Doctors in New Zealand  

The annual salary for permanent GPs in New Zealand falls between $170,000 and NZD 230,000.

If you are employed as an independent contractor your hourly rate will be higher, but you won’t have paid leave or benefits and will need to pay your tax.

However, most doctors from overseas (and NZ-based doctors) work as employees and are paid fortnightly. Your employer takes care of the tax and you will receive various types of leave and other benefits.

NZ content image 4Snowy Tararuas

About the Medical Council of New Zealand and how we can help

Working as a doctor in New Zealand requires  Registration with the Medical Council of New Zealand, or MCNZ.

Medical registration via the Comparable Health or Competent Authority pathways are often used for GPs or registrars, while the Locum Tenens pathway allows a doctor with approved specialist qualifications to work as a locum GP or specialist for up to twelve months. 

Locum Tenens registration can be processed quite quickly, so we can have you living and working in New Zealand within a matter of months.

  • Competent Authority Pathway for British and Irish Graduates

    • Must hold a primary medical degree from a university medical school within the UK or Ireland
    • Must have at least one year of general medical experience working in the UK or Ireland
    • Will require six months of supervision before gaining general registration.
  • Comparable Health Pathway

    • Must hold current and full registration in a ‘comparable’ country. Comparable countries include Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, United Kingdom, and the USA.
    • Must have worked in a comparable health system for a minimum of 30 hours per week, for at least 33 months out of the last 48 months prior to application. For this period, you’ll need to have worked in the same branch of medicine that you intend to follow in NZ.
    • Will require 12 months of supervision before gaining general registration.
  • Locum Tenens Pathway

    • Based on postgraduate qualification
    • Applicable to specialist qualifications from Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Ireland, UK and the USA. Contact your Ochre Recruitment consultant to confirm that you hold the requisite qualification for your specialty
    • Allows doctors to work a maximum of 12 months in NZ at one time; you may return as a locum multiple times
    • Supervisory only, and does not lead to full NZ registration

Frequently Asked Questions from Doctors
wishing to work in New Zealand

  • What does Ochre help with?

    We help you find a job and guide you through the Medical Council registration and work visa process, if required. We also help you set up a bank account, get medical indemnity and apply for a tax number. As well as anything else that makes your transition to working and living in New Zealand easier!

  • Will I be eligible to work in New Zealand?

    Have a look at the registration self-assessment tool on the Medical Council of New Zealand website.  

  • How does Vocational Registration work?

    Assuming that  hold a postgraduate qualification you may be eligible to apply for Vocational Registration in New Zealand. Please see the Medical Council of New Zealand’s (MCNZ) criteria around training and qualifications to see if you may be deemed eligible.

    It can be difficult to give you an indication of the likelihood of approval down this pathway as each doctor is considered on a case by case basis. The MCNZ and the relevant College will assess your application. If your training and experience is similar you stand a reasonable chance of being approved.  Once you have submitted your application it can take up to 8 months to be assessed. 

  • Will my partner be able to work in New Zealand?

    If you are applying for a work visa longer than six months, your partner will be able to apply for a work visa via the Partnership Pathway. You, as the principal applicant will need to support your partner’s application and provide evidence that you are in a genuine relationship.

  • What are the school options for my children?

    New Zealand’s education system—public and private—is very good, recognised as one of the best in the world. New Zealand is comfortably in the world’s top 20 nations for the quality of schools, according to the OECD in 2016. 95% of children in New Zealand attend government-funded public schools, with around 4% attending private schools. In general, there will always be good primary and college school options for your children no matter where you choose to live in NZ. Your children can apply for student visas on the back of your work visa and will be treated as domestic students thereby not requiring you to pay international school fees.

  • What does a typical day look like for a GP working in NZ?

    Most GPs will work around 8 to 10 sessions per week, averaging 35 to 40 hours per week. A session is deemed as a half-day. Hours are usually 8.30am to 5.30pm with a one-hour lunch break, and a morning and afternoon tea break. Patient appointments usually take 15 minutes and it is expected that a GP will see approximately 24 patients a day. You can expect paperwork time to be built into the day. 

    If on-call is a component of the role, some practices will only require the GP to be on-call during the evening from 5.30pm to 9.00pm, after which time the local hospital takes over. In some cases the GP is on-call overnight, and if required will need to see patients at the local hospital or in the medical centre. Some practices may require GPs to run a clinic during the weekend or complete a ward round in a rural hospital.

  • What benefits are New Zealand GPs entitled to on a permanent contract?

    In you are employed on a permanent contract, some employers may cover:

    • Licence to practise—Annual Practicing Certificate
    • Medical indemnity—Malpractice
    • Paid leave—Annual, Sick, CME
    • Continuing medical education costs
    • Membership to the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners (RNZCGP)
    • Initial assistance with accommodation and vehicle
    • Assistance with relocation costs (only if a GP is moving to New Zealand permanently).
  • What are the most important things to consider when looking at a permanent medical career move to NZ?

    Choose a location that meets your lifestyle needs, and if travelling with a partner or family, theirs as well. It’s important to think outside of work—make the most of New Zealand’s superb work/life balance! If travelling with a family you might want good day-care options, for example, or access to family-friendly activities, sport clubs, schools, or access to the great outdoors. If fishing and surfing is important to you may want to consider coastal locations, or if you are keen on river kayaking and hiking through mountains you may be interested in looking at mountainous locations inland.  It may be important for your partner to find work, so depending on their profession you may wish to base yourself in or near a large urban area.

  • What is the pay/salary I can expect for a permanent job?

    This is very much determined on how you are employed. If you are employed as an independent contractor your hourly rate will be higher but you need to pay your own tax, there is no paid leave or benefits. Most doctors from overseas (and NZ based doctors) however, are employed as an employee and paid on a fortnightly basis. The annual salary will fall between $150,000 – $200.000 NZD approx. Your employer takes care of the tax, there is paid leave and other benefits. 

  • What is Locum Tenens?

    You are eligible to apply for registration with the MCNZ down this pathway based on you holding a specific postgraduate qualification. This pathway allows you to work as a Specialist for up to 12 months. This pathway is only suitable for short term placements and is only available if you have secured a job offer.

    Read more about the Locum Tenens Pathway in New Zealand.

  • Are Doctors in demand in New Zealand?

    In New Zealand, demand for general and specialist medical care will continue to grow because of the ageing population, and because about one-third of doctors in general practice are retiring over the next decade.

Insights from our doctors

  • The easy-going atmosphere, the great outdoors and the sparsely populated country made NZ a great destination. Stop considering the move and make it happen! I haven't met anyone who had regrets about making the move.

    Dr Jacob Stiggelbout

    General Practitioner

  • The New Zealand Healthcare System allows you to have genuine relationships with your patients... everyone is concerned about the general well-being of their fellow staff and patients and not about making money for the hospital.

    Dr Garett Burke

    Emergency Medicine Physician

  • Thank you for all the work you've done to find me locums across New Zealand. You make everything easy. If you are considering locum work, I recommend talking to the team at Ochre Recruitment.

    Dr Julie Hardy

    Locum GP

  • I am very pleased with the NZ Ochre Recruitment team. Their service is professional, fast and efficient. They have not failed even once in my seven years of experience with them.

    Dr Maria Beltran De Guevara

    General Practitioner

  • We loved our time in New Zealand. I was thrilled to have Ochre as my recruiter. You found me great jobs for me and experiences for my family, especially in the South Island. We miss NZ and hope to return someday. Thank you.

    Dr Beth Blumenstein

    General Pratitioner

  • Everything is always perfect with my placements and I enjoy working with Angie because things are straightforward and easy. Jobs are on the website and I only have to tell Angie which jobs I’m interested in and the rest is done by Ochre. Very good service always.

    Dr Joann Urschitz

    General Practitioner

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