Recruitment | Ko Te Rehita

International Doctors
Why you should work in New Zealand as a health practitioner

If you’re an international doctor looking to move to New Zealand, our NZLocums & NZMedJobs team can help find you a job and make your move here as easy as possible.

Our team offers locum, long-term and permanent positions in rural and urban towns throughout New Zealand.

Aotearoa New Zealand is a unique and diverse country, with a rich history that dates back to the courageous Māori voyagers who discovered our beautiful land. New Zealanders, or Kiwis as we call ourselves, are friendly and down-to-earth and we welcome visitors with open arms. We are proud of our history, our unique culture, our incredible landscapes and our native plants and animals and we love sharing this with new people.

Primary Health Care in New Zealand

Primary health care in New Zealand is delivered predominantly by medical practitioners in private general practices. Other providers include public health organisations, trusts, and groups working together with their communities.

Rural general practices range from sole practitioner practices to larger practices sometimes with up to six or seven General Practitioners. The practice team includes rural nurse specialists, receptionists and allied health workers. There are about 200 rural general (family) practices in New Zealand.

Māori Health

Increasing access, achieving equity and improving health outcomes for Māori is a key priority for Hauora Taiwhenua, Te Whatu Ora Health NZ and the Te Aka Whai Ora Māori Health Authority.

He Korowai Oranga (New Zealand’s Māori Health Strategy) is based on three key principles, Partnership, Participation, and Protection, which incorporate principles of the Treaty of Waitangi and an understanding that Māori will have an important role in implementing health for Māori.

There are about 240 Māori health providers in New Zealand. They tend to deliver services to predominantly – but not exclusively – Māori clients. In addition, there are a number of providers of health and disability services to Māori.

General Practitioners in New Zealand

There are many reasons why New Zealand-registered GPs choose to work in a rural practice. Some have a passion for delivering health care to small communities and the range of varied and interesting clinical work.  The rural lifestyle and slower pace of life is appealing to many, as is the opportunity to take a break from the stresses of managing a practice.

Nurse Practitioners in New Zealand

Nurse Practitioners are a vital part of the rural health workforce in New Zealand. Many nurse practitioners work in primary care where they may be the lead health care provider for their communities. This is common in rural areas particularly where it is hard to source a GP.

What do you need to know about moving to New Zealand?


If you are arriving in New Zealand from overseas it is highly likely that you will require a work permit or visa to work in the country. Visit Immigration New Zealand here  for more information.

Medical Registration 

To work in New Zealand as a doctor you need to be registered with the Medical Council of New Zealand (MCNZ). The registration process is straight forward, and usually doctors who have qualified and worked in countries with comparable health systems are not required to sit any exams to gain registration with the MCNZ.

Medical Indemnity (Malpractice) Insurance 

NZLocums & NZMedJobs requires that all general practitioners who work with us hold appropriate medical indemnity insurance whilst working in New Zealand.


Your New Zealand income tax obligations will depend on your individual circumstances. We strongly recommend you obtain independent tax advice from a professional accountant regarding your personal tax situation.

If you are working as a roving locum through NZLocums & NZMedJobs you will be engaged as an independent contractor, whereas if you are contracted directly to the practice you may be either an employee or an independent contractor depending on the terms of your agreement.

Send us mail

PO Box 547
Wellington 6140
New Zealand

Our Location

Level 2, 88 The Terrace
Wellington Central, Wellington 6011
New Zealand