Locum Stories

We have a unique relationship with our locums, ensuring that they are well supported throughout the recruitment and placement process. Our goal is to provide our locums with the right placement and support so that they enjoy their time working in our northland rural practices. We reinforce locum recruitment and placement with access to our comprehensive accredited medical education programmes, medical supervision and local peer support events.

Read some of their comments about their experiences of living and working in beautiful rural Northland

GP Locum Colin from the UK wrote:

Working in Northland for two successive spells January- March 2015 and 2016 was a great success for me and proved a real tonic after a career spent in the UK’s NHS as a general practitioner. I came to New Zealand looking for a fresh challenge but also wanted the opportunity to apply my skills as a GP in a different setting. Northland is probably the most remote and least visited part of New Zealand but it has some of the best beaches and scenery in NZ with access to delicious local food and a delightful Mediterranean style climate. Northland has a high indigenous Maori population and although this presents some health challenges I found the population straightforward and pleasant to deal with, as well as being very grateful for help and advice. I was based in Kaitaia close to the local hospital and other GP colleagues and hospital staff could not have been more supportive and helpful. The local Health trust Te Tai Tokerau PHO was also helpful and supportive.

My wife visited with me on both occasions and really enjoyed the local culture. She made friends and got involved in local activities and sports very quickly. We stayed in excellent accommodation and had basic transport provided.

When not working there was lots of opportunities to get out and about in Northland as well as very enjoyable trips to Waipio, Hokianga, the Bay of Islands and down to Auckland.

Whilst we missed family and friends at home in the UK we were sad to finally leave Northland, and since returning home have enthusiastically encouraged other colleagues to try a spell working in New Zealand.

Christine from Austria wrote:

Locum GP working for Te Tai Tokerau PHO in the Kerikeri area. I´ve been doing several locums for GP practices in the Kerikeri area, mostly arranged through Te Tai Tokerau PHO, since 2012.

The team at Te Tai Tokerau Primary Health Organisation have helped with many aspects of organizing the locum stays, from talking to prospective employers to helping in getting registered with the MCNZ to arranging work visas and most importantly, always having a firm plan in mind of what needs to be done next.

Initially my husband and I were obviously drawn to the Far North by its beautiful landscapes, its pristine beaches and oceans teeming with life. All the leisure activities are always right in front of you. The biggest joy for my husband has been being able to join the local waka ama (outrigger canoe) club and taking part in the regular training and the races.

Working as a GP I have really appreciated being able to work in a group practice with other colleagues. The challenge of rural medicine in a different country, often having to use basic medical skills to make a diagnosis and start a therapy, is sometimes daunting, but help and support from friendly colleagues has always just been a knock on the next door away.

Living in New Zealand we´ve made good friends and we are looking forward to coming back as soon as possible.
After years of working as a GP in the Far North, and several years locum work throughout the rest of NZ, I would unreservedly recommend to locums they spend some time working in Northland.

The Far North offers:

  • Superb beaches, coastal scenery and forests, with world class boating & fishing, bush walking,camping and cycling opportunities.
  • The most authentic indigenous culture in the country.
  • Friendly supportive communities with diverse interesting patient populations.
  • Relaxed and friendly well supported work environments.
  • The mildest winters in the whole country.
  • You cannot leave NZ without a Far North work experience!