Quick Facts

Locum Tenens in New Zealand


What do locum tenens assignments in New Zealand look like? What is included with New Zealand locum tenens assignments Physician compensation for locum tenens jobs in New Zealand Reasons physicians choose to work locum tenens in New Zealand Just a few of the benefits of working international locum tenens: Things to know before leaving on your New Zealand assignment

International locum tenens assignments in New Zealand with Global Medical Staffing (GMS) are available on both the North and South Islands, and can be in inland or coastal areas. And with patients in rural areas who are in need of more doctors, it’s a great opportunity to give back — while having the adventure of a lifetime.

View locums jobs in New Zealand A woman in a Land Rover in New Zealand with her feet on the dashboard looking at mountains.

What do locum tenens assignments in New Zealand look like?

Where the locums jobs are in New Zealand

  1. Most are in rural, underserved locations

  2. Some assignments are available in metropolitan areas

How long locums assignments in New Zealand last

  • Most are 6- to 12- months with some lasting even longer

  • A typical work week in New Zealand is 40 hours a week plus on call, with generous PTO

Clinical settings for locums assignments in New Zealand

All medical settings need locums physicians:

  • Clinics

  • Hospitals

  • Urgent care clinics

What physician specialties are needed in New Zealand

The most common physician specialties that are needed in New Zealand include:

all locums jobs in New Zealand A woman in a kayak on the water in New Zealand, with beautiful mountains in the distance.

What is included with New Zealand locum tenens assignments


Global Medical Staffing will take care of licensing for you through the Medical Council of New Zealand.


We apply for and secure your and your family members’ visas upon approval from the Medical Council.


GMS will assist you with all credentialing and pre-fill apps as much as we’re legally allowed in order to reduce the amount of time you spend on paperwork.


New Zealand largely bars malpractice suits and instead has no-fault compensation for injured patients, so you will not need malpractice insurance. This compensation is covered by the New Zealand government and the medical facilities you’ll work with there.

Housing, airfare, and vehicle included

  • GMS covers the cost of fully furnished housing for each physician working for us.

  • GMS also covers the cost of a car.

  • GMS provides roundtrip airfare for the physician. If you decide to bring your family along, you will need to pay for your family members’ flights, but GMS can help with the bookings.

Fun fact: In New Zealand, cars drive on the left side of the road. Try this quiz to brush up on New Zealand driving.

A person waving from the window of a Land Rover with New Zealand mountains in the background.

Physician compensation for locum tenens jobs in New Zealand

The pay rate for locum tenens physicians in New Zealand is lower than in the United States (about 34% of U.S. pay), and the cost of living tends to be higher, like most island countries.

On the other hand, the adventures that come with spending time in New Zealand are worth it to many locum tenens physicians who aren’t going for the money. Many also enjoy the quality time with family and the laid-back lifestyle New Zealand culture provides.

Explore more: How much locum tenens physicians get paid in other countries

How locum tenens taxes work in New Zealand

  • The way taxes work in New Zealand is different for each person and depends on your home country. GMS recommends you seek the advice of an accounting professional who understands international taxes.

  • Here are some things to keep in mind:

    • If your country has a tax agreement with New Zealand, you will not be double taxed, but you will need to file taxes in both NZ and your home country.

    • As a locum tenens physician, you are considered an independent contractor, and taxes will not be automatically deducted.

    • New Zealand’s tax year runs through March 31.

    • For United States physicians: You will be responsible for paying taxes in the U.S. for things such as State Tax (if applicable), Social Security, and Medicare.

Health Insurance for locums physicians in New Zealand

Since locum tenens physicians are independent contractors, GMS does not provide health insurance or other typical full-time employee benefits. However, New Zealand does offer free healthcare for you and your family for anything accidental, like an injury from a bike crash or a car accident.

For supplemental health coverage, you can obtain affordable health insurance from private insurers like Southern Cross. Health insurance in New Zealand is generally cheap. For a family of four, coverage would be around NZ $1400 or U.S. $830 per year.

locum tenens faq A person standing next to a river with mountains in the background in New Zealand.

Reasons physicians choose to work locum tenens in New Zealand

Enjoy better work/life balance

Life in New Zealand is slower paced than in the United States, with a small-town, rural feel. And with fewer administrative responsibilities, you’ll have plenty for adventures with your family.

Have a once-in-a-lifetime experience 

You’re living in a beautifully lush country, surrounded by a rich culture, and plenty of opportunities to explore new places.

Boost your CV

Practicing in a new culture and learning a new healthcare system is a great way to enhance your professional experience.

Ease into retirement

Balance your career while you transition out of it. 

Find purpose

Know that you are helping underserved communities, and experience what it’s like caring for unique traditionally underserved indigenous communities.

Live an adventure

You get to see parts of the world you may never have thought of going to, including lodges in the mountains, the art in Auckland, and yes, even The Shire.

A man jumping from one rock to another in a river in New Zealand.

Just a few of the benefits of working international locum tenens

  • Learn how the vibrant Māori culture in New Zealand has shaped the smallest towns to the largest cities

  • Expose your family to rich cultures and unique experiences as you spend quality time together

  • Mix work and play by exploring New Zealand in your off time

  • Practice medicine in a country with socialized healthcare

  • Enjoy the slower pace of living in New Zealand

  • Check out nearby exotic destinations like Australia and Fiji, which are just a short plane ride away

A man and a woman with a Land Rover overlooking hills in New Zealand.

Things to know before leaving on your New Zealand assignment

Familiarize yourself with New Zealand medical practices

New Zealand has a set of standards they want all physicians to adhere to, including guidelines around giving care, communicating with patients, respecting diversity and equity, and professional behavior.

Pharmacies and medicines

Physicians should come prepared knowing which medicines are and aren’t available in New Zealand. Here’s a list to get you started.

Personal prescriptions

You can bring three months of most personal prescriptions into New Zealand. Beyond that, you’ll need additional prescriptions shipped to you.

Dress code in NZ hospitals and clinics

Typically, physicians dress in smart casual with polos or blouses and slacks.

Bringing your pet

In order to bring your furry friend, you’ll need to fill out the proper paperwork and be prepared to quarantine your pet for 10 days at an approved facility.

Consider New Zealand for your next international locum tenens adventure

New Zealand is on many people’s bucket lists for all its beauty, culture, and outdoor explorations. Combining that adventure with locum tenens is an unbeatable opportunity to do good by helping a new community, while also having a whole lot of fun. And even better? You’ll have the support of Global Medical Staffing every step of the way.

New Zealand opportunities

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