New Zealand offers a relaxed lifestyle in a stunning landscape. Both North and South Islands offer fabulous beaches, mountains for winter sports and bush for tramping and hunting.
New Zealand has a temperate climate which results in a very outdoor-focused culture. A multi-cultural ethnic mix, a wide diversity in food and the arts can be found in all main centres.
With large rural areas and major city centres in both North and South Islands, there are veterinary opportunities in both production large animal and companion animal practices.
Dairy is the primary large animal production, followed by sheep and beef.
There is also a significant deer industry, with alpaca and milking goat sectors growing.
Lifestyle blocks are popular in New Zealand. These are small acreages, usually from 2 to 10 acres, and are part farm/part pet. Here you will find pigs, chickens, alpacas, horses and ponies – which is why we call this mixed practice!
New Zealand has a very strong equine sector. This includes Thoroughbred and Standardbred race horse studs and training yards and sport horse production. Despite its population of almost 5 million, New Zealand has produced a large number of horses and riders winning at international level, particularly in eventing.
Horse ownership is comparatively cheap in New Zealand and there is a large recreational horse owning sector. Equine special interest and specialist veterinarians are highly sought after. The thoroughbred breeding season runs from September to December and extra staff are often taken on by equine practices at this time.
Veterinarians are on the New Zealand skills shortage immigration list. Vet nurses and other veterinary support staff are not. To check visa types and eligibility check out the NZ Immigration’s website
All veterinarians practicing in New Zealand must be registered with the Veterinary Council of New Zealand. Details of the registration process and criteria for overseas vets to register can be found on the Vet Council’s website. You cannot practice in New Zealand without a full, current practicing certificate.