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Jess - Oncology CNS, South Canterbury

My name is Jess, I arrived in NZ in October 2015 and spent a few months travelling around beautiful NZ - would recommend this if at all possible! I am now working as an Oncology CNS in a small south Island DHB.

I started the process of seriously preparing to come to NZ in March 2015. When I left the UK I had my NCNZ registration completed but did not have a job or work visa.

The easiest part of the process was making the decision to emigrate, though having made this decision I was extremely impatient to get on the plane! The hardest part of the process was making the decision to risk coming to NZ with a one way flight and no job or work visa! I had to trust that my own skill and experience to get work within 6 months;  and of course the contacts, experience and support of Kristin and Merryl at Accent was essential. Myself and my partner viewed it as a back to front retirement, and funded our trip with our savings. We did have a contingency plan in case I was unsuccessful in getting a job and visa within 6 months.

My first impression of NZ was WOW, this is meant to be! as we arrived at Auckland airport to a glorious sunrise. The next day the All Blacks won the rugby world cup too!

The best bits of NZ are the people and the country. Here on the South Island I love the feeling of space - our nearest neighbor is 1 km away but it still only takes a 30 minute drive to get to work and park in the free car park! 

Below: Jess's view from her house

I mostly miss: my friends and watching their children grow up, however Skype etc help a lot with this.  And funnily enough a de-icer for the car - cost $20+ if you can even find it to buy. Most Kiwi's just use hot water to de-ice their windscreen!

My advice to anyone planning to come to NZ is: be prepared for endless amounts of annoying form filling - just when you think you have done them all something else crops up!


In my work place there are a lot of similarities to the UK and a lot of things that are very different. I always thought I really appreciated NHS's free at point of delivery approach, but here where GP appointments typically cost $40 and repeat scripts are $12 , I really do see that this has an impact on my patients who often require lots of input from the primary care services.

Also, coming from a specialized oncology hospital in the UK to a small DHB on the South Island has been a steep learning curve as myself and my 2 colleagues cover all types of cancer, whereas in the UK there is much more specialism.  I am really enjoying getting to grips with lots of oncology that is new to me.

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