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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.



How do I get registered in New Zealand? How much will I get paid in New Zealand? Where is the best place to work in New Zealand? Do my children need visas for New Zealand? For answers to these questions and more, check out our FAQs page.


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