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John - Occupational Therapist

The easiest part of the process was the management by ACCENT in particular finding me ‘the right fit’ occupational therapy employment role.

The most challenging part of the process were the bits ACCENT could not oversee, re- registering, organizing visa and quarantine.

My first impressions of NZ were a progressive country that has value-centered country. First day out of quarantine I felt emotional experience because I was struck by how friendly everyone is and that reminded me of how things used to be in Ireland growing up in the 1990s before the rise of excessive materialistic culture post Celtic Tiger.

The best parts of NZ I think the emotional intelligence of people. In simple words people are so helpful whenever you need to access services of any kind.

New Zealand reminds me of bygone days growing up in Ireland before people became overly obsessed by materialistic values. New Zealanders are not overly obsessed by appearances and are easy going particularly when challenges arise. I find the NZ workplace setting is values centred where styles of leadership emphasise getting the best out of the team. I look forward to going to work everyday as result.

My advice if you are planning to come to NZ is don’t dilly dally just do it, get over here if you can. As New Zealanders might say life’s too short about thinking what if. Take the plunge and ‘get yourself over here, eh!’

The values centred paradigm that is New Zealand’s bicultural approach makes it amenable for an occupational therapist to apply the principles of the profession. The culture here is about supporting people to develop, and sustain sense of purpose. It is easy working as an occupational therapist where the culture supports your role to improve people’s abilities to have purposeful life.


I think New Zealand retains the best of the liberal tradition from its mother country Great Britain. In this context New Zealand culture is able to be reflexive look at what it has done in the past and see how it can improve. As a consequence New Zealand is blazing a trail for the rest of the world where New Zealand is ditching it’s old colonial mask and replacing it with a bicultural revision where Maori culture alongside Pakeha is being valued more and more. This is in contrast to the United Kingdom which is at present is struggling to look at itself coherently. For example, a government- commissioned review into racism has concluded the United Kingdom is not an institutionally racist country, prompting a backlash from critics within United Kingdom.

It helps to speak English fluently. However, I realise if I am to really develop a coherent understanding of bicultural Aotearoa I must learn Maori culture too. I plan to learn Te Reo meantime.

Is there anything specifically done differently in NZ that has interested you and the way you practice your profession? I think bicultural Aotearoa society has a profound impact on occupational therapy practice where Maori culture in particular places equal emphasis on the taha wairua (spiritual), taha whanau ( family), taha hinengaro (mental), and taha tinana (physical) dimensions. Consequently this allows for far greater opportunities to practice holistically as an occupational therapist than in western culture which are materialistic to a fault.



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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