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Karen - Midwife, Taranaki

"My name is Karen and I am an Italian midwife (qualified 1995).
I came to New Plymouth, NZ in October last year from Italy with my three sons ( y7,y11,y15) and my husband arrived few months later. The process to come to NZ took me 6 months from the date of my IELTS exam (1 month in order to have my Midwifery College registration, 2months in order to be ready for a job interview and have a job offer, two months for complete the work Visa process for all the members of my family).

The easiest part of the process was contact Merryl all the time I needed. She was available 24/7! It was easy to follow step by step her suggestions and advice. The most challenging part of the process was to be ready for the job interview because English is not my first language and I was very scared.

However I did one by Skype and it was successful so...job offer in 48 hours!

My first impressions of NZ were easy-going and friendly people living in a paradise! Crazy weather, 4 seasons in one, intercultural atmosphere, slow life...and not English but Kiwi language! The best parts of NZ are the landscapes, the freedom to be yourself, the quality of food (if you know what to buy) veggies-fruits-meat-dairy, the air pollution as in Italy.

What I miss the most' Maybe the way how Italian people hug, kiss and laugh. We are quite warm as a population, kiwi people are very friendly and generous but they do not "touch" each other as we do.

My advice if you are planning to come to NZ is:

1) Come one time in winter season on holiday in order to have an idea, if you can afford it

2) IELT exam done ASAP with the score you need for your Job (it is more tricky than you think...)

3) written plan and checklist

4) people's point of view about NZ is personal so do not trust people too much, build your opinion, NZ is not for everybody ...luckily! Special place for special people.

If you have family, to involve the children in the process is fundamental.  If you want to move to NZ do not ask their "permission" (big decision-parents take it not children) but be enthusiastic and proactive.  They are in the process as well so find info/news/pictures they can use in order to create the "diary" of your family's journey starting from the date you have decided to move to NZ. Share info about NZ culture, flora and fauna...

Do not be alone, Merryl and Accent Recruitment Agency can help you a lot they make the difference: less stress, lots of support and achieve the goal.


The major differences between my current role in NZ and my previous role in Italy is the independence I have here as a midwife, the partnership with the women, the continuity of care.

Are there any similarities that have helped you orientate/transition easily'

Yes, protocol and procedure are roughly the same....coming from the same international guideline, same drugs and medication.

Is there anything specifically done differently in NZ that has interested you and the way you practice your profession?

The annual re-certification process is very interesting and challenging, the education system is very good and very different compare Italy. The relationship between doctors and midwives is different here: they share knowledge and opinions with less prejudice, they have equal importance and power in the system but different role, of course. The Maori culture has got an important role in the Midwifery care in NZ and it influences my practice as well."



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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