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Peter - OT from Ireland living and working in NZ

My Name is Peter Nestor, I am an Occupational Therapist (OT).  I came to NZ in September after living in UK for over 6 years, originally from Ireland. 

The process to come to NZ took me about 15 months in total because I decided to move to London for 9 months before coming over, which put it all on hold for a while.  

The easiest part of the process was having ACCENT to guide me through the process 

The most challenging part of the process was understanding the Occupational Therapy Board New Zealand requirements for overseas, but once I wrapped my head around it, it wasn’t very challenging, only very time consuming.  

My first impressions of NZ were positive vibes. More similar to Ireland and UK than I was expecting. I had my culture shock when I moved to UK. I was expecting another profound shock but was pleasantly surprised how easy it was to start settling in.  

The best parts of NZ are all the hikes and beaches, favourite spot so far is Coromandel but plenty more to explore.  

What I miss the most is Mom’s house at Christmas  

My advice if you are planning to come to NZ is be open minded, be flexible, have a positive approach to adventure & the unexpected, and go with the flow.  

Anything else you would like to say: Special shout out to past and present ACCENT employees Sarah Tuisuga & Hayley Cullen for being so supportive, and down to earth with the whole process. Blessings. 

Questions about your new workplace:  

Are there any major differences between your current role in NZ and your previous role working across England?  

Totally different healthcare system process, Accident Compensation Scheme is very unique to NZ. I also had all my experience in acute general medicine OT, and now work in Community Rehab dealing mostly with neurological disorders. So steep learning curves.  

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

I’m used to working with very supportive, friendly teams. Shout out to my former awesome therapy teams at Essex and London, and my current team at Auckland. You guys are nothing short of inspiring. I’ve been blessed.  

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

The bicultural focus and practice is very interesting. Although there are many differences, there are also many similarities between Maori and Irish, especially in terms of our history and culture. I feel honoured to have the opportunity to work with Maori people and learn more of their customs, culture, practice, music, and language. I hope to focus more and more in this area as I develop my practice.



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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