About the Job

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We're seeking a Consultant Psychiatrist (General Adult) to join the Mental Health & Addiction Service in Palmerston North, in the Manawatu region of the central North Island.


This role will be primarily based in an Inpatient setting, but there is also some flexibilty to work in Community too, if you wish.


The Mental Health and Addiction Service provides comprehensive community-based mental health services across the complete age range including:

Acute inpatient services (including intensive mental health care-26 beds); Comprehensive community adult services; Child, adolescent and family mental health services; Specialist Maori mental health services (Oranga Hinengaro); Specialist services for Mental Health for the elderly; Specialist community alcohol and drug services including OST services; Comprehensive 24 hour acute care services (crisis intervention service); General hospital liaison psychiatry; Early intervention services; and Intensive community rehabilitation services.

  • Full time, permanent position (12 months may also be considered)
  • Regional hospital, with a strong medical education ethos
  • Close links to tertiary centres and medical schools
  • Small university city with affordable housing and excellent schools
  • Just 2 hrs drive from Wellington, capital city of NZ

The General Adult Mental Health Service incorporates community mental health services in the Manawatu, Tararua and Horowhenua districts delivering general adult mental health in the community, inpatient services, eating disorders, maternal mental health, mobile assertive follow up, co-existing disorder & community rehabilitation.

The Acute Inpatient Ward at Palmerston North Hospital where this role will be primarily based, houses a 6 bed high needs secure unit and an 18 bed acute unit.

Overall, Palmerston North Hospital is a 350 bed secondary teaching hospital, serving an urban population of 80,000 and a total population catchment of approx. 168,000.

There is commitment to medical education, both from a teaching perspective but also as a peer group maintaining professional standards and being up to date on their own continuing professional development. They are recognised by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists for registrar training in inpatient, general adult community, and child and adolescent psychiatry, and this is an area they looking to develop further.

Over the last 18 months, there has been a lot of service development undertaken by a new Clinical Director, the existing Psychiatrist team with support from the Multidisciplinary Executive Leadership Team, and there is more to be done. The aim being to have a more inter-connected service that works more closely with non-governmental organisations (NGOs), local GPs, social services, education, for the benefit of patients and their families across the whole community.

This role is another key appointment for the existing team to help continue with this work.

What’s on offer?

  • Total package range NZ$180,000 - $280,000 pa, depending on experience
  • Base salary from NZ$161,304 - $240,000 pa (approx £84,000 to £125,000 pa)
  • NZ$16,000 Continuing Medical Education Allowance pa
  • Plus 10 days CME leave pa
  • 6 weeks Annual Leave
  • Relocation assistance

The Location

Palmerston North (population: urban 80,000, regional 168,000) has a genuine, easygoing vibe. It has all the facilities that you would expect of a city, yet is still compact and easy to navigate. There are plenty of cafes and restaurants, a local airport and a wealth of sporting activities and community festivals if you want to get involved. Living here is affordable, with high quality housing and a reputation for its excellent primary, secondary and tertiary education facilities, there is a lot to offer families of all ages. And the commute to work is circa 10-15 minutes from anywhere in the city.

If you prefer to live a semi-rural relaxed lifestyle, just a 15 minute drive away from Palmerston North is the town of Feilding, voted New Zealand’s most beautiful town 14 times, with its gorgeous gardens, Edwardian buildings and Farmers Markets at the weekend, it’s a great place for families with a real sense of community and hospitality.

Whether you decide to live in Palmerston North itself or Feilding, or any of the other little towns in the Manawatu region, the location in the middle of the North Island means you will be within easy driving distance of premier ski resorts at Turoa and Whakapapa to the north, the lush Hawke’s Bay wine region to the east, clean and quiet unspoilt beaches (Himatangi, Foxton, Otaki) along the West Coast, and of course, to the South is NZ’s capital city of Wellington (2 hour drive).

The local airport has daily commuter flights to Wellington and Auckland, making international flight connections very easy.

Find out more about Palmerston North and the Manawatu region here

Medical Registration

Ideally you will hold FRANZCP and full Vocational registration with the Medical Council of New Zealand (MCNZ).

If you are an overseas specialist psychiatrist, you will hold equivalent specialist qualifications that will enable Provisional Vocational (specialist) registration or Locum Tenens (short term up to 12 months) registration, e.g. from either the UK (MRCPsych and CCT/ CCST), Australia (FRANZCP), Canada (FRCPC) or the USA (Board Certification). These are the two specialist pathways for medical registration in NZ for Psychiatrists.

If you are an overseas specialist psychiatrist considering a long term move to NZ, you should be aware your training, qualifications and experience will be compared to that of a NZ-trained specialist psychiatrist (with FRANZCP).

Primary Source Verification of Qualifications via EPIC

From 1st November 2017, all relevant qualifications must now be verified by ECFMG using the EPIC system on behalf of the Medical Council of New Zealand.  If you are committed to working in New Zealand, we recommend starting this process off as soon as possible if you hold qualifications from outside NZ.

Doctors are required to complete this step online themselves, as EPIC verifies your identity and your qualifications. 

Log on to EPIC here and read the FAQs section about how to get started.


For a discussion about this role or
other opportunities contact Caroline today.

caroline@headmedical.com / +64 225214705

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