About the Job

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Permanent or 12 month Fixed term jobs available.

New Year. New Job. New Lifestyle... New Zealand 2021

We're seeking an experienced Consultant Psychiatrist (General Adult) for the Mental Health and Addiction Service in Palmerston North in the central North Island.

Palmerston North is a vibrant and youthful city, set at the foot of the Tararua mountain range. It has all the facilities that you would expect of a city, yet is still compact, accessible and easy to navigate.

  • Ideal family living just 2 hrs from Wellington
  • Permanent position or 12 months fixed term, commence 2021
  • FRANZCP or equivalent qualifications, e.g. FRCPsych/ MRCPsych with CCT
  • Participate in the after hours on-call
  • Enjoy cycling and mountain biking, kayaking, hiking, golfing and more…
  • An ideal central location to explore the rest of the North Island, including; beaches in Foxton and Himatangi; fabulous Hawke’s Bay and Wairarapa vineyards; premier ski resorts and gorgeous lakes in Taupo and Rotorua.


Palmerston North Hospital is a busy 350 bed secondary hospital, that provides some tertiary services. It is also a teaching hospital, associated with both Auckland and Otago medical schools.

The Service

The Mental Health and Addiction Service (MHAS) has embarked on a significant transformation programme in the past 12 months, as they move to implement the recommendations from the ‘He Ara Oranga, Mental Health & Addiction Inquiry’ which looked at services across New Zealand.

They are further developing an integrated range of well-connected services along with their community partners, in which you can play an integral part.

MHAS provides comprehensive community-based mental health services across the complete age range:

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

They have a commitment to continuing medical education and professional development and their peer review group is enrolled with the maintenance of professional standards programme of the Royal Australia and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists.

They are recognised by the College for registrar training in inpatient, general adult community, and child and adolescent psychiatry, and this is an area they are looking to further develop.

The Role

You will work in both the community service and inpatient service, and there is flexibility regarding the working patterns within each setting if you have a preference.

There are opportunities to participate in the further development of the service delivery model, develop an area of special interest or become involved in research.

For this role, you will have broad specialist experience in General Adult psychiatry in a variety of settings, and a sound understanding of contemporary models of care.

In addition, you will also have proven leadership skills and experience working in a multidisciplinary team environment; an interest in medical education and teaching, including providing supervision and education to medical students, registrars and other clinical staff; and of course, a commitment to contributing to ongoing quality improvement programmes.

What’s on offer?

  • Total package ranges NZ$190,000 - $300,000 per annum, depending on experience
  • This includes: Base salary from NZ$164,369 to $244,560 pa, depending on level of experience; on call calculated on top of your base; Continuing Medical Education Allowance NZ$16,000 + 10 days CME leave pa.
  • Plus relocation assistance

The Location

Palmerston North (population: urban 80,000, regional 168,000) is recognised by the Pan Pacific Safe Communities Network as an international safe community.

The Manawatu region attracts people from far and wide. There is a lot to offer families of all ages. Living here is affordable, with high quality housing and the primary, secondary and tertiary education facilities have an excellent reputation. Massey University attracts international students with its variety of programmes in business, technology, sciences (including the only Vet school in NZ), agriculture and horticulture.

The Newcomers Network welcomes and embraces new arrivals and cultures to the city, connecting you to others who have already made the move. It’s also home to the military community as both the Army and Air Force have bases here. There are plenty of cafes and restaurants, and a wealth of sporting activities and community festivals, if you want to get involved. The commute to work is only 10-15 minutes from anywhere in the city.

If you prefer to live in a smaller township, just a 15 minute drive away from Palmerston North is Feilding, voted New Zealand’s most beautiful town 16 times, with its gorgeous gardens, Edwardian buildings, quiet neighbourhoods, and Farmers Markets at the weekends, it’s a great place to be based with a real sense of community.

Whether you decide to live in Palmerston North itself or Feilding, or any of the other small 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 Turangi, 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 short daily commuter flights to/from Wellington and Auckland, making international flight connections easy.

Watch this short video “Move to Manawatu” (courtesy of ManawatuNZ.co.nz)

Explore Palmerston North and the Manawatu region here

Medical Registration Requirements

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

Alternatively, if not NZ-trained, you will hold equivalent specialist qualifications from either UK (via FRCPsych/ MRCPsych and CCT), Australia (FRANZCP), Canada (FRCPSC), or the USA (American Board Certified) that will enable specialist registration with Medical Council of New Zealand via the Provisional Vocational registration (long term) pathway or Locum Tenens (short term, up to 12 months) registration pathway.

These are the two specialist pathways for Psychiatrists in NZ.

** Primary Source Verification using EPIC **

From 1st November 2017, all relevant qualifications must 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 encourage doctors to start this process off as soon as possible if you hold qualifications from outside NZ.  Candidates are invited to log on to EPIC and complete this step online.  EPIC verifies your identity and your qualifications directly with you. 

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


Photo credit: The Square, Palmerston North - ManawatuNZ.co.nz 

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

caroline@headmedical.com / +64 225214705

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