Thinking about a move to Canterbury? Canterbury isn't just picturesque with its sprawling plains and distant alpine views, it's also a thriving centre for medical experts looking to grow their careers and a quality lifestyle.  

Photo location: Christchurch


Christchurch hospital riverside scenery
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About the Region

The Canterbury region is located on the east coast of New Zealand's South Island. Ōtautahi Christchurch, is the second largest city in Aotearoa New Zealand and the largest city in the South Island.


Waitaha Canterbury is the home of the spectacular Southern Alps mountain range, is well-known for its outdoor adventure activities on offer, and scenic filming locations for the Lord of the Rings movies.

Port Hills Christchurch - Credit: Julian Apse

Health New Zealand - Canterbury

About Health New Zealand

Health New Zealand - Te Whatu Ora is the Government organisation that provides publicly-funded universal health care to 5 million Kiwis.

The management and delivery of health services are broken down into 'Districts' across the country, determined by both geographic location and population.


About the Health New Zealand - Waitaha Canterbury District

Health New Zealand – Canterbury is the largest employer in Te Waipounamu (South Island). The district delivers healthcare services to over 600,000 people that live in the Canterbury region, covering an area of the East Coast of the South Island from Kaikōura in the North, to Ashburton in the South, as well as the Rēkohu (Chatham Islands). 

Health New Zealand - Waitaha also provides services to Te Tai o Poutini West Coast as part of a unique transalpine relationship.

Photo location: Canterbury - Credit: Julian Apse

The Christchurch Campus

Situated on the Christchurch Campus is Christchurch Hospital, Christchurch Women’s Hospital, Waipapa (a purpose-built ‘state of the art facility’ for acute services which opened in 2020) and Christchurch Outpatients.

Christchurch Hospital is the largest tertiary, teaching and research hospital in Te Waipounamu with 836 beds, delivering a full range of emergency, acute, elective and outpatient services, and has the busiest emergency department in Australasia.

Christchurch Women’s Hospital delivers a full range of tertiary and secondary maternity services.

Burwood Hospital is one of Aotearoa’s centres of excellence for rehabilitation and elective orthopaedic surgery and houses our Older Persons Health services. It is also one of only two leading providers of specialist Spinal Rehabilitation Care in Aotearoa.

Our Specialist Mental Health Services deliver inpatient, outpatient, community based and mobile services to both adults and children.

Ashburton and Rural Health Services covers specialist medicine and community services with several smaller rural hospitals that work closely with local primary care.

Health New Zealand - Te Whatu Ora Waitaha also provides services to Te Tai o Poutini (West Coast) as part of a unique transalpine relationship.

A community nurse looking through an otoscope to check the ear of a young patient

Hospital Services

Here's a list of medical services offered in the region

Christchurch Campus Services

Acute Medical Assessment
Acute Stroke
Canterbury Health Laboratories
Cath Lab
Coronary Care Unit
Cystic Fibrosis
Emergency Department
Gastroenterology and Endoscopy
General Medicine
General Surgery
Hyperbaric Medicine
Infection Prevention and Control Service
Intensive Care Unit
Medical Physics & Bioengineering
Medical Progressive Care
Maori Health
National Bowel Screening
Neurology and Neurosurgery
Nuclear Medicine
Occupational Therapy
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Pain Management
Perioperative Services
Plastic Surgery
Quality and Patient Safety
Rheumatology and Immunology
Sexual Health Service
Social Work
Speech Language Therapy
Surgical Progressive Care
Vascular, Endovascular and Transplant

Child Health

Child and Family Safety Service
Children's Emergency Care
Children's Oncology and Haematology
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
Paediatric Medical Ward
Paediatric High Care
Paediatric Outpatient Department
Paediatric Surgical Ward

Canterbury Regional Cancer and Haematology

Bone Marrow Transplant Unit
Haematology Day Unit
Medical Oncology
Oncology Research
Palliative Care
Radiation Oncology

Christchurch Women's Hospital

Birthing Suite - Tertiary and secondary level care 
Maternity Ward and Maternity Assessment
Community Maternity Units: Ashburton, Rolleston, Rangiora

Burwood Hospital

Brain Injury Unit
Community Dental Service
Infusion Service
Older Persons Health
Older Persons Mental Health
Orthopaedic Services
Perioperative Services
Public Health Nursing Team
Spinal Unit

Specialist Mental Health Services

Adult Acute Inpatient Services
Adult Community Mental Health Services
Adult Emergency Mental Health Services
Anxiety Disorders
Child, Adolescent and Family Emergency Services
Child and Adolescent Inpatient Services
Child, Adolescent and Family Community and Outreach Services
Christchurch Opioid Recovery Service
Community Alcohol and Drug Service
Eating Disorders
Early Intervention in Psychosis Service (Totara House)
Forensic Mental Health Services
Intellectual Disability Service
Kennedy Detox Unit
Mothers and Babies Service
Psychiatric Service for Adults with an Intellectual Disability (PSAID)

Ashburton and Rural Health Facilities

In-patient facilities
Day patient facilities
Outpatient and community services
Rural Hospitals in Kaikoura:

Relocating to Canterbury

A warm welcome to Canterbury! The journey of moving to a new country can be both exciting and challenging, but rest assured we are here to support you and provide guidance you need at every step of the way. 

Riverside Lane shopping - Source: ChristchurchNZ

Getting Around

In addition to the vibrant city of Christchurch, the Canterbury region has a mix of landscapes that outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy.

Riverside Lane shopping - Source: ChristchurchNZ

Getting Around

Photo location: Christchurch - Credit: ChristchurchNZ

When you arrive

Rental car and airport pick up

To ensure a smooth transition, successful candidates, based on their employment agreement, can enjoy the convenience of airport pickup and a rental car upon arrival. Our team can arrange this for you for up to four weeks in line with your relocation bond, you may also like to arrange this yourself. Please note you must have a valid driver's license to drive in New Zealand. There are also  taxis and buses from the airport to the central city, or you can pre book a shuttle.

Driving in New Zealand

You're allowed to use your current driver's license in New Zealand for up to 12 months per visit. After that, you'll need to convert to a New Zealand license. Find out more about driving in New Zealand here.


Getting around Canterbury
  • Metro buses operate 7 days a week from the city centre to outer suburbs. ​
  • Taxis and rideshare services Zoomy, Ola and Uber are also available in Christchurch as well as a variety of rental vehicle providers. 
  • For the keen cyclists there are now more than 60km of cycleways around Christchurch and the central city, which make getting around much safer and easier for everyone. 
Renting or buying a house - Source: Pexels

Housing options

The Canterbury region offers a wide range of housing options to suit different lifestyles and budgets.

Couple with moving in boxes (popup banner)

Housing options

When you arrive

Short term accommodation

To ease your arrival, we can arrange up to four weeks accommodation for you on your arrival to Christchurch as part of your employment and or bond agreement. We're committed to ensuring your journey is as stress-free as it can be. There is a variety of short-term accommodation options available in Christchurch. You may consider booking temporary accommodation until you can find a longer-term rental. 

Other short term accommodation options


Canterbury's real estate market offers a range of rental properties to suit your preferences and needs. Whether you're looking to rent a stylish city apartment or a place in the suburbs, local rental agencies can help you to locate a property. Searching online is a good place to start! Note that most rentals in Aotearoa are unfurnished, however furniture and whiteware can be rented in some parts of the country.

Rental agencies


Buying or building a house

We know that moving to a new country is a big move, and buying or building a home there makes it even more significant. If you're a healthcare professional on NZ's Green List of roles, you have a unique opportunity to speed up your residency process. Normally, only residents and citizens can buy a home to live in in New Zealand. When you can, use this tool to find out if you can purchase a house in New Zealand.


Biking at Hagley Park, Chch - Source: ChristchurchNZ Lake Pukaki - Mackenzie, Aoraki Mount Cook

Take the next step

Made the decision to move to Aotearoa New Zealand?

Fill out our five-minute form with your details, and we'll match you to your preferred location based on your experience and preferences.

Photo location, from left: Mackenzie and Christchurch - Credit: ChristchurchNZ

We'd love to help, reach out to us!

Interested in relocating to the Canterbury region? Our dedicated team is here to provide guidance and support throughout your journey, so don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.