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Critical Care Careers

Is caring in your nature? Because welcoming is in ours.

Join our Critical Care teams in Aotearoa, New Zealand for the opportunity of a lifetime.

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Critical Care make a difference
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Work in Critical Care in New Zealand

You may be classed as a Critical Care worker in New Zealand if you work in one of the following units:

  • Intensive Care unit (ICU)
  • Coronary Care Unit (CCU)
  • Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
  • Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PIC)
  • Intensive Treatment Unit/Intensive Therapy Unit (ITU).

Critical Care is the specialist care given to patients with sudden life-threatening illness or injury, usually following an accident, operation, or infection. Care is divided into two areas; Intensive Care Units (ICU), and High Dependency Units (HDU), until patients are well enough to return to general wards for further care from our wider teams.

26 units nationwide provide Critical Care services, including cardiac, trauma, neurosurgery, paediatric, general intensive care, burns, spinal, cardiothoracic, and paediatrics. Critical Care teams work collaboratively and understand interdisciplinary working is essential for patient and whānau (family) centred care.

A lot of critical care roles are on Tier 1 of New Zealand's Green List which means you are eligible for a fast-tracked Straight to Residence Visa and can apply for New Zealand residency before you arrive, provided you have a job offer from an accredited employer, like us!

Register now

Photo location: Key Summit, Southland

Register your interest

As a Critical Care professional, chances are your role is on New Zealand’s Green List – a list of roles with a fast-tracked visa application process, and a faster path to New Zealand Permanent Residency!

Physiotherapist | Source: internal photoshoot (mid shot)


Great news! Physiotherapists are eligible for a Straight to Residence visa pathway! Start looking for vacancies or learn more by applying below.

Alicia Osland - Critical Care Nurse in flight suit - Te Whatu Ora

Critical Care Nurses

Health New Zealand - Te Whatu Ora and The New Zealand Nursing Organisation have committed to achieve pay equity for all members of the nursing workforce.

Tamara Hannagan and Dawn France, Dunedin

Dietitians & Nutritionists

Dietitians are in the Green List of Roles with a Straight to Residency visa pathway! Look for vacancies here to get started.

Rosanna Long, Pharmacist - Wgtn


Hospital, Retail and Industrial Pharmacists are in the Green List of Roles with a Straight to Residence visa pathway!

Dr Brad Ellington,Taranaki SMO

Critical Care Specialists

Physicians specialising in Critical Care, ICU Consultants. Find out more by registering with us or you can apply directly below.

Speech Therapist with patient (stock image)

Speech Therapists

Speech Language Therapists are eligible for a Straight to Residence visa pathway! Look for jobs you can apply for to get started.

Patient care at the centre

Critical Care in Aotearoa, New Zealand puts the patient at the centre of their care journey.

The team caring for the patient works together to provide a plan for recovery while involving the patient and their whānau (family) wishes in their care plans and incorporating their spiritual as well as physical health needs.

Read more
Lauren McMahon and Rebekah Everett-Wing, Chch

Our Critical Care workforce

Our patient recovery journey includes input from a fabulous team of people who work in Aotearoa, New Zealand. You will require an appropriate registration. 


Other Services

  • Patient at Risk Services / Critical Care Outreach Services 
  • Chaplaincy/Cultural Support
  • Social Workers
  • Organ donation service


Critical Care may also be known as:

ITU – Intensive Treatment Unit or Intensive Therapy Unit 
CCU – Coronary Care Unit 
NICU - Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
PICU – Paediatric Intensive Care Unit
ICU – Intensive Care unit

Lauren McMahon and Rebekah Everett-Wing, Chch

Community of care

Critical Care in Aotearoa, New Zealand has a unique requirement to support culturally safe care and integrates the Treaty of Waitangi into our practice.

Lauren McMahon and Rebekah Everett-Wing, Chch

Community of care

Here in Aotearoa New Zealand, we have an open, non-hierarchical team approach to improving outcomes for our critically ill patients' care. This is important for all our disciplines as we focus on delivering equitable care for our communities.

We are linked to ANZICS (Australia and New Zealand Intensive Care Society) where evidenced practice standards are developed, and minimum standards set.

We are fully engaged in clinical research with units participating in a number of multicentred trials.

You will be working with a group of likeminded people who are focused on the same thing and you’ll have the opportunity to be part of a community both inside and outside of work.

Janita Siva and Alyshia Samuels AKL

Training & Development

Aotearoa, New Zealand has a flexible working environment with a variety of roles available across all disciplines within our critical care units.

Janita Siva and Alyshia Samuels AKL

Training & Development

Aotearoa, New Zealand has a flexible working environment with a variety of roles available across all disciplines within our Critical Care units. You can also take advantage of a wide range of education opportunities to progress your career.

These may include:

  • Collaborative career planning and the opportunity for progression into senior roles
  • Tertiary papers as part of your post graduate journey
  • Vocational training such as advanced life support 
  • Critical Care simulations
  • In-service education
Zoe Matsas, Starship Auckland, PICU transport team

Roles and responsibilities

Critical Care in Aotearoa, New Zealand has a variety of roles and responsibilities relative to the size and geographical location of the unit.

Zoe Matsas, Starship Auckland, PICU transport team

Roles and responsibilities

Critical Care has a number of tasks and responsibilities in Aotearoa, New Zealand. Depending on the size and location, our hospitals across the country offer a combination of Critical and High Dependency Care along with dedicated units focused on coronary care and paediatric intensive care.

There is a Critical Care team focus to work, with all disciplines having a valuable contribution to make to support best outcomes for patients. There are specialist roles which include educational roles, research nursing roles as well as focused Allied Health roles.

Our units are collaboratively led by both the Senior Medical Officer (SMO) and Nurse Manager leading the vision for the service.

Other helpful links

Nurse with paperwork | Source: KHJ internal photoshoot

Internationally qualified candidates

We welcome all internationally trained Critical Care professionals to work in our Critical Care units.

ESC Nurses team (names TBA) - Waitemata

Internationally qualified candidates

We'd love to have you in our Critical Care units. We work in a multicultural environment that values diversity. In order to focus on the needs to deliver safe care in Aotearoa, New Zealand, we can support orientation to our specialities.

Your profession may require New Zealand registration and an Annual Practicing Certificate. If so, this will be needed before you can start work and will also be required for your visa application.

In New Zealand some health professionals are also registered health practitioners under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act (HPCAA). Not all health professions are regulated under the Act although this does not imply that a profession lacks professional standards. Some are not regulated because they pose little risk of harm to the public; some are not regulated because they work under the supervision of a regulated profession; some are regulated in other ways. For example, they may be regulated through their employer or self-regulated by their profession.

Processing times for registration applications can vary so check the processing times directly with your registration board and plan ahead.

Links to New Zealand Registration Bodies


Internationally qualified nurses may be required to complete a Competency Assessment Programme in order to gain their New Zealand registration. Find more information on the Pathway for health professionals to nursing jobs in New Zealand.

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  Photo location + credit: Ngarunui Beach, Waikato - Camilla Rutherford  

Explore Aotearoa

Aotearoa New Zealand has been in the top 5 countries in the Global Peace Index every year since it launched in 2009, and has a broad range of places to call home, from the bustling metropolis of our main centres, to the easygoing vibe of our coastal or rural communities.

Find out more information about what part of our beautiful country is the best fit for you.

Te Tai Tokerau

Te Tai Tokerau Northland

Population: 194,600
Northland is a beautiful and diverse region of Aotearoa, New Zealand with plenty to offer visitors. Whether you're interested in water sports, historic sites, natural beauty or ancient Kauri trees—Northland has it all!

Explore Northland



Population: 650,000
Waitematā is the largest and one of the most rapidly growing Districts serving the largest population of all Health New Zealand. Waitematā offers a balanced lifestyle that combines the convenience of city living with the natural beauty and community spirit of suburban life.

Explore Waitematā

Te Toka Tumai Auckland

Te Toka Tumai Auckland

Population: 500,000
Auckland the "City of Sails" is Aotearoa, New Zealand’s largest city and commercial hub. It’s where metropolitan sophistication meets breathtaking natural beauty. Auckland is filled with a variety of warm and welcoming communities, packed with new places to explore.

Explore Auckland

Counties Manukau

Counties Manukau

Population: 500,000
Health New Zealand - Counties Manukau serves as a major source of employment within the Counties Manukau area, with over 8,000 individuals being employed across the region.

Explore Counties Manukau

Hauora a Toi Bay of Plenty

Hauora a Toi Bay of Plenty

Population: 255,110
The Bay of Plenty is a place of beautiful harbours, long surf beaches and an easygoing lifestyle. We showcase the perfect place to explore a wide range of nature-based pursuits – this gives the people of the Bay of Plenty the chance for a better work-life balance. 

Explore the Bay of Plenty



Population: 425,000
The Waikato region is known for its natural beauty, rich Māori culture, and agricultural heritage with something to offer visitors of all interests.

Explore the Waikato


Tairāwhiti Gisborne

Population: 48,000
In family-friendly Tairāwhiti you will experience an easier pace to life that allows you to pause, reflect, and enjoy a true work-life balance. Gisborne’s relative isolation is its charm, surrounded by beaches & nature - don't worry though! Larger cities are only a quick flight away.

Explore Gisborne



Population: 110,000
The Lakes District is well known for its geothermal activity and natural hot springs. The area is located in the central North Island and is home to many geothermal attractions, such as geysers, hot mud pools, and steam vents. Visitors can also relax in the region's natural hot springs, which are believed to have healing properties. 

Explore the Lakes District



Population: 130,000
Taranaki is a magical place with a majestic mountain at its heart, including the rugged coastline that's world-renowned for its surf. Its residents' love of art and culture, cafes and outdoor living mean it's also fantastic to work—and play!

Explore Taranaki

Te Mataua Maui HawkesBay

Te Matau a Māui Hawke's Bay

Population: 180,000
Known for its world-class wineries, stunning beaches and temperate climate, Hawke’s Bay boasts a lifestyle that is unmatched. The region is a popular destination for food and wine tourism, hiking, cycling and cultural events such as the annual Art Deco festival.

Explore Hawke's Bay



Population: 65,000
Whanganui has something for everyone. Our centrally located region offers access to outdoor activities such as kayaking, skiing, surfing, tramping, cycling, fishing and hunting. Nestled between two snow-capped mountains, on the banks of Whanganui River there is always plenty to do and explore.

Explore Whanganui

Capital Coast and Hutt Valley

Capital, Coast and Hutt Valley

Population: 445,000
Wellington, the capital city of Aotearoa New Zealand, is a bustling and diverse hub of culture and cosmopolitanism, renowned for its lively cafés, restaurants, and internationally acclaimed sporting and cultural events, all set against the stunning backdrop of a natural harbour. To the north of Wellington lie the regions of Porirua, Kapiti, and Hutt Valley.

Explore Capital, Coast & Hutt Valley

Te Pae Hauora o Ruahine o Tararua Mid Central

Te Pae Hauora o Ruahine o Tararua MidCentral

Population: 190,000
Get the best of both worlds - the perfect blend of rural and city living with the mountains, city and sea at your fingertips. 

Explore MidCentral



Population: 48,000
Located in Masterton in the Wellington Region, Health New Zealand - Wairarapa is one of the smaller hospitals in the country with 89 inpatient beds providing comprehensive health services throughout the Wairarapa District.

Explore Wairarapa

Nelson Marlborough

Nelson Marlborough

Population: 150,000
Nelson Marlborough has been dubbed the artistic capital with a thriving urban centre and one of New Zealand's sunniest regions.

Explore Nelson Marlborough

Te Tai o Poutini West Coast

Te Tai o Poutini West Coast

Population: 32,000
Te Tai o Poutini West Coast has views of both the mountain ranges and the ocean! It is an untamed natural wilderness of beautiful rivers and rainforests, glaciers and geological treasures.

Explore the West Coast

Waitaha Canterbury

Waitaha Canterbury

Population: 600,000
The Canterbury region is a great place to live and work due to its natural beauty, vibrant economy, cultural diversity, strong community, and high quality of life.

Explore Canterbury

South Canterbury

South Canterbury

Population: 62,000
The South Canterbury District is an area of stunning beauty with great lifestyle opportunities, a safe and welcoming family-friendly environment, affordable living, excellent educational opportunities and a wide range of cultural and sporting facilities.

Explore South Canterbury



Population: 350,000
Well known for its beautiful natural scenery, which includes towering mountains, stunning fjords, majestic glaciers, and crystal-clear lakes. The region is also famous for its friendly communities, charming towns, and vibrant cities such as Dunedin and Invercargill. 

Explore the Southern District

Our Application Process

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Step 1: Application

Complete & submit your application form for review

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Step 2: Review

Your application is reviewed by Kiwi Health Jobs

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Step 3: Referral

Your profile is referred to your chosen District & employers

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Step 4: Contact

You will be contacted by District recruitment teams

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Step 5: Handover

Your application moves through employers' hiring processes

Raglan Surfing - Camilla Rutherford

How Kiwi Health Jobs works for you

When you apply, you will be redirected to Kiwi Health Jobs, our centralised recruitment portal. The Kiwi Health Jobs team are here to simplify the recruitment process by providing guidance, answering queries and connecting you to the right people in the Districts where you are most interested in working.

Kiwi Health Jobs also advertises a wide range of vacancies across the Health Sector, including vacancies at public, not-for-profit and private employers. 

Photo location + credit: Raglan Beach, Waikato - Camilla Rutherford

Location match City Skyline

Connecting you to locations across NZ that match your lifestyle

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A choice of relocation packages to help you with the move

Career Aspiration Arrows

Recruitment expertise to assess your career aspirations

Kaitiaki People

Our Candidate Kaitiaki (guides) ensure the best outcomes for you

Settlement Hands

Settlement support when you arrive at your new home in New Zealand

Join our webinars

Health New Zealand - Te Whatu Ora’s Health Immigration Service, Kiwi Health Jobs, Immigration NZ and the Medical Council of New Zealand have run joint webinars to take you through the different steps towards starting a new adventure in Aotearoa, New Zealand.

Learn more about moving to our beautiful country, directly from the people who process your applications.

Check out our past webinars here: 

A senior nurse standing outside a venue at an event on a zoom call. Registration Process for Internationally Qualified Healthcare Professionals

Hear from those who have made the move

"The opportunities we've had in our careers have surpassed our expectations."

Wendy, an ICU educator at Dunedin Hospital talks about her move from Liverpool in the UK to Dunedin, New Zealand and the positive effect it has had on her career and family.

"You can ski and surf on the same day!"

Brad is a Consultant Emergency Physician who moved from Kansas, USA to Taranaki. Find out what made him fall in love with Aotearoa New Zealand.

"It's a real team approach. It’s not doctors ordering nurses around, we just all get together to give the patients the best care."

Critical Care Nurse Alicia talks about the collaborative approach to Critical Care and what she loves about Aotearoa, New Zealand.

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

Moving to Aotearoa New Zealand is a fantastic opportunity and a big step, we're here for you! 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.