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Mental Health and Addiction Roles

Join us in delivering world-class Mental Health and Addiction care across New Zealand

Our workforce is spread across a variety of specialities and in both Health New Zealand - Te Whatu Ora settings and Non-Government Organisation settings

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Our most in-demand roles

We’re looking for talented people with experience in their health profession to fill vacancies in a variety of mental health and addiction roles. Check out some of our most in-demand roles below and register your interest with your CV: 


Psychiatrist session with patient (stock image)


Your skills are highly sought after in Aotearoa, New Zealand. With diverse case loads and flexible opportunities, you’ll wish you got here sooner.

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Mental Health Nurses

Be part of a supportive Mental Health Nursing community. Bring learning disability skills and a passion for helping people and whānau (family).

Psychologist in session with patient (stock image)


Your experience and knowledge as a Clinical Psychologist or specialisation in other areas in this field will be welcomed. Join us today!

Counsellor with group

Addiction Practitioners

Our addiction workforce is varied and driven by a passion to support people and their whānau (family) get help. Be part of making a difference.

Diversional Therapist (stock image)

Social Workers

Bring your empathy and passion to provide person-centred support for people and whānau (family). Welcome to Aotearoa New Zealand!

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Occupational Therapists

Your skills and drive to help people identify activities and occupations meaningful to their life are in demand here. Join us and make a difference!

Many More Roles

If you have skills and experience in mental health and addiction and your profession is not one of our most in demand roles, there could still be a job in Aotearoa New Zealand that’s right for you. We have a variety of mental health and addiction roles in our community health workforce.

Please read the Visa Pathways information on this page before you register your interest. You should check if your health experience and profession will support the criteria required for a visa.


Register your interest


New Zealand's Mental Health and Addiction Settings

Health New Zealand - Te Whatu Ora is the foremost provider of secondary healthcare in Aotearoa New Zealand. We also fund primary health care where delivery is provided by our Non-Government Organisation partners.
We are recruiting for multiple roles across a variety of specialities in all settings.


Health New Zealand Settings

Health New Zealand - Te Whatu Ora has a wide range of roles and settings to practice Mental Health and Addiction care.

Settings encompass all inpatient mental health and addiction services to community-based teams supporting all Kiwis, from children and young people through to older persons. You could also be providing specialist consultation and liaison services to a range of health services.

We have roles for both registered practitioners and support workers with lived experience.

Non-Government Organisation (NGO) Settings

Our NGO and community providers are integral to a highly developed sector and crucial in our health system. They include peer/lived experience led, Māori, Pacific and other providers and will get you working closely in diverse cultural settings. 

NGOs provide community health and well-being support, primary-level mental health and addiction services or specialist-level services including child and young people, community crisis respite and residential.

Learn about our NGO partners here

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The Application Process

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Step 1: Application

Register your interest for both Health New Zealand and NGO roles with us here to start

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Step 2: Review

Your application will be reviewed by our team to see if you're an appropriate candidate

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Step 3: Contact

Our team will discuss with you if you're best suited for a Health New Zealand role or NGO role.

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Step 4: Referral

The team will refer your application to a Health New Zealand District, or to one of our NGO partners

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Step 5: Handover

Your application will be handed over to the appropriate recruitment team to progress further.

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Registration to Practise Requirements

Many mental health and addiction roles require you to be registered or belong to a membership body.

Kaimahi Cropped Centre

Registration to Practise Requirements

Most mental health and addiction roles require you to be registered or belong to a membership body.

Specific requirements for roles on Immigration New Zealand's Tier 1 of New Zealand’s Green List can be found on the relevant Registration Body website.

Registration Bodies:

The information below is about our most in-demand roles.


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You'll need to gain registration with the Medical Council of New Zealand 

Tu Te Akaaka Roa, the Aotearoa New Zealand office of The Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) has information about how to get your psychiatrist registration. 


Registered nurses (Mental Health) - ANZSCO 254422 

You'll need to gain registration with the Nursing Council of New Zealand


Psychologists - ANZSCO 272399 

You'll need to gain registration with the Psychologists Board of Aotearoa New Zealand


Addiction practitioners - ANZSCO 272112 

You'll need to gain registration with the Dapaanz – Addiction Practitioner’s Association Aotearoa New Zealand


Social Workers – ANZSCO 272511 

You’ll need to gain registration with the Social Workers Registration Board


Occupational Therapists – ANZSCO 252411 

You’ll need to gain registration with the Occupational Therapy Board of New Zealand


You can also talk to us or a prospective employer about registration requirements. 


Get in touch with us for more information

Taranaki - Credit: tyler lastovich

Information for International Candidates

Keen to relocate to New Zealand and join our Mental Health & Addiction workforce? Find out what you need to know.

Taranaki - Credit: tyler lastovich

Information for International Candidates

Acquiring a New Zealand Work Visa:

To work legally in New Zealand, you must have a Work Visa. There are several pathways to acquiring a visa as outlined below:

Roles on Tier 1 of New Zealand’s Green List are eligible for the Straight to Residence Visa.  

For other health roles, you can come here for up to five years on an Accredited Employer Work Visa with a job offer from an accredited employer. Or a Working Holiday Visa may be available for young people from some countries to travel and work temporarily in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Straight to Residence Visa 

With a Straight to Residence Visa you can apply for New Zealand residency before you arrive, provided you have a job offer from an accredited employer.

Your partner and dependent children aged 24 or younger can be included in your visa application. These are just some of the benefits that come with this visa class. 

For all roles, you need to: 

  • Meet health, character, and English language requirements
  • Gain registration or membership with professional bodies (see the registration section)
  • Ensure your pay is at least the median wage or above

Find your profession on New Zealand’s Green List. Most of our in-demand mental health roles are included there. 

Accredited Employer Work Visa

If you’re offered a job that’s not on New Zealand’s Green List, an accredited employer may ask you to apply for the Accredited Employer Work Visa.

It allows you to work temporarily in Aotearoa New Zealand for up to five years with options for pathways to residence if eligible. You need to meet the criteria, including being paid at least the median wage and having a minimum of three years’ experience or a relevant qualification.  

Diversional Therapists are part of a sector agreement. This means this profession can likely get a visa for a job paying less than the wage threshold.


Working Holiday Visa

A Working Holiday Visa allows young people from some countries to travel and work temporarily in Aotearoa New Zealand. It allows you to apply and travel without having secured a job. Conditions are different between countries.

The criteria are different to the Accredited Employer Work Visa, however, there are restrictions on age and you cannot apply for permanent roles.


Visit Immigration NZ’s website for more visa information 


Making Aotearoa New Zealand your home

Browse the links below and discover information about settling into the Kiwi workplace and making your move a success. 

About our culture

Māori culture is part of life in Aotearoa New Zealand, you will feel the manaakitanga of our people. Manaakitanga describes the way we welcome our guests and provide hospitality to them; this is something you will experience from all New Zealanders.

Here are some important aspects of biculturalism in Aotearoa, New Zealand:

  • The importance of Te Tiriti o Waitangi (the Treaty of Waitangi) in our laws.

  • Te Reo Māori – Māori language as one of the official languages of Aotearoa, New Zealand.

  • Tikanga Māori (the right practice) we work towards preservation and celebration of Māori having equal status.

  • Land ownership – we acknowledge our history and present populations and residency.

  • Equal opportunities for Māori to succeed.

Elective Surgery Centre nurses on a stroll around smiling and having a friendly discussion

About our Mental Health & Addiction workforce

New Zealand's Mental Health & Addiction workforce is spread across a variety of practices and settings.

ESC nurses - Health New Zealand

About our Mental Health & Addiction workforce

Across the Sector

The publicly-funded mental health and addiction workforce is spread across New Zealand through primary healthcare organisations, general practices, over 200 non-government organisations, and in Health New Zealand - Te Whatu Ora specialist healthcare settings. 


Our Workforce Statistics

  • 37% employed by NGO and community providers 
  • 47% are registered health professionals
  • 33% are Support Workers

All health job vacancies

You can see all current health job vacancies across New Zealand on the Kiwi Health Jobs job board.

Non-Government Organisations We Partner With

With over a third of New Zealand's Mental Health and Addiction workforce being employed in these settings, we support these organisations to recruit kaimahi (workers) to provide the world-class care our communities deserve.

As part of a joint Health New Zealand and NGO programme, we're working with the below NGOs to support their recruitment of skilled Mental Health & Addiction workers so that Kiwis across the country have access to the support they need.

Health New Zealand is the largest employer in the country and supports these smaller organisations by lending our expertise and resources to work towards our mutual goal: finding people who are able to support New Zealand's Mental Health & Addiction sector.

Pathways Logo Somewhere Different

Pathways provides community-based mental health and alcohol and other drug support services. We support tāngata whai ora (people seeking health) and taiohi (young people) to live full lives; hopeful and connected to what matters to them.

ADL Logo Somewhere Different

ADL - Rarangahia Ngā Ara Ora refers to weaving pathways of wellbeing. They are client-centred and work with young people and their whānau (families) across the lower South Island, supporting individuals's wellness and unique pathways to wellbeing.

Emerge Logo Somewhere Different v2

Emerge Aotearoa provides a wide range of recovery and rehabilitation services designed to empower people and support them to reach their full potential. They work towards positive long-term outcomes for everyone, to help communities thrive.

Ember Logo Somewhere Different v2

Ember believes in providing innovative, person-centred support and solutions, blending professional expertise and lived experience to offer a range of services for anyone with mental health, addiction, or intellectual disability needs.

Any NGO can be a part of this partnership within the pilot programme.

If your NGO is interested in joining forces, send an email to the team here to discuss the opportunity.

Hear from our people

Listen to what our people say about working in mental health and addiction in Aotearoa New Zealand.


The Manga Brothers

Listen to the Manga brothers discuss the different aspects they enjoy about working in the Mental Health and Addiction space.


Hear from Vanessa about how she supports her patients.


Hear Sera, a Community Mental Health Nurse, talk about why she loves what she does.

Improving outcomes for all

We know how important mental health is for our wellbeing, our whānau (family) and our communities. Watch how we make a difference in Aotearoa, New Zealand.

Register Now and Join Us

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.