Counties Manukau - Auckland

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Auckland is home for me and I love it. It’s a beautiful city with lots of harbours, islands, volcanic cones, beaches and forests. The beaches are in every direction and you are literally spoilt for choice: it can be windy for sailing in one area and calm for paddle boarding on the other. Yes, we have the traffic and it’s likely you will spend time sitting in it when you are here..but I can’t think of a major city where that won’t ever be experienced. And at least the view can be nice.

Counties Manukau District Health Board covers the South Auckland region. On the day that I am visiting, when I head to the main hospital for the morning, the sun is shining; by now it is mid-April and it could have gone either way. I live on the North Shore and as a one-car family this was a good opportunity to try the commute. I jumped on a ferry at 7.15am and caught a train from Britomart straight to the entrance of Middlemore Hospital for 8.05am. Nice.

It has been said that the culture of a hospital reflects the culture of the region – for Counties, where the friendliness of the staff is evident, it must therefore have an inclusive, warm and caring community.  

The Mental Health Service deliver services to 5 geographical portfolios: Child and Youth, Adult, Mental Health Services for Older People and Acute – inpatient and community. The work culture is one of teamwork and innovation. The region covers a mix of low and high socio-economic populations, with ranging levels of acuity; the most mutually rewarding work relationships are with people who embrace this variety and are looking for a vocation.

Auckland is the fourth most diverse city in the world – with more than 200 different ethnic communities calling the city home and about a third of all people living here were born overseas. The majority of New Zealand’s indigenous Maori population lives in Auckland, and it is the world’s largest Polynesian city: almost 70% of New Zealand’s Pacific population resides in the Auckland region with over 50% living in Counties Manukau. The huge mix of cultures not only makes for diverse cuisine, art, music and language, it also makes it easy for new arrivals to connect with people with similar backgrounds. 

The geographical spread that Counties covers means that you can work in an urban or rural area. The community teams in the south have the smaller regional feel and the main hospital, Middlemore, is that short train journey from the city centre. If you consider yourself to be proactive, energetic and a good communicator who can think outside the box, then Counties Manukau could be the District Health Board for you.    

Disclaimer ;-)

The regional information is based on my own opinions from visits and from talking with locals at the time of visiting. I have had a knack of visiting on days when the weather has played its part - at each location the sun has been shining. In fairness, some regions I have visited more than others: my parents live in Whangarei so I understand what tropical rain means; I am aware that a rainy day in Wellington with a ‘Southerly’ wind would not afford quite the same charm as the sunny clear day I experienced, but an experience nonetheless.

Take from this what you will, do your own research and remember that we are happy to put you in touch with other Doctors who are already based at our featured DHBs who are happy to chat with you about their experiences. We are open and honest, we want you to want to come and work here for what it is. I was born in England and I have a love for England. I choose to live in New Zealand because of the lifestyle my family and I enjoy: the beaches, the people, the school system, the outdoors, the space. It isn’t just me – there is a huge ex-pat community throughout New Zealand. It’s not for everyone, but it might just be for you.

Kate McKendry