I regularly visit Northland because my parents moved there four years ago from the UK and are happily settled. Even before their big move, it was a place where we spent a lot of time. The two hour drive North from Auckland is sprinkled with fern filled forests and sea views.
Known as the ‘Winterless North’, the region has the blue seas, skies and images that New Zealand is renowned for. The area is so spoilt for beaches that they never get uncomfortably busy (or even slightly busy!). The beautiful hot sunny days and the tropical rain mean it’s green, lush and beautiful.
The team at Northland are keen for us to tell potential Doctors about the service, as the region speaks for itself. This is where you can come to make a difference: the region has a high level of deprivation and one of the highest percentages of MÄori residents in New Zealand. The wealth can be found in terms of culture and heritage which you have the potential to work with and enjoy.
It’s a collaborative team that expands in to the community. The Northland Mental Health Service has a broad-based approach to care: working with other government agencies, Oranga Tamariki/Ministry for Children and The Ministry for Education and non-government organisations. The service has recently won a number of health awards and is recognised as an outstanding example of collaboration within departments in the health service and between primary and secondary services, resulting in service improvements and better health outcomes.
If you crave a more tropical climate and have a desire to make a significantly positive impact, then the ‘Winterless North’ is worth exploring further.
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.