GP Registration in New Zealand

Can I work in New Zealand as a GP?

If you’re currently working as a GP and are interested in relocating to New Zealand to work as a GP, you will have questions about whether your training and education pathway is transferable to allow you to gain registration with the Medical Council of New Zealand (MCNZ)

 New Zealand Medical Registration Pathways

There are three pathways to medical registration in New Zealand. These are suitable for not only GPs but other specialties of doctors.

  • General Scope
  • Vocational Scope
  • Special Purpose Scope (Locum Tenens)

We will discuss the General Scope specifically in this blog.

NZ General Scope

The route Transition Medical most commonly use to assist our GPs apply for medical registration in New Zealand. Overseas trained GPs can apply for General Scope using either the Competent Authority Pathway or the Comparable Health pathway.

Competent Authority Pathway

You can apply for registration using this pathway if you hold your primary medical degree from either the UK or Ireland and have completed your internship from either country.

Comparable Health Pathway

The Medical Council recognises 24 countries as being comparable. You can apply for registration via this pathway if you have recent experience in a comparable health system. If you are currently working as a GP in the UK but completed your medical degree elsewhere, this is the pathway we will use for registration. If you’re currently working in one of the countries listed below, we will also use this pathway for your registration.

Current List of Comparable Health countries

To meet the criteria for Comparable Health, you must hold the following:

  • An acceptable primary medical qualification
  • Have practised clinically for at least 33 months out of the last 48 months for a minimum of 20 hours in a comparable health system
  • Have practised in the same area of medicine for those 33 months
  • Hold current full or general registration in your comparable health system


  • Have completed a formal postgraduate GP training programme and been awarded a postgraduate qualification in general practice in a comparable health system within the preceding three years immediately prior to application; and
  • Have practised in a comparable health system, for at least 33 months (for at least 30 hours per week) of the 48 months prior to application, including at least 18 months (full-time equivalent) of practice in general practice and
  • Hold current full or general registration with the regulatory authority

If you hold a GP qualification and / or experience from one of the countries listed above and would like to find out more, get in touch with our team today to discuss further.

Further Reading

An overview of the Registration pathway and what practices are looking for in GPs moving

Find out more about what the cost of living is like as a GP in New Zealand

How are you supported into GP practice in New Zealand

8 Benefits for GPs moving to New Zealand