25 Aug 2022

A 'very long queue' of offshore nurses keen for NZ - healthcare recruiter

From Checkpoint, 5:27 pm on 25 August 2022

Just 24 overseas nurses have applied to work in Aotearoa under a new visa scheme that was supposed to make recruitment faster and easier.

The aged care sector alone estimates it is about 1000 registered nurses short. Medical centres and hospitals are also struggling to fill vacancies.

The government's plan to boost recruitment of health workers includes dedicated immigration support services and funding to make it easier for them to move to New Zealand.

Recruitment company Tonix NZ scouts for health workers offshore. Director Kate Natrass tells Lisa Owen there is a very long queue of overseas nurses keen to come to New Zealand. 

"And they have been for many years. I've been director of Tonix Health Recruitment for over 22 years now and I'm a nurse myself who worked abroad. 

"We have nurses who are very motivated and very organised to come to New Zealand... New Zealand has a very strong brand and stands above a lot of other countries around the world," she said. 

The Immigration Minister has confirmed only 24 overseas nurses have so far come through under the new visa scheme, but Natrass said like anything new it will take a while for motivation to build.