Dietitians in New Zealand work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, health centres, patient’s homes, kohanga reo (Maori language schools), rest homes, schools, gyms, marae (Maori meeting houses), government agencies and research centres. Around 60% of New Zealand dietitians are employed by District Health Boards and provide food and nutrition advice in hospital and community settings. Dietitians are employed throughout New Zealand, but the majority of jobs are in Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington and Waikato.

Scope of practice

“Dietitians apply scientific knowledge about food and nutrition to individuals and groups in states of health and disease to promote optimal health outcomes within the social, economic, and cultural context of the New Zealand population.”

1. Registration

Dietitians in New Zealand are required by law to be registered by the New Zealand Dietitians Board and to hold a current Annual Practising Certificate.
Check out our flow chart and see below for more information on the registration process.

Australian dietitians

If you qualified in Australia, you may be eligible for registration in New Zealand under the Mutual Recognition Voluntary Relationship Charter. For more information and application forms, please see the NZ Dietitians Board's website.

UK dietitians

All UK trained and registered dietitians seeking registration are considered on a case by case basis.
You have two options when submitting your application.
Option A
You can apply for dietetic registration in New Zealand with no conditions limiting your area of practice.
After the Board assesses your qualifications and training, they may invite you to sit the full Overseas Candidates Registration Examination (OCRE). This will depend on your place of training and qualifications. If you pass this examination, you will be awarded an Annual Practising Certificate with no conditions limiting your practice. However, you may be required to undertake additional study in New Zealand. For more information, see the Board's website.
Option B
Apply for dietetic registration in New Zealand with conditions LIMITING your domain of practice to CLINICAL DIETETICS only.
After assessment of your qualifications and training, the Board may determine that you are able to practise as a dietitian in New Zealand in clinical dietetics only. This means that you will not be able to work in public health, food service management or management, but you will be able to work in hospitals, private institutions and clinics and be known as a dietitian. For more information, see the Board's website.

Other international applicants

To qualify for registration in New Zealand, you must hold a qualification equivalent to the University of Otago’s Postgraduate Diploma in Dietetics. The Dietitions Board will assess your qualification to determine if it is comparable to New Zealand standards. If it is acceptable, you will be eligible to sit the Overseas Candidates Registration Examination (OCRE). You must pass this examination and any other assessment set by the board to be registered.
Please refer to Handbook 1, which outlines all the necessary information for overseas applicants.

Cultural competency

You must successfully complete the Dietitians Board’s Cultural Competency course, as well as the Mauri Ora modular online training “Healthcare and the Treaty of Waitangi”. See the Board's website for more information.

2. Job offer

You can work in New Zealand as a dietitian as soon as you are registered and hold an Annual Practising Certificate. However, in order to be issued your Practising Certificate, you must first be offered a job. You will need to forward a copy of your job offer/job description to the Board. You can begin your job hunt at the national health job website.

3. Work visa

To be eligible to work in New Zealand, you will need a work visa. You can apply for work visas from Immigration New Zealand. If you are an Australian national, you do not need to apply for a work visa. 
Got a question? Check out our forum to see if your question has already been answered or contact us directly.


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