Psychology is a respected profession in New Zealand and psychologists are employed by both the public and the private sectors. You could work for any of the District Health Boards, the Department of Corrections, social welfare agencies such as Child Youth and Family, the Ministry of Defence or the police. A number of psychologists in New Zealand also work in private practice. Both clinical and educational psychology feature on Immigration New Zealand's long term skill shortage list.

Scope of practice

Six scopes of practice are prescribed for psychologists under the HPCAA.
These are:
  • intern psychologist
  • trainee psychologist
  • psychologist
  • counselling psychologist
  • clinical psychologist
  • educational psychologist
Based on your qualifications and experience, you may find that you qualify for more than one scope of practice. For more information on each scope of practice and the qualifications required, see the New Zealand Psychologists Board's website. 

1. Registration

Psychologists working in New Zealand are required by law to be registered by the New Zealand Psychologists 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 applicants

If you are registered to practise psychology in Australia, you are eligible to seek registration in New Zealand under the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Act.
In your application, you must provide written notice in the form of a statutory declaration, pay your application fee and provide evidence of your entitlement to practise in Australia. For more information, see the Psychologists Board's website. Application forms can also be downloaded from their website. 
It usually takes around a month for the Board to process applications. 

Other overseas applicants

Applicants from other countries are considered on a case by case basis. Your qualifications will be assessed in order to determine if they are equivalent to New Zealand qualifications.
In order to ensure that this assessment is accurate, it is best if you supply as much information as possible about the content of your degree or diploma. Any information you have about internships or practical training undertaken as part of your degree/diploma is particularly relevant. Similarly, information about your current registration with a recognised authority is useful.
Click here to find out more information about registering in New Zealand.
The Board has also developed a “Guidelines for Cultural Safety" handbook for overseas trained psychologists, which you are recommended to read. These guidelines provide information on the Treaty of Waitangi and Maori health and well-being.

2. Job offer

After you have gained registration with the Psychologists Board, you can begin looking for a job. Visit the national health job website to begin your hunt today.

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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