Auckland Regional Dental Service, Waitemata District Health Board
Country of Origin: Fiji
Moved to New Zealand in 2007
What made you decide to relocate to New Zealand?
Even though I had family in NZ, my decision to relocate here was based on wanting better work and academic opportunities. Relocating to NZ had not really occurred to me before and sometimes when I sit with my friends and the question pops up “Did we ever think we would end up here in NZ?” We always answer "nah".
For me, major reasons to come here were the appreciation I saw my NZ-based friends and family receive for their work, the opportunity for continuing education and the prospect of going further in life. I was also excited by the challenge of doing something new. Having my qualifications/registration recognised in other countries were a big draw card as well. Apart from the academic factors, living in the backyard of the All Blacks Rugby team and watching them play —a hair raising experience—and being able to watch the Super 14 Rugby in person were too good to resist. The natural wonders of NZ are absolutely beautiful especially the snow since I had never seen nor touched it before.
How would you describe the process of relocating?
The actual decision to come was very difficult because it meant leaving my home and friends and starting a totally new life. I was quite fortunate to have family in NZ who supported me while I was finding my way, getting registered and finding employment. Getting settled and making new friends are the hard parts, but the people are very welcoming and accept you very quickly and make you feel as if you have known them for ages. It takes time to adjust, but slowly everything falls into place and then great opportunities begin to open up in NZ. It was a big step to move, but I don’t regret the decision one bit – I now call NZ home.
Can you comment on your registration experience with your professional board in NZ?
The registration process with the Dental Council is quite straight forward, but it pays to look at their website and collect all the necessary documents to prevent the hassle of running around and delaying the registration process. They may seem to be a bit strict as they assess candidates on a case by case basis and require that they pass Theory, Clinical and Ethics Exams. But the Dental Council wants to ensure all internationally trained professionals have similar standards as local graduates in order to guarantee that all Oral Health Practitioners are competent in their work.
Can you comment on your immigration experience with the immigration process?
The Immigration Department has the welfare of its citizens in mind and hence does a thorough check before giving out visas and permits. It’s a long process which takes time. The good news is that they have a lot of helpful information on their website in regards to policies and procedures. If you follow the right process then you’ll have nothing to worry about.
Would you recommend moving to NZ?
New Zealand is just like Fiji -— only bigger and colder. There are huge opportunities for people here. The prospect of going further in life career wise is very real and there is a lot of appreciation here for hard working people. There is always something to do in the great outdoors, always just minutes away.