Senior Medical Officers | Te Whatu Ora - Te Tai Tokerau

Senior Medical Officers

Senior Medical Officers (SMOs) are doctors employed or contracted as consultants/specialists or as Medical Officers by Northland District Health Board (NDHB).

There are approximately 240 SMOs employed by Northland DHB across many specialities at our x4 sites, Whangārei, Dargaville, Bay of Islands and Kaitaia Hospital.
Te Whatu Ora is a teaching hospital and is associated with Auckland Medical School as well as having accredited training posts from most colleges.

Most rotations provide junior medical staff support at House Officer and Registrar level and as first on-call.

Search our current SMO vacancies here.

On this page

> SMO benefits

> Application process

> Medical council registration

> Immigration process


SMO Benefits of Working at Northland DHB

Work/Life Balance Benefits

  • 6 weeks Annual Leave
  • Flexible working Opportunities
  • Chaplaincy Service
  • Sports and Social Groups

Financial Benefits

  • Superannuation Contributions
  • Local Retailer Discounts Programme
  • Relocation Allowance
  • Initial House & Car provided for a 4-6 week period
  • Continuing Medical Education Allocation
  • Work Related Expenses (e.g. MCNZ Registration, Indemnity Insurance etc., College Memberships etc.)

Health Benefits

  • Employee Assistance Programme (EAP)
  • Employee wellbeing hub
  • Free Flu Vaccinations
  • Smokefree Support


  • Commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi and holds stewardship for equitable health outcomes for Māori as Tāngata Whenua as the highest priority
  • Values Based Organisation
  • Equal Employment Opportunities
  • Awareness Days
  • Multicultural Community

Development Benefits

  • Professional Development Opportunities
  • Study Leave Benefit
  • Career Development Opportunities
  • Extensive Clinical and Professional Library

Appreciation and Recognition

  • Peer & Professional Recognition Programmes
  • Long Service Recognition

Application Process

The application process is as follows:

You will need to complete an official application form. You can do this by visiting our vacancies page and then clicking ‘apply’.

When applying online, you will need to attach your up-to-date CV to the online form. Please ensure your CV includes full up-to-date details of your referees as we shall contact them directly (please include their e-mail addresses). Don’t forget to advise your referees of your application. You can also attach a cover letter and any other relevant supporting documentation if you wish. Once you have completed the online form and attached your documents, click ‘apply for this position’. All the information will then be emailed to the relevant Recruitment Officer.

Our SMO Recruitment Team has many years of experience and expertise to assist with your enquiries and facilitate a smooth transition to working at Northland DHB:

Kimiora Nathan – SMO Recruitment Officer
E-mail: | Phone: Ext. 60552

Medical Council & Immigration Process

Medical Council Registration

In New Zealand, all health professionals are required under the health practitioners competence act (HPCCA) to be registered with their professional board before they can begin to work. This ensures professional competence and protects the health and safety of our people by providing a way that all practitioners are fit to practice their professions.

The Medical Council of New Zealand has a range of ways in which doctors can qualify for registration in New Zealand. The registration self assessment tool can assist you to determine which pathway to registration you might be eligible for.

Our SMO Recruitment Team has many years of experience and expertise to assist with your registration enquiries and is happy to work this process with you if you are successful in employment.

Immigration Process

We welcome your application. However, as an employer in New Zealand, Te Whatu Ora is required to comply with New Zealand Immigration laws. Therefore, you are required to hold a relevant visa before commencing employment.

Establishing a pathway and applying for the relevant immigration status to enter the country can be overwhelming. However New Zealand Immigration has excellent resources and can provide information, support and advice on how to ensure to the process goes as smoothly as possible.
Resident applications can take several months to process; therefore a majority of our new overseas recruits apply for work visas. In some cases, you are unable to gain a work visa without securing a job offer and subsequently registration with a professional board in New Zealand. Our SMO Recruitment Team will advise you accordingly once you have submitted your application for employment and will provide any required supporting documentation should you be made an offer of employment.

The best way to ensure that your application is processed efficiently is to ensure that when you submit your application you have provided all the information requested. New Zealand Immigration will provide you with checklists for you to follow. Should information be missing or further information be required, this will delay the processing of your application.

Please visit the Immigration New Zealand website to find out more.




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