Gaining registration in New Zealand is vital to your employment. Should you arrive at your workplace without registration the hospital/facility has no obligation to employ you or pay you while you wait for it to be processed. You will also need to demonstrate that you are registered with the New Zealand Nursing Council, NZNC, in order to obtain a work permit.

Every nurse wishing to work in New Zealand must register with the New Zealand Nursing Council (NZNC). Each nurse is assessed on an individual basis. The process for overseas nurses (excluding nurses registered in all Australians states except Western Australia) takes about 12 weeks (if your paperwork is in order) and will cost approximately NZ$485 initially. You cannot apply for this over the counter. After you are registered the NZNC will send you application forms for the annual practising certificate. This takes approx 7-10 days to be processed and turned around and costs NZ$96 per annum. You may apply for the practising certificate over the counter. A receipt will be issued to you and the certificate sent out to you after being printed. You are able to work using the receipt.

Please note that the processing fee is non-refundable and will not be refunded if your application is withdrawn.


Nursing Council New Zealand


NZ Nursing Council

Postal address: P O Box 9644, Wellington, New Zealand
 Street address: Level 12, Mid City Tower, 139-143 Willis Street, Wellington, New Zealand
 Telephone: +64 4 385 9589 – all inquiries except annual practising certificates
+64 4 802 0247 – inquiries regarding annual practising certificates
 Fax: +64 4 801 8502
Website:E-mail:[email protected] administration inquiries
[email protected] overseas registration inquiries
[email protected]annual practising certificate inquiries

Qualification Requirements

Overseas nurses applying for registration must have:

  • Registration with an overseas regulatory authority AND
  • An equivalent international qualification OR
  • A pass in an assessment of the Council competencies for Registered Nurses by an approved provider AND/OR
  • Successfully completed a programme approved by Council for the purpose of assessing competencies for Registered Nurses.

The Council requires evidence of your overseas nursing registration by verification from the regulatory authority where you hold registration. This verification must be sent directly from that authority to the Council.

The Council also requires you to provide the original of a Police Certificate, no more than 6 months old when received by the Council, as evidence you don’t have any convictions.

Applying For Registration or Enrolment

Nurses who have gained registration/enrolment in countries other than New Zealand must apply to the Nursing Council of New Zealand for admission to the register/roll before being able to practise in New Zealand.

The Nursing Council of New Zealand has an overseas registration section to process applications from outside New Zealand. Personnel who will assist you with inquiries in this area are:

 Overseas Registrations Phone:  +64 4 385 9589
 Address:  PO Box 9644 Wellington New Zealand 6141
 Fax:  +64 4 801 8502
 Email:  [email protected]

Assessment The Nursing Council assesses each applicant on an individual basis and does not operate a system of reciprocal registration or enrolment – except if the applicant meets the requirements of the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Act, TTMR Act (1998).

Principle considerations for registration are:

  • The applicant has undertaken a nursing or midwifery programme that is similar in all specified content and length to the equivalent programme in New Zealand, and is able to meet the Competencies for Registration/Enrolment.
  • The applicant has practised as a nurse or midwife within the past five years.
  • The applicant has supplied the Nursing Council with evidence, obtained within the past two years, of ability to speak and write in the English language, when English is not the applicant’s first language. Recognised tests are CGNFS, IELTS, OET, or as part of a competency programme.
  • Applicants who do not meet the requirements for nursing registration may be required to undergo further experience with instruction through a Department of Nursing within a New Zealand educational institution. The applicant is responsible for negotiating the arrangements for the experience and instruction and for informing the Nursing Council about those arrangements.

Applicants from Australia

The Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Act (TTMRA) came into effect on 1 May 1998.

Applicants with nursing registration in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, the Australian Capital Territory, Northern Territory, Queensland and Tasmania can apply to the Nursing Council of New Zealand under TTMRA. Application forms can be mailed or downloaded from the NZNC website.

Nurses from Western Australia will have their applications processed in terms of the overseas registration process until that State participates in the Arrangement

General Information

Application forms for registration can be downloaded from the NZNC website. The website also provides answers to commonly asked questions and detailed information on the registration process.

The Nursing Council of New Zealand does not assist with immigration requirements or employment opportunities. E-mail: [email protected]

Source: Internet –

Application Process

The Council will process and assess your application ONLY when the application fee has been paid and all required documents have been received. How long your application takes to process depends on how quickly required documentation is forwarded to our office.

Midwifery Registration

All practising midwives in New Zealand must be registered with the Midwifery Council of New Zealand and have their name entered on the Register of Midwives. Once registered, midwives will have to apply for an Annual Practising Certificate (APC) in order to practise. In order to obtain an APC midwives will have to demonstrate that they are still competent to practise.

Details for applying for registration can be found at:

Australian applicants
Applicants registered to practice midwifery in all states of Australia except Western Australia can apply to the Midwifery Council of New Zealand for registration under the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition (TTMR) Act 1997. Application forms for mutual recognition can be downloaded from the MCNZ website.

Midwives from Western Australia will have to complete an application as an overseas registered nurse and be assessed accordingly. Application forms can be downloaded from the MCNZ website. Alternatively you may first register in another state of Australia before applying for mutual recognition in New Zealand.

Midwives qualifying overseas
Midwives applying for registration from overseas (and Western Australia), will be assessed according to the Midwifery Council’s policy. In order to register as a midwife in New Zealand applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Fitness for registration
  • Qualifications for registration
  • Competence for registration.

Detailed information, including flowcharts, and applications forms for overseas midwives can be downloaded from the Midwifery Council of New Zealand website.

All midwives must hold a practising certificate before they may practise and an application will be sent to all new registrants.

Presuming all paperwork is in order, applicants from Western Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom should allow around 2 months for their applications to be processed. Applicants from other countries should allow around 3 months.

Contact details
General:  [email protected]
Phone:  +64 4 499 5040
or by fax  +64 4 499 5045
Post: Level 2, Alan Burns Insurance House, 69 Boulcott Street, Wellington 6011