You can embark on a rewarding healthcare profession anywhere you choose. Yet, what distinguishes North Canterbury is its unique lifestyle and close-knit community.

Opting for a healthcare career in North Canterbury means establishing connections with both colleagues and patients Bid farewell to lengthy commutes in traffic, and embrace a lifestyle where your free time can be spent exploring the outdoors, pursuing creative endeavours, engaging in recreational activities like fishing, boating, or actively participating in the local community.

Embarking on a healthcare journey is a profoundly impactful choice. With a growing population, North Canterbury needs a growing number of health professionals.

As well as a large number of general medical practices, pharmacies, dental clinics, midwifery teams and physiotherapy practices, North Canterbury is home to several large-scale retirement villages and aged care facilities requiring specialist staff.

Hurunui is also home to many small and thriving rural health centres.


593 North Cantabrians employed in health sector
16 Health Centres throughout North Canterbury

Sarah & Charlie Bellam

Winning Combination

  • Health Care
"It’s a massively daunting prospect, moving from the UK to a small, rural town in New Zealand, but the rewards are so rich. We've never looked back."

Healthcare in North Canterbury

North Canterbury is well equipped to provide key health services to residents with a selection of general medical practices, hospitals, midwifery and maternity services, infant care and aged care services throughout both Waimakariri and Hurunui. The region’s proximity to Christchurch means residents are also able to easily access the primary and specialist health services available there.

There are approximately 16 general medical practices operating in North Canterbury, each offering a number of healthcare services, GP and nurse appointments.

Rangiora Healthcare

North Canterbury is home to three hospitals: Oxford Hospital, Waikari Hospital and Rangiora Health Hub.

Oxford and Waikari Hospitals are small hospitals offering beds for a range of medical needs including post-surgery care, palliative care and general medical care.

Rangiora Health Hub is the largest hospital in North Canterbury. Opened in 2015 it houses a high quality maternity unit and a range of other outpatient and specialist services for the North Canterbury community.

There are a number of midwives either operating in, or willing to travel to, North Canterbury to provide midwifery support. There are approximately 10 Plunket clinics throughout North Canterbury providing health support, classes and information to new parents.

Approximately 17% of the North Canterbury population is now aged over 65. The increase in North Canterbury’s population, as well as the ageing of the existing population has seen a number of new retirement villages, rest homes and aged care facilities constructed in North Canterbury in recent years meaning our elderly residents are very well cared for.

Charles Upham Retirement Village is our biggest aged-care employer. You can find jobs listed here.

Summerset Retirement Villages has purchased land in Rangiora, with 9 hectares to be used as the proposed site for a new retirement village and once complete it will offer over 300 independent homes.

Rural Health in Hurunui

About Rural Health in Hurunui

Hurunui is made up of four 100% community-owned clinics: Amuri Health Centre, Waikari Health Centre, Cheviot Health Centre & Hanmer Springs Health Centre. These clinics are a huge source of great pride for our region as they offer incredible service for patients, and a truly exception place to work for those wanting a rural lifestyle.

Waikari Health Centre

The General Practice at Waikari was operated by a sole owner/operator GP for over 20 years, until he took up locum work in 2009 and passed the practice on to a neighbouring practice. This arrangement ceased at the end of 2012.  The community then set up a Community Trust with an associated company to run the Health Centre, this has been operating successfully since April 2013.  We have employed three GPs on 12 month fixed term contracts during this period and two permanent GPs, one of whom found commuting from Christchurch too onerous, the other taking up a role with the Ministry of Health.

The Waikari Health Centre  holds a contract to provide medical supervision to the Waikari Hospital  which has 10 beds for Respite and Palliative Care .  The doctor currently attends to medical issues, admissions and discharge of patients as required,  – time is allowed for this in the Health Centre appointment book (with electronic prescribing via Medimap available the need to physically visit the hospital has been reduced).

The  Health Centre is a modern ( 2001 ) purpose built building which is owned by the Hurunui District Council and leased  to the General Practice  ( and must have the best view of a Medical Centre anywhere !..see Photos attached) .  The centre is well equipped and uses a fully electronic system for medical records and referrals.  There is good collegial support through our neighbouring medical practices (which are mostly operated as sole GP practices) and a huge amount of experience in the staff at the Health Centre.  The regional Health Board (Te Whatu Ora Waitaha – formerly CDHB) also has produced an excellent online directory (Health Pathways) which gives information on the referral process through the public health system and clinical guidelines.  This is a valuable tool, especially for clinicians new to the system.

Services Provided From the Waikari Health Centre

The premises are open 5 days a week from 8.30am – 5.30pm to provide full general practice services.  We have been providing a late night clinic on a Thursday with the GP starting at 10.00am and finishing at 7.00pm, which has proved very popular and we would like to continue this if possible. We also provide accident and emergency services and hold an ACC Rural Contract which means that all our GPs and nurses are PRIME trained. The nearest hospital emergency department is 79 kms away at Christchurch hospital. Our GPs attend road traffic accidents and other trauma and acute medical calls, working in with the local St John Ambulance, based 20 mins drive away at Culverden, and the Westpac helicopter service.  We provide services to a practice population of around 1550.

Other Allied Health Professionals who work from the facility are, a physiotherapist (once a week), a podiatrist, mental health nurse, Rural Mental Health Team, Plunket (early childhood nurses) the district nursing service (3 days a week)

Waikari Health Centre, Waikari

Learn more about Waikari Health Centre
Amuri Health Centre

Community Owned

The Amuri Community Health Centre is 100% owned by the ‘Amuri Community Trust’ a not for profit organisation. Community ownership allows them to provide the best care in an ever changing environment and to attract the best health professionals. The charitable status of the Health Centre also allows them to seek funds which would not have been open to us under a traditional model.

Cornerstone Accredited

Their building allows them to fit in with the Government’s Primary Health Care Strategy of an integrated Health Centre, focusing on prevention rather than cure and keeping patients out of hospital.

Amuri Community Health Centre is a Cornerstone accredited practice having met the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners standard for GP services as defined in ‘aiming for excellence’.

Amuri Health Centre, Rotherham

Learn more about Amuri Health Centre
Cheviot Health Centre

Community Owned

The Cheviot Community Health Centre is 100% owned by the ‘Cheviot Community Trust’ a not for profit organisation. Community ownership allows us to provide the best care in an ever changing environment and to attract the best health professionals.

Cornerstone Accredited

The charitable status of the Health Centre also allows us to seek funds which would not have been open to us under a traditional model and to keep our fees as low as possible.

Cheviot Health Centre, Cheviot

Learn more about Cheviot Health Centre
Hanmer Springs Health Centre

Hanmer Springs Health Centre provide a comprehensive and easily accessible primary health care services to the Hanmer Springs Community and wider Hurunui District.

Hanmer Springs Health Centre, Hanmer Springs

Learn more about Hanmer Springs Health Centre

Like many rural areas, our region can struggle to recruit medical professionals to the smaller practices. While these areas located away from bustlings urban towns and cities, they are by no means isolated. Each rural practice has an incredible work culture and community, ensuring professionals and their families are welcomed and supported.

Explore Job Vacancies Here

Embrace a slower pace that not only aligns with your professional responsibilities but also allows you to form genuine connections within a tight-knit rural community. In rural areas, your patients become neighbours, fostering a more personal and holistic approach to healthcare.

The tranquility and natural beauty of the countryside offer a peaceful escape from the urban hustle, providing you with a serene environment to unwind and recharge. Explore outdoor activities and embrace a healthier work-life balance amidst the simplicity, authenticity, and close relationships that define rural living.

Choosing a rural setting isn’t just a career move; it’s an invitation to a fulfilling lifestyle that extends beyond the confines of your workplace.

Hanmer Springs Forest

Find out more about living in North Canterbury
Looking for a career in health care here?

Living and working in North Canterbury is an incredible experience. If you’re interested in jobs here, we want to hear from you. Please contact: