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New Zealand Expat Forum for Expats Living in New Zealand Have you moved to New Zealand from another country? Or are you thinking about making New Zealand your new home? Want to meet others like you and discuss Real Estate, sport, socialising, food, cars, insurance, laws, taxes and anything related to New Zealand?

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Old 8th January 2011, 10:18 PM
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Hi everyone, I've been a lurker here for a wee while now, gleaning important and very helpful information from a variety of threads and topics!

I'm a single parent and student midwife in my 3rd and final year of study, and given the state of things over here job wise I'm considering moving me and my little girl across there.

I know other people who have gone to NZ and have nothing but praise for the lifestyle, the people and the midwifery service which is a huge pull for me!

I'm not sure whether to start applying now, as I haven't actually qualified yet, (I qualify in Sept and graduate in Nov 2011, and have been told my application would be fast tracked if I have a job offer) or just wait, because midwives are on the essential skills list.

Anyway - just wanted to say hi, and a thank you for all the info I've already found on here! I'll be back with more questions soon I imagine!


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Old 9th January 2011, 02:36 AM
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Hi Babbit, how many of the people who praise the lifestyle to you are having to bring up a child on a single wage?

Have you looked into the cost of holiday and after school care for your daughter, or nursery fees if she's a pre-schooler.

New immigrants don't get social security support in New Zealand, so there's no family allowances or any other assistance for you when you arrive.

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Old 9th January 2011, 02:58 AM
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Hi Babbit

I'm a fellow Scot and a midwife and have been over here in NZ since Aug '10 (qualified as a midwife in Sept '08).

You'll most likely need a job offer to give you enough points for your visa application and, although there is a shortage in most places over here its unlikely anyone will give you an offer until your qualified. Remember that once your registered in the UK you'll need to go through the process of getting registered over here too which can take a few months (you wont have to wait for this to start applying though, as soon as you have your UK registration you should be fine)

Although I don't regret my move over here I certainly wouldn't say I have nothing but praise for the place.
My salary is almost the same as I had in the UK but the cost of living over here is quite high. I live alone and pay pretty high rent, I could have found somewhere cheaper but not somewhere I was willing to live in. I don't struggle too much money wise but I do have to be careful with things like groceries (which are much more expensive here than in the UK) and don't have any 'spare' money left at the end of the month so there's no saving for trips home or holidays for me.

The midwifery system here is also different to what you'll be used to. Most immigrants work as hospital midwives when they first come over as you will need to complete certain courses before you gain full registration and thats easier to do in the hospital. Plus, being a single parent I'm guessing you would have to work in the hospitals as LMC work requires you to be on call pretty much 24/7. I'm not going to go into the pro's and cons' of the system on here but if you want more details PM me and I'l fill you in.

Good luck with the rest of your course and if I can help you with anything else just give me a shout.

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Old 9th January 2011, 03:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lisamct View Post
. I'm not going to go into the pro's and cons' of the system on here but if you want more details PM me and I'l fill you in.
It would be nice for other people reading this to know about the pro's and cons' though, please don't keep it to PM's

It also for people to understand exactly how some cons may also be pros - as in the case of the epidural discussion we had recently. I'm sure a lot of people learned something from that, not just me. You strike me as being a very level headed, honest person.

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Old 9th January 2011, 05:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrancisJames View Post
It would be nice for other people reading this to know about the pro's and cons' though, please don't keep it to PM's

It also for people to understand exactly how some cons may also be pros - as in the case of the epidural discussion we had recently. I'm sure a lot of people learned something from that, not just me. You strike me as being a very level headed, honest person.
Agreed - this looks like a very interesting conversation that will be very useful to others in the same situation!

And Babbit - welcome to the Forum!

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Old 9th January 2011, 06:39 AM
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Well ok then, be prepared this could be a long one!

I'll start by saying I do enjoy my job here and I'm much less stressed here than I ever was in my job in the UK. I have great colleagues and have had fantastic support here to complete all my required competencies for my NZ full registration as well as lots of time off for study days which was just never possible in the UK.

But, the system is very different here. There are 2 'branches' a midwife can go down, either the Lead Maternity Carer (LMC) route or the DHB Core Midwife route.

LMC's work in a very similar way to the Independant Midwives in the UK, basically the woman picks her midwife and then receives all ante/intra/post natal care from that midwife, women can choose to be looked after by DHB hospital midwives but this is pretty rare and they are discouraged from doing do so meaning around 90-95% of women in my area have LMC care. The LMC will provide all the care for normal pregnancy's and will only hand over care if the women becomes high risk for whatever reason. The main difference between LMC's and Independant Midwives in the UK is that women here dont pay privately for LMC care its all part of the maternity care provided by the government.

However I work as a DHB Core Midwife, as do most expat midwives when they first come over. We have certain courses we have to complete before we gain full NZ registration and these are easiest to do in the hospital setting. Some people assume that a midwife working in a hospital in NZ will have the same roles and responsibilities as one working in the UK but its not like that. My pro's and con's for NZ hospital based midwifery would be;
Pro's-
- there is a lot more choice of what kind of unit you work in here due to the midwife shortage, I choose to work in a smallish secondary unit but you can choose to work in anything from a tiny rural primary unit to a large inner city tertiary unit.
- the better staff:women ratio means your much less stressed and can actually spend time with women rather than rushing from one to another all day
- they appear to be more forward thinking here in regards to continuing education and actually provide time and funding for study days
- You can increase your salary here by completing certain training

Cons-
- As most women come into hospital in labour along with their LMC's you get much less of a chance to provide intrapartum care
- However, because you do take the lead in intrapartum care when women need secondary care e.g. become high risk medically or require interventions that are outside the scope of experience of the LMC's you do a lot of high risk labour care ( not a con for some but it does become a bit tiring to never see any normality)
- You ofen feel like your 'baby sitting' women for their LMC's when your looking after them in early labour or while waiting for their LMC's to attend
- Because the LMC's retain responsibility for their women whilst they are in hospital its difficult for DHB midwives to make any clinical decisions as everything has to be 'authorised' by the LMC so you do feel that your hands are tied a lot of the time.
- Not all LMC's are actually that confident/competent in certain areas and often make decisions that arent in appropriate or omit important things that leave the DHB midwives in a difficult situation with how and when to intervene.

This all makes me sound very anti LMC but I'm not. If I could face the whole self employed aspect as well as being on call its the way I would choose to work. Its a fabulous system for women but the inconsistencies with the way LMC's practice make it very difficult sometimes for us DHB midwives to work along side them in hospitals. Possibly even more so for ex-UK midwives as we are used to being autonomous practitioners with whole responsibility with the women in our care unless they need medical input and it can be difficult to have to almost always defer the decision making to someone else.

But despite all that I would never go back to midwifery in the UK and fully support anyone who chose to come work here. I just think its important that people have a bit of knowledge about how the system works and what their actual role will be before they get too overwhelmed with the fact that they can actually get a job here and escape the horrendous state of UK maternity services.

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Old 9th January 2011, 07:57 AM
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LisaMCT - a great post. Thank you.

And very informative and interesting for me as a layman!

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Old 9th January 2011, 10:23 AM
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Thankyou LisaMCT that's one of the most detailed and well balanced posts I've ever read about working in NZ.

A lot of people are going to find this really useful.

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