Registrations of interest are now open for the 2024 Voluntary Bonding Scheme, which is operated by Health New Zealand | Te Whatu Ora and designed to encourage recently qualified health professionals to work in the hard-to-staff communities and specialties that need them most.

The scheme, which is offered every year, has been expanded to now include new and recent graduate Anaesthetic Technicians and new and recent graduate Pharmacists. There has also been an extension to include all new graduate midwives nationwide, and additional eligible communities for general practice trainees. The full list of expansions is below.

“Expanding the Scheme is one measure we’re taking as part of the Health Workforce Plan to address workforce shortage in areas and roles where the need is greatest, and to boost our workforce overall,” said John Snook, Director of Workforce Planning and Development at Health NZ.

“The Scheme has proven to be a popular pathway over the years, and I welcome the even greater opportunity it represents for our 2024 cohort.  These changes represent the most significant expansion of the Scheme since its inception in 2009.”

Those accepted into the Scheme can become eligible for payments in the first three to five years of their career, to help repay their student loan or as top-up income.

New Scheme categories and expansions for 2024:

  • Midwives: expansion of the Scheme to include all new (2023) graduate midwives nationwide from 2024, and to also include 2022 graduates who haven’t yet registered for the Scheme.
  • Pharmacists: a new category for new and recent graduate pharmacists working in regional public sector hospitals and rural and regional community settings (nationwide, excluding the six main urban centres - metropolitan Auckland, Tauranga, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin). The category is open to new (2023) graduate pharmacists who are commencing their internship in 2023 or early 2024, and also to 2021 and 2022 graduate pharmacists who complete(d) their internship in 2023.
  • Anaesthetic technicians: a new category for new (2023) graduate anaesthetic technicians working in public sector hospitals nationwide, and to also include 2021 and 2022 graduates.
  • General Practice trainees: expansion of Scheme places for rural and regional general practice trainees to expand the Scheme to include Māori and Pacific general practice trainees nationwide, and addition of the non-urban portions of the Waitemata and Counties Manukau districts, and Invercargill as eligible communities.
  • Registered and Enrolled nurses: expansion of baseline Scheme places for graduate nurses working in eligible specialties, such as mental health and aged care.

Registrations of Interest for the 2024 Voluntary Bonding Scheme intake opened on 6 March 2024 on the Health NZ website and will remain open for six weeks, to Tuesday 16th April 2024 (at 11.59pm NZST).

Additional information for candidates and employers is available on the website here.


Media contact:

A spokesperson can be made available for interviews on request.