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About the programme

About the programme

There is a long standing shortage of suitably trained and experienced health professionals wanting to work in many rural communities in New Zealand. It has been recognised from experience overseas that one strategy to help redress these shortages is to develop rural training hubs.

Health Workforce New Zealand is supporting multidisciplinary rural immersion health training placements by The University of Auckland (Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences) and The University of Otago (Division of Health Sciences) which has seen the creation of two integrated rural health professional development centres.

These involve residential immersion programmes for integrated groups of New Zealand nursing, medical, physiotherapy, pharmacy, dental, occupational therapy and other students in:

  • Whakatāne Hospital, Eastern Bay of Plenty
  • Gisborne Community, Tairawhiti

Students gain valuable clinical experience and have excellent opportunities to work in Māori communities and with Māori health providers, they will also have an unparalleled opportunity to engage in a comprehensive interprofessional education programme.

Students in both arms of the programme undertake a wide range of teaching and learning activities at multiple clinical sites, such as seeing patients together in clinics, doing home visits, and learning to undertake joint clinical decision making. They work with clinicians not only in their own discipline but across the disciplinary spectrum, and reflect on their learning - with reference not only to the community context, the literature and the evidence, but also with each other.


Locations available

Whakatāne Hospital - Located in the beautiful Eastern Bay of Plenty, this centre is for senior health professional students from The University of Auckland, Auckland University of Technology and Waiariki Institute of Technology.
Head to the Whakatāne Hospital programme page for more

Gisborne Community - Working in a rural environment in and around Gisborne, this centre is for senior health professional students from The University of Otago and Eastern Institute of Technology.
Head to the Gisborne Community programme page for more