Graduate scheme attracts 32 new vets to rural New Zealand

Thirty-two graduate vets will begin their careers in rural New Zealand, with a financial boost from the Government’s Voluntary Bonding Scheme for Veterinarians (VBS), Acting Agriculture and Rural Communities Minister Meka Whaitiri announced today. 

Each recipient will receive funding of $55,000 over five years to kick-start their careers and help to ease the shortage of veterinarians working with production animals in our regions.

The Voluntary Bonding Scheme incentivises vets to take up positions in our more remote regions,” Meka Whaitiri said.

“Since its inception in 2009, the VBS has supported 416 graduate vets from the top of the North Island to the bottom of the South, providing certainty for students and vital skills for our rural communities. 

We need these vets to provide the best care for production animals, such as cows, sheep and pigs, and working dogs that are so essential in our food and fibre sector.” 

The programme is delivered by the Ministry for Primary Industries.  Eight of this year’s recipients will be placed in Waikato, while Canterbury, Manawatū-Whanganui, Southland, Taranaki, Otago, Auckland, Bay of Plenty and Hawke’s Bay will also benefit from an influx of graduates.

“Vets are vital members of our rural communities, and many graduates who have taken up the scheme enjoy the lifestyle these locations offer. 

“From Waimauku north of Auckland to Winton in the deep south, this year’s graduates will play a crucial role in helping our farmers with production and animal welfare.

“The VBS is just one of the programmes the Government is investing in to ensure our farmers have access to high quality, professional veterinary services and help rural communities to continue to thrive.”