A total of 34 graduate vets will be placed in rural areas this year, from Northland to Southland, through the Government's Voluntary Bonding Scheme for Veterinarians (VBS).
On 9 June, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced border class exceptions would be granted to 50 experienced vets.
Julie South, talent acquisition consultant with VetStaff, says that while the announcement is a good start, she is uncertain how it will alleviate the shortfall, because all veterinary sectors are currently at critical levels.
“Right now, no one seems to know where these 50 vets will be allocated. It could be a lolly scramble with the various sectors fighting to get what they need,” South told Rural News.
She estimates that a further 50 to 75 vets are needed to fill the shortage once the vets already allocated exemptions are in New Zealand.
“However, they need to be the right kind of vets willing to go to where the vacancies are.”
She says New Zealand requires experienced dairy, production and companion animal veterinarians.
Another concern is whether the vets entering the country are able to fill vacancies in certain areas of the country and understand what New Zealand is like as a country.
“We need to make sure we’re letting in the right vets for the right vacancies in the right locations.”