Voluntary Bonding Scheme – 2020 intake information

The Voluntary Bonding Scheme (the Scheme) is a practical initiative run by the Ministry of Health to encourage newly qualified health professionals to work in the communities and specialties that need them most, and to retain essential health professionals in New Zealand. It also aims to increase representation of Māori and Pasifika within the health workforce.

The Scheme is targeted to new graduates in eligible professions (and General Practice medical trainees) who are starting their career, with the aim of incentivising them to work in eligible hard-to-staff communities or specialties. Those accepted to 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.

The 2020 Intake Registration Period is now closed - Information for 2020 intake registrants

The 2020 Intake Registration Period closed 16 March 2020 – no further registrations can be considered.

If you registered for the 2020 intake you ought to have received an emailed letter or other notification which confirms the outcome of your registration (please also check your junk email folder).

If you have been confirmed on the Scheme, for now, all you need to do is:

  • abide by the 2020 Terms and Conditions for your profession
  • advise us via email ([email protected]) if you have had any change in postal or email address, or
  • advise us if your career plans have changed and you no longer wish to continue in the Scheme.

Full terms and conditions for each of the eligible health professions for the 2020 intake are available on the Terms and Conditions page. The full list of eligible professions, specialties and communities for the 2020 intake can be found below.

Please do not hesitate to make contact ([email protected]) should you have any queries or comments regarding the Scheme.

2020 intake registrants

A report is attached below which details the distribution of confirmed 2020 Scheme registrants by profession, DHB region, ethnicity, and gender.

Please do not hesitate to make contact ([email protected]) should you have any queries or comments regarding registrants for the 2020 intake of the Scheme, or the Scheme itself.

Profession Accepted registrants (2020 intake)
General Practice Medical Trainees 35
Registered Nurses 273
Enrolled Nurses 14
Midwives 86
Sonographers 5
Dentists 5
Total 418

All 418 eligible registrants for the 2020 intake were accepted.

The registrants strongly reflect a number of the Government’s key workforce priority areas. These priorities include (but are not limited to):

  • registrants who identify as Māori or Pasifika
  • new graduate registered or enrolled nurses working in mental health and addictions
  • new graduate midwives in the hardest-to-staff locations
  • new graduate dentists in practices serving non-urban communities or Māori oral health providers
  • postgraduate rural and non-urban general practice trainees and
  • sonographers in publicly funded facilities

The 2020 intake features the highest number of mental health nurses (164 registrants) and new graduate midwives (86) within any intake of the Scheme, and the same number of general practice trainees as the 2019 intakes all-time high (35).

The 2020 intake also includes more Māori (80) and Pasifika (44) registrants than ever before, which helps contribute to health workforces that are more representative of the populations they serve.

Analysis of historical workforce data indicates that registered nurses on the Scheme have higher retention in hard-to-staff specialties compared to nurses not on the Scheme. Of graduate nurses who have registered for the Scheme, the retention rate after five years is up to 27 percent higher, than those graduates who did not register for the Scheme.

The Scheme also provides important geographic location incentives for other Scheme professions.

2020 Voluntary Bonding Scheme Intake Health Professions, Hard-to-staff Communities and Specialties

Postgraduate General Practice Trainees (PGY3-6), who commence(d) GPEP1, 2, or 3 in December 2019:

  • Bay of Plenty DHB (excluding Tauranga and Whakatane urban)
  • Canterbury DHB (excluding, Christchurch other than Banks Peninsula)
  • Capital & Coast DHB (excluding Wellington and Porirua)
  • Hawke’s Bay DHB
  • Lakes DHB
  • Midcentral DHB
  • Nelson Marlborough DHB (excluding Nelson/Richmond)
  • Northland DHB
  • South Canterbury DHB
  • Southern DHB (excluding Dunedin, Mosgiel and Invercargill)
  • Tairawhiti DHB
  • Taranaki DHB
  • Waikato DHB (excluding Hamilton)
  • Wairarapa DHB
  • West Coast DHB
  • Whanganui DHB

Registered Nurses (2020 Intake (2019 graduates))


  • Aged Care (aged residential care and older persons' health services)
  • Mental Health (hospital and community, including addiction services)
  • District Nursing
  • Well Child/Tamariki Ora
  • Primary/Practice Nursing within:
    • Maori or Pacific Providers
    • the Auckland DHB region
    • the Counties Manukau DHB region
    • the Waitemata DHB region
    • the Taranaki DHB region



  • South Canterbury DHB
  • Wairoa District
  • West Coast DHB

Enrolled Nurses (2020 Intake (2019 graduates))


  • Aged Care (aged residential care and older persons' health services)
  • Mental Health (hospital and community, including addiction services)

Midwives – DHB Employed (2020 Intake (2019 graduates))

  • Auckland DHB
  • Bay of Plenty DHB
  • Canterbury DHB
  • Capital & Coast DHB
  • Counties Manukau DHB
  • Hutt Valley DHB
  • Lakes DHB
  • MidCentral DHB
  • Northland DHB
  • Waikato DHB
  • Waitemata DHB

Midwives – Lead Maternity Carers (2020 Intake (2019 graduates))

  • Auckland DHB
  • Bay of Plenty DHB
  • Counties Manukau DHB
  • Lakes DHB
  • MidCentral DHB
  • Waikato DHB
  • Waitemata DHB

Sonographers (2020 Intake (2019 graduates))

  • Publicly funded health facilities

Dentists (2020 Intake (2019 graduates))

Any of the eight Māori oral health providers listed below:

  • Te Hiku Hauora – Kaitaia  
  • Ngāti Hine Health Trust – Kawakawa 
  • Raukura Hauora o Tainui – Hamilton
  • Te Manu Toroa – Tauranga  
  • Tipu Ora – Rotorua 
  • Ngati Porou Hauora – Te Puia Springs 
  • Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga – Hastings  
  • Ora Toa PHO – Porirua  


practices located in rural or remote areas (to be assessed on a case by case basis prior to your confirmation on the Scheme).


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