MPI vets make sure New Zealand's food and animal products are of a high standard and that animal welfare is being looked after. Find out more about their work and how to join the team.

Recruiting – register your interest now

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is looking for veterinarians from New Zealand and overseas who:

  • are either registered or eligible for registration with the Veterinary Council of NZ
  • have great people skills
  • are passionate about maintaining our high animal welfare and food standards.

Vets ensure high standards

A vet checking a cow on a farm with a stethoscope with help from a farmer
MPI vets check animals for health and welfare

MPI's Verification Services makes sure New Zealand's animal products meet New Zealand standards and the standards of the countries we're exporting to. Our vets play a key role, working on the front line to ensure the welfare of animals, and that our food and animal products are safe and suitable.

As an MPI vet, you’ll talk to a range of people in your day-to-day work – so you’ll need to be able to translate your technical knowledge into everyday language and relate well with others.

Many career paths for MPI vets

MPI vets work in both rural and urban areas throughout New Zealand where meat, seafood and other animal products are processed and stored. As an MPI vet you might:

  • work with providers on-farm to ensure animal welfare is maintained
  • audit cold store, deer, fish, and chicken farm processing – meeting with facility managers, making sure animal welfare is protected, verifying their processes, and providing export certification
  • work on-site at processing facilities – conducting ante-mortem and post-mortem inspections, monitoring animal welfare compliance, reviewing post-mortem processes, certifying products for export, and working with on-site managers to ensure safe and efficient processes.

Our vets also:

  • certify food and animal products for export
  • verify and certify processing facilities for meat, seafood, game, and dairy
  • certify imported animal products at airports or seaports
  • monitor containment facilities of animals (like zoos) to ensure that they are free of biosecurity risk.

Other roles suitable for MPI vets include market access, policy, or biosecurity career pathways – all of which are open to you.

Video – We're recruiting veterinarians (4:08)

MPI is recruiting veterinarians from New Zealand and overseas. Hear from veterinary staff about what their jobs involve, and listen to their stories about moving to New Zealand.


[During the video, the veterinary staff who MPI interviewed are visible. There are shots in between of veterinarians working with animals and people.]

Chris Kebbell – Director Verification Services at MPI: We’re looking for veterinarians to join Verification Services to help New Zealand to be successful.  We want them to come on board and be passionate about what they do. We want them to be inquisitive, we want them to be excited, and we want them, most importantly, to have credibility and integrity.

Ministry for Primary Industries employs approximately 200 veterinarians to support New Zealand to grow and also to protect New Zealand from unwanted pests and organisms.

Adriana Verstappen – Veterinary Technical Supervisor: I’ve been a vet for 13 years with MPI.  I do concentrate a fair bit on the animal welfare aspect, because I think that is our most important job.

[Shots show veterinarians at work in the field.]

Jo Wickham – Veterinary Technical Supervisor: Every day is very different.  I have everything from a pharmaceutical operator to certifying live animal shipments to export certifications and being faced with challenging situations as well.

Katie Edmead – Veterinary Technical Supervisor: You have to be able to take in lots of information quickly, and be able to make your decision based on the information you’ve got at hand – and you’ll get the training for that.

Linda Hollenstein - Veterinary Technical Supervisor: I’ve been a small animal vet for most of my life. We look after the quarantines, I do a bit of zoo quarantine work, marine and fresh water ornamental fish… it’s very interesting.

Chris Friedeman - Veterinary Technical Supervisor: We make sure that New Zealand can export meat to overseas countries, and I am watching over the shoulder of the company. I make sure that they do their monitoring, they do their audits, and it’s only then that I can certify for the meat.

Gareth Thomas – Regional Technical Manager: What we are trying to do is help processors of animal products to be innovative and to potentially allow them to open up new markets. We’re there to protect New Zealand’s reputation.

Narrator: The Ministry for Primary Industries is responsible for safeguarding New Zealand from unwanted pests and diseases.  This is critical for maintaining confidence of consumers and our trading partners who rely on high quality animal and animal product exports.

[Music. The scene changes, and shots show Stephen (the next interviewee) scanning animals in the field.]

Stephen Dine - Veterinary Technical Supervisor: Being such a large organisation, there’s a good opportunity for career progression – quite a variety of different roles you can get involved in.

Ellie Wigham - Veterinary Technical Supervisor: When I saw the initial advert of this job at MPI, I thought it was something that I could develop skills in lots of different areas, so not just learning about a whole different industry but also lots of soft skills so communication and leadership which is great for all careers.  They really helped me with the visa process, booking my flights, and making sure I was comfortable with the transition from the UK to New Zealand.

Chris Mawson – Manager Agency Technical: You can find yourselves involved in many areas, whether it be research, whether it be the regulatory environment, whether it be animal welfare, whether it be agricultural politics – and out of that the possibilities are almost endless. It just needs for somebody to come along and open your eyes as to the opportunities.

Gareth Thomas: We wanted somewhere that was nice and safe to raise kids. Kiwis are lovely people. We were able to own a lifestyle block – we would never have managed that in the UK. I wouldn’t have changed that for the world.

Chris Mawson: One of the things we value the most is that feeling of family.

Manu Kanade - Veterinary Technical Supervisor: Actually it’s very friendly and we work as a team. We really want to help each other, so it is really excellent place to work.

Chris Kebbell: You have the ability to have a great work life balance and to work in some really interesting locations. We also pay market competitive rates with private practice.

Narrator: We are looking for veterinarians from New Zealand and overseas. If you're looking at becoming part of a diverse and interesting organisation that is committed to providing training opportunities, and can offer a wide range of career opportunities, then make contact with us today.

[End of transcript]

Want to become an MPI vet?

You'll need:

  • a veterinary qualification that is eligible for registration with the Veterinary Council of New Zealand
  • a commitment to ensuring animal welfare requirements are met
  • computer literacy and familiarity with Microsoft software
  • a positive attitude and flexible approach to new challenges and ideas
  • good interpersonal skills
  • to value differences and respect alternative views
  • sound written and verbal communication skills
  • the ability to work and make decisions independently
  • a commitment to team work.

Register your interest

Sheep in a paddock
MPI vets work in both rural and urban New Zealand.

If you think you have the skills we're looking for, you can register your interest and we'll keep you up-to-date on the latest opportunities.


Full training after you start

If you become an MPI vet, you'll get formal training to help you do your job. You'll spend 6 to 8 weeks in full-time technical training before you are warranted as an MPI vet.

Once you start work as an MPI vet you'll also get:

  • ongoing, on-site practical training, mentoring and technical support
  • a comprehensive in-service training programme to develop your technical and management skills (including interpersonal and communication skills).

Thinking about moving to New Zealand?

Not sure whether to make the move to New Zealand? Find out what it's like, where to find support, and what your employment rights are.

Who to contact

If you have questions about becoming a vet, email

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