To practise as, or represent yourself as a veterinarian in New Zealand you must be registered with the Veterinary Council of New Zealand (VCNZ) and hold a current practising certificate. If you're already registered with the VCNZ but need to renew your practising certificate, follow the information shown in the menu entry to the left - Veterinarians/Annual practising certificate.
You'll need to establish whether you're eligible for registration without examination, or registration by examination (or neither). There are three types of registration:

  • General registration
  • Limited registration
  • Specialist registration.

All applicants must satisfy the Council that they:

  • can communicate in and understand English to an appropriate standard for practising as a veterinarian in New Zealand. Applicants whose first language isn't English will be required to provide evidence of English competency by sitting and passing an approved English test to the required level. Please refer to the Council's Policy on English Competence for further information
  • meet the fitness and recency of practice requirements. The Council will require a letter of good standing from previous registration authority/authorities and will require you to make statements about your recency of practice and fitness to practise.

General Registration (no examination)

Under the Council’s current Policy on Registration, registration without further examination is granted to veterinary graduates who meet minimum fitness, recency of practice and English language requirements and who:

  • hold undergraduate veterinary degrees from schools which have been accredited by a recognised authority having a rigorous assessment and review process (currently AVBC, AVMA and RCVS); or
  • hold undergraduate veterinary degrees from schools which have been previously recognised by VCNZ under the Veterinarians Act 1994 until the date of non-recognition in March 2001 (this applies to the National University of Ireland graduates and certain German and Danish School graduates who also hold a State examination certificate in veterinary medicine); or
  • hold a pass in a recognised registration examination or assessment programme.

For a list of the schools, degrees and examination/assessment programmes recognised by VCNZ, please refer to this Gazette Notice. If you gained your primary degree at one of the institutions on the list, or have sat and passed a recognised assessment/examination programme, then provided you did so within the designated timeframes and provided you meet the other registration requirements, you're entitled to apply for registration without examination.
To check if you're eligible for general registration (i.e. without further examination), review the information above and in this information letter and contact us for further assistance if you need to.
If you are eligible you can apply by downloading, completing and forwarding this Application form.
If you aren't eligible to apply for registration without examination, refer to the information below.

Trans Tasman Mutual Recognition Agreement (TTMRA) – another pathway to general registration

If you're registered as a veterinarian or a veterinary specialist in any Australian jurisdiction you can apply under the Trans Tasman Mutual Recognition Agreement (TTMRA) provisions. To see if you're entitled to registration under TTMRA refer to the Policy on Registration under TTMRA.
To apply for registration under the TTMRA, download, complete and forward the TTMRA Application form, or the TTMRA Specialist Application form.

Limited Registration

If you don't hold recognised qualifications, or a pass in a prescribed assessment or examination programme, you may be able to apply for registration in a limited scope of practice. Click here for information. Also refer to the Policy on Limited Registration criteria and the Limited Registration Application form.

Specialist Registration

If you're already registered as a veterinarian in New Zealand and are seeking to register as a specialist click here for information. Also refer to the Policy on Specialist Registration.

Registration by Examination

If you received your primary degree from a university that is not on the list of recognised institutions, and you're not entitled to apply for registration via the TTMRA provisions, or you don't hold a pass in a recognised registration examination or assessment programme, you may be entitled to apply for registration by sitting and passing the combined Australasian National Veterinary Examination (NVE).
The NVE is a two part assessment comprising of a preliminary examination and a final examination, and is administered by the Australasian Veterinary Boards Council (AVBC). For information about the NVE refer to the AVBC website at


Massey PACE course/entry to 3rd year of vet programme
Overseas qualified veterinarians who aren't able to practise in New Zealand, may be eligible to gain advanced entry into the Massey BVSc programme. To be eligible for advanced entry to the programme, you need to be a New Zealand resident/citizen and pass a Massey University challenge exam.
The Massey University Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences (IVABS) offers an exam preparation opportunity (PACE course), for overseas qualified veterinarians wishing to sit the year 2 BVSc challenge examination.
Successful candidates who've passed the examination, are able reduce the number of years of degree study by gaining entry into the BVSc programme at Year 3 level.
What are the prerequisites?
Applications will be considered from people who:
(a) Have been granted New Zealand citizenship or permanent resident status, and have a permanent place of abode in New Zealand.
(b) Provide documented proof that they hold a degree in Veterinary Science obtained after a minimum of four years full-time University study in an overseas university.
(c) Be eligible for admission to Massey University with equivalent status (see admission Ad Eundem Statum Regulations, Massey University Calendar).
(d) Provide documented proof that they have an IELTS (Academic) score of 7.0 overall, with no band less than 7.0.
How will I learn?
You'll be provided with access to online course material to all Year 2 papers within the BVSc degree for you to study at home in your own time. These papers are as follows:
227.211 Veterinary Structure and Function 2
227.212 Animal Production for Veterinarians 1
227.213 Introductory Clinical Studies 1, Diagnoses and Disease
227.215 Animal Production for Veterinarians 2
227.216 Veterinary Infectious and Parasitic Diseases
Course details
Contact Professional and Continuing Education: Tel: 0800 MASSEY extn: 8402 for information on:
  · Price
  · Registration closing dates
  · Registration for Challenge Examinations
To learn more about the BVSc papers or to confirm your eligibility to register:
Please contact the Veterinary Undergraduate Programme Office,, phone 06 350 5222 or 06 951 8171.
Or you can complete the application form in this link and send to Professional and Continuing Education:
NOTE: Registration details for the course will be provided to you once confirmation of your eligibility and evidence that you meet the prerequisites has been received. Numbers are limited with up to 10 examination places available each year.
For any other information, please contact Professional and Continuing Education: Tel: 0800 MASSEY extn: 8402.

How do I contact VCNZ for more information?

If you need any further assistance, you should contact the office:
Veterinary Council of New Zealand
PO Box 10-563
Wellington, 6143
New Zealand
Ph: 0064 4 473-9600
Fax: 0064 4 473-8869