Gynaecologist/Obstetrician Kaimātai Take Wahine/Whakawhānau Tamaiti

Gynaecologists/obstetricians advise, diagnose and treat issues with the female reproductive system, and provide medical care for women before, during and after pregnancy.

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Gynaecologists/obstetricians need to be registered with the Medical Council of New Zealand.

Gynaecologists/obstetricians may do some or all of the following:

  • identify and treat problems of the female reproductive system, such as menstrual disorders, abnormal bleeding, miscarriages, infertility and cysts
  • check and provide treatment for cancer of the female reproductive system
  • examine and prepare treatment plans for pregnant women, particularly women with known health conditions such as asthma
  • deliver babies and check the post-delivery progress of mothers
  • discuss and prescribe contraceptive options
  • perform surgery when necessary
  • consult with other medical professionals about patient care and treatment
  • keep medical records and send final reports to general practitioners
  • teach medical students and trainee gynaecologists/obstetricians
  • carry out research.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for gynaecologists/obstetricians includes:

  • work in hospitals or other health-related work, such as in clinics
  • work caring for people.

Personal Qualities

Gynaecologists/obstetricians need to be:

  • interested in women's health
  • able to work well under pressure and remain calm in emergencies 
  • able to make good decisions, and solve problems
  • good at managing time
  • good at working in a team
  • understanding and good at listening
  • good at report writing 
  • skilled at communicating and inspiring confidence in others 
  • understanding of other cultures' attitudes to medical treatment.


Gynaecologists/obstetricians need to have knowledge of:

  • anatomy, with in-depth knowledge about pregnancy and the female reproductive system
  • how to perform surgery
  • different diseases and illnesses
  • how to diagnose problems effectively
  • new research, treatments, technology and medical practices
  • medical ethics and law.



  • may work long and irregular hours, including evenings, nights and weekends
  • work in hospitals, clinics, consulting rooms and operating theatres
  • work in conditions that may be stressful, as they may deal with medical emergencies
  • travel locally and overseas to conferences and meetings.

Gynaecologist/Obstetricians can earn around $81K-$197K per year.

Chances of getting a job as a Gynaecologist/Obstetrician are good due to a shortage of people interested in this type of work.

Pay varies for gynaecologists/obstetricians depending on seniority, hours, location, and frequency of on-call or emergency cover.

  • Registrars working for Te Whatu Ora (previously DHBs) usually earn between $81,000 and $192,000 a year. In 2023 this will increase to between $86,000 and $197,000.
  • Qualified gynaecologists/obstetricians working for Te Whatu Ora usually earn between $164,000 and $244,000.
  • Gynaecologists/obstetricians working in the private sector are usually self-employed and may earn more than this. 

Sources: Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS), 'New Zealand District Health Boards Senior Medical and Dental Officers Collective Agreement, 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021';   Resident Doctors' Association, 'RDA and 20 District Health Boards Multi Employer Collective Agreement 17 March 2021 to 31 March 2024'

Gynaecologists/obstetricians may progress to teach students and trainee gynaecologists/obstetricians at larger hospitals. They can also become senior consultants with responsibility for gynaecological/obstetric departments.

Gynaecologists/obstetricians may move into specialist areas such as:

  • gynaecological oncology (focusing on treating women who have cancers of the reproductive organs)
  • high-risk pregnancies
  • urogynaecology (the diagnosis and treatment of incontinence in women)
  • fertility.

Years Of Training

14 years of training required.

To become a gynaecologist/obstetrician you need to:

  • complete the Health Sciences First Year programme at Otago University, or the first year of either the Bachelor of Health Sciences or Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Science at Auckland University
  • complete a five-year Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB) degree at Otago or Auckland University
  • work for two years as a house officer (supervised junior doctor) in a hospital
  • complete another six years as a registrar with specialist training and passing examinations to become a Fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

You also need to be registered with the Medical Council of New Zealand.

The Vulnerable Children Act 2014 means that if you have certain serious convictions, you can’t be employed in a role where you are responsible for, or work alone with, children.