Paraveterinary workers in New Zealand

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Veterinary nurses in New Zealand are represented by the New Zealand Veterinary Nursing Association (NZVNA). Veterinary nurses are professionals in their own right, and as such, not deemed a paraprofessional. Veterinary nursing assistants are paraprofessionals, working alongside veterinary nurses in animal health and welfare.[1]


Qualifications for veterinary nursing in New Zealand underwent a review in 2014/15.[citation needed]

The new qualification being taught from 2016 are:

  • Certificate in Animal Technology - Veterinary Nursing Assistant[2]
  • Diploma in Veterinary Nursing.[3]

The Certificate represents one year of formal training, while the Diploma represents an additional one year with the Certificate (or its equivalent) as a prerequisite. Other available entry-level certificates include the Certificate in Animal Care[4] and the Certificate in Rural Animal Technology.[5]

Pre-2016; Veterinary nurses currently hold either of the pre-2016 qualifications:

  • National Certificate in Veterinary Nursing
  • Diploma in Veterinary Nursing.


Veterinary nurses in New Zealand are not currently required to be registered with the government but voluntary registration was initiated in 2016.[6]

Veterinary nursing in New Zealand is represented by the New Zealand Veterinary Nursing Association (NZVNA).


In 2009, Massey University started a new degree - the Bachelor of Veterinary Technology. It is a three year degree graduating its first class in 2011.[7] It is intended to prepare graduates for roles such as:[8]

  • Clinic supervisors (includes farm animal, equine and companion animal practice)
  • Animal behaviour advisors
  • Biomedical research technologists
  • Biosecurity officers
  • Health technologists in zoos, animal control or humane societies
  • Herd health technologists
  • Research animal technologists


  1. ^ Harvey, Laura; Ladyman, Rebecca; Farnworth, Mark (2014-11-02). "International differences in the journey toward compulsory veterinary nurse registration". The Veterinary Nurse. 5 (9): 538–542. ISSN 2044-0065. doi:10.12968/vetn.2014.5.9.538. 
  2. ^ "Veterinary Nursing Assistant", unitec
  3. ^ "Diploma in Veterinary Nursing", Otago Polytechnic
  4. ^ "National Certificate in Animal Care" (PDF). Otago Polytechnic. Retrieved 26 Feb 2009. 
  5. ^ "Certificate in Rural Animal Technology (Level 4)" (PDF). Otago Polytechnic. Retrieved 1 Jun 2011. 
  6. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions". New Zealand Veterinary Nursing Association. Retrieved 26 Feb 2009. 
  7. ^ "Bachelor of Veterinary Technology". Massey University. Retrieved 16 Sep 2009. 
  8. ^ "Become a veterinary technician", New Zealand Veterinary Association

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