What is the New Zealand Resident Doctors’ Association?

We are a union; a group of employees who come together to achieve strength and safety in numbers. The New Zealand Resident Doctors’ Association (RDA) is the principal organisation in New Zealand representing the interests of all Resident Medical Officers.

We are run by resident doctors for resident doctors. Our main purpose is to look after and to promote the interests of our members. This includes taking care of doctors’ rights and your interests at work, within the health sector and in the wider community.


Why join NZRDA?

There are a number of advantages of RDA membership. As a member you will receive all the benefits of belonging to a professional and employment related union including advocacy advice and support related to employment issues that may arise including contract compliance or enforcement and representation if so required.


The RDA represents RMOs on a wide range of issues for example: HWNZ medical relevance group which operates to ensure all TIs get a job as a first year, MCNZ around pre-vocational training, bullying and sexual harassment of RMOs and workload and supervision pressure that will directly affect you starting from day one as an RMO.

Renewing and Joining online/Application Form >

Always here

Personal and professional support through the RDA can be accessed 24/7. The union and the DHBs do work together. However, the act of DHBs dishonouring your contract is not uncommon and as with any job, employment issues can and do arise.

Why join the superannuation scheme?

Whilst anyone can start contributing to a superannuation scheme, our MECA provides for the employer to contribute equally to your scheme up to 6% of your income. Before you think, “I’m too young for superannuation” or “I need to pay off my debt first” think again.

RMOs are amongst the very few health sector employees to have superannuation available – courtesy of NZRDA’s negotiations on our members’ behalf. Our scheme is transportable and can be taken to any DHB in NZ – essential given our mobility between DHBs throughout our careers. We can also suspend contributions for up to 2 years (and longer by agreement) -in case you need to go overseas, for example. Funds are not locked in, and are available to you upon ceasing your employment with your DHB.

The DHBs match your contribution up to 6% a year. NZRDA members can join our superannuation scheme.

Read more and helpful documents >

More information

If you want more information on the scheme, please contact the office and we will provide all the information to you. Or visit Superannuation Scheme under membership for some helpful documents

Overseas grads joining the RDA

Welcome to New Zealand. Godzone. Paradise on earth. You have chosen to come ‘down under’ – a great move! You have joined a growing body of UK doctors who have seen the light and realised that the British Isles can no longer offer doctors the life or career they pursue. For some, it is the training opportunities; for others, the chance to enjoy unrivalled outdoor sports or other activities. For many, it is a much-needed change of scene after a six or seven-year hard slog to get full GMC registration. A chance to jump off the treadmill of professional development and just have a year’s working holiday – why not? There is also a percentage of us who plan to stay permanently, to make New Zealand our home, recognising the many benefits of life here versus life in the modern UK.

Read more >

More information

Visit our "Meet Your Delegates" page https://www.nzrda.org.nz/meet-your-delegates/ to watch Dr Jonathan Davis talk about his experience moving from the UK to New Zealand

Trainee Intern Guide

Please find the TI Guide here: Trainee Intern Guide

Trainee Intern Questions

What follows is some simple advice on a number of issues that will affect you when you start work. You will be met at or shortly after you commence employment by NZRDA reps who will be able to give more information if you need and the reps will be around as the year progresses to help with anything that arises. You will also receive your own copy of MECA and a guide to MECA which helps explain your rights in easy to understand language, but hopefully what follows will get you started. The first section answers frequently asked questions. TIs themselves provided these questions, but if there is more you need to know, feel free to contact us on delegate@nzrda.org.nz. The second section covers issues that you need to think about before starting work: Indemnity Insurance and Superannuation.

FAQs and other big questions and answers >

Reassurance when you need it

NZRDA has reps throughout New Zealand hospitals and we can pretty much help you with most things including clinical issues, personal issues and employment issues. Give us a call; we can usually point you in the right direction. Remember most problems you encounter may seem big, but are not insurmountable. Most of us have seen them and been there before. Often all that is required is reassurance that you are doing the right thing or guidance to the right decision.


One of the roles of NZRDA is to provide support and advisory services to our members when you need them. NZRDA staff are highly experienced in advocacy services and are particularly skilled in dealing with employment issues both generally and those pertaining to you, your employers and your employment agreement. Here at the NZRDA office, we help numerous members with a variety of situations on a daily basis, such as: disciplinary matters, personal grievances and breaches of the terms and conditions of your contract. In a nutshell, we are here to assist and to guide you when (as does happen) things “go wrong”.

However, we stress that when things do “go wrong” you need to get in touch with us sooner rather than later! This might sound like common sense, but you would be surprised at how many members contact us ‘after the fact’.

Peace of mind

If you are feeling a little embarrassed – be reassured. Remember, you are not the first or the only one to be in this situation. While we may not have heard ‘it all’, we have heard 'most of it’ before. All members’ issues are treated confidentially and you will have an advocate assigned to you to provide the support and expert advice you need.

Official Document

A copy of the official NZRDA Rules is available here.

Objects of the NZRDA, as specified in the Rules:

  • Negotiate, protect, and improve the collective employment interests of its members.
  • Provide advice and representation for members with employment relationship problems.
  • Promote and support member participation in decision-making processes affecting their employment and general quality of life, and the well being of the professional workforce to which they belong.
  • Promote and support members’ acquisition and improvement of their occupational skills, and the standing of the professional group as a whole.
  • Promote a high standard of patient care.
  • Do anything else necessary and helpful in furtherance of the above objects.


Rules of the Incorporated Society

The latest version of the Rules was updated in May 2017

Meet our National Executive

The National Executive is in essence the RDA’s “board of directors”. The National Executive is primarily charged with the responsibility of running the RDA between AGMs and acts upon input from members after being channelled through workplace representatives – your delegates.

All members of the National Executive are delegates and many have participated in MECA bargaining in the past. You can view the profiles of our current National Executive members below.