standard-title Trainee Intern

Trainee Intern

As a Trainee Intern, your NZRDA membership is free!

Beginning your first year as a house officer is always daunting. As well as coming to grips with being a doctor you also need to understand what it means to be an employee. The RDA is here to help you deal with “all that contract stuff” and more. Join now by clicking the button below, or read on for further information.

We’re here to help

Beginning your first year as a house officer is always daunting. As well as coming to grips with being a doctor you also need to understand what it means to be an employee. The RDA is here to help you deal with “all that contract stuff” and more. We are the only representative body that has your best interests at heart. We can help with a wide variety of problems – all you need to do is ask! Membership for TIs is free! Just visit the Membership page or click on the button above, fill in the form, and it’s done. You will receive:

  • A copy of the quarterly Resident Doctor Journal
  • Member updates
  • Reminder to update your membership when starting as a HO


Please note that TI membership does not entitle you to voting rights.

Don’t hesitate to ask for help

Obviously the person you talk to depends on the circumstances. You should be able to discuss clinical matters or problems with your seniors (registrar or consultant). If they are unavailable another colleague or duty manager may be the next best thing.

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.


Overcome problems

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.

Connect with the NZRDA

After you join the NZRDA, you will be met by an NZRDA representative who will be able to give more information if you need. The reps will be around as the year progresses to help with anything that arises. You will also receive your own copy of the MECA and a guide to MECA, which will help explain your rights in easy-to-understand language.

Your representatives

Visit the Delegates page of the website to learn more about your NZRDA representatives

Frequently asked questions

Click on the link below to visit our page dedicated to frequently asked questions provided by TIs themselves. If there is more you need to know, feel free to contact us on

Trainee Intern to House Officer Transition

For more information on this transition process, and the current discussions around it, please refer to our current issues page on the topic.

Ward Calls Podcast

The Ward Calls podcast dissects common ward calls you will need to confidently manage as a PGY1 doctor and beyond. We discuss practical, safe and comprehensive approaches that are achievable in the limited time available when working on the ward. The podcast is co-hosted by RMOs Dr Vani Chandran and Dr Sam Holford.


MECA stands for Multi-Employer Collective Agreement. It is the employment contract under which you will be employed when you commence work. Don’t get confused by the wording of letters from the DHB. Most will refer to the MECA and inform you to contact NZRDA if you wish to remain covered. If you are a member of NZRDA, you will continue to be covered by that agreement and anything further which is negotiated by NZRDA.

Now, the legal stuff. We are obliged to tell you that unless you join NZRDA you will not be covered by our MECA and will be employed instead in an Individual Employment Agreement (an IEA), the renegotiation of which is for you to arrange with your employer.

Please first visit our TI FAQs page for basic information relevant to TIs on the MECA. This covers the basics that TIs have asked us to cover. Visit our MECA page for more detailed information.

If you would be interested in learning more and even being a rep yourself, there is a 4-day training session held each year in March. Just contact our office for further information at

Finally, if you can’t find anyone to ask whether the question is small or the event appears catastrophic, contact NZRDA. No matter how large or small the problem, we are here to help. And, by the way, if it is “one of those moments” and it is 1300 hours on a Saturday – do call; it’s what we are here for.

Indemnity Insurance

There is a choice of indemnity providers in NZ:

  • NZ Medical Professionals (NZMP) indemnity insurance is a NZ insurance company that specializes in medical indemnity insurance. It is 100% NZ owned and operated and governed under the Insurance (Prudential Supervision) Act 2010.
  • MPS is a friendly society (not an insurance company) run out of the UK and Ireland.
  • Medicus is a NZ incorporated society in which members get insurance underwritten by an(other) insurance company (Aon).

NZMP: Over twenty years ago, and at the request of our members, NZRDA arranged for a specifically tailored Indemnity Insurance scheme for RMOs to be established, known today as NZMP. NZRDA owns 15% of NZMP. Cover is available for all resident doctors, and coverage can continue on into general practice or life as a consultant (SMO). The scheme also provides cover for working in Accident & Medical Centres, as a locum, and for charity work in the Pacific.

The indemnity scheme has a team of experienced medico-legal advisors to help you through potential problems. To enquire or take out cover, simply visit to get the ball rolling. The policy also has full tail cover. This means that if you were insured at the time the incident happened, you will be covered – no matter how long ago the incident occurred.

Joining is simple: when you are completing those endless employment forms for the DHBs, simply tick or confirm that you want to be covered by NZMP (AKA “the RDA scheme”). We will arrange the rest and you will receive confirmation of cover shortly after commencing employment.

For more information, visit our Indemnity Insurance page


As an RDA member, you can join the superannuation scheme. Before you think, “I’m too young for superannuation” or “with my huge debt I need to pay that off first” think again. Below is a graph, which demonstrates the benefits of early commencement of contributions. Essentially if you leave it, you never catch up.

Member 1 – $100 per month for 30 years with a return of 6% (net) – includes a 2% CPI increase

Member 2 – $200 per month for 15 years with a return of 6% (net) – includes a 2% CPI increase

Assumption: Although both members invest the same total contribution the effects of time almost doubled the return for Member 1.

RMOs are amongst the very few health sector employees to have 6% employer superannuation contributions available – courtesy of NZRDA’s negotiations on our member’s behalf we unashamedly cry!!

The RDA has a scheme that is transportable, allows us to suspend contributions for up to 2 years (and longer by agreement) in case we need to go overseas for instance. If you want more information on the scheme, please email

It is not the only scheme, however. There is Kiwisaver, and MAS has a scheme, amongst others, so seek some independent financial advice before starting employment. Remember if you wish to “opt out” of Kiwisaver, you have to do so (at law) within the first 50 days of employment.

If you want to talk to NZRDA, you can contact us here.

Find out more about the NZRDA Superannuation scheme – click here