17 Apr 2013

Vet bonding scheme working well

6:46 am on 17 April 2013

A Government programme that offers young vets money if they work in rural areas is proving a success, with the vets staying on for the required three years.

More than 100 veterinary graduates have signed up to the rural Voluntary Bonding Scheme.

The scheme is now in its fifth year and more than 96% of the bonded graduates have stuck with it.

President of the New Zealand Veterinary Association, Dr Gavin Sinclair, says the scheme has succeeded in getting young vets to work in.

"There have to be some compelling reasons for today's young people to go to really out of the way places, and that's the difficulty for some of these areas that are perceived to be less attractive."

He said many provincial areas were delightful places to live and the three-year bonding scheme gave young vets the opportunity to find that out.

He said the aim was to get people involved in local communities so they would stay on, rather than expecting to leave after just one year.

Dr Sinclair said there were still two problematic regions in terms of attracting qualified vets - the East Coast of the North Island and the West Coast in the south.

Each year up to 30 Massey University vet students can sign up to the scheme - where they agree to work in a rural practice and in return, they get a $33,000 payment at the end of their third year of work.