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Forensic Psychologist job in New Zealand

Position: Forensic Psychologist
Industry: Justice
Service: Community Safety & Offender Rehabilitation
Contract: Permanent Full Time
Location: New Zealand
Job #: 12

Our client is an internationally recognised leader in offender rehabilitation and community safety. Their goal is to reduce rates of re-offending. They seek psychologists who are passionate about forensic psychology and offer an opportunity to join a highly skilled and valued workforce.   

Prison located roles are within the purpose-built, therapeutic units, which provide intensive cognitive behavioural programmes and promote a community of change environment. The group interventions are designed to help participants understand why they have committed offences, increase awareness of victim harm, develop meaningful life goals and practice new thinking and behavioural skills that will lead them away from future offending. By focusing on evidence-based practice and targeted psychological treatment, positive results are being obtained with this high-risk group of offenders.  

Community-based roles involve completing clinical and risk assessments to the  Courts and Parole Boards, providing offence focused therapy, consultation, advice, training and supervision.  

These jobs offer the ability to further develop your career in a stimulating and professional team environment, with access to a wide range of training and research opportunities. Successful applicants will be encouraged to show initiative and develop clinical skills further through a well-developed competency-based progression system. Good working conditions and competitive salaries are provided.

To be considered you will need to:

  • Have a grounding in cognitive behavioural theory.
  • Be able to complete risk and clinical assessments.  
  • Demonstrate an ability to work with prisoners.
  • Possess an understanding of the dynamics of individual and group behaviour.
  • BE an effective verbal communicator with strong relationship management skills.
  • Have excellent writing skills, including report writing.
  • Evidence a willingness to develop competencies in Tikanga Maori.
  • Be prepared to consent to criminal conviction and substance misuse checks.

Use the button below to check our shortlisting criteria.  You don't have to be currently job seeking to register your interest.  

Suitably matched applicants will receive information about the role, the employer, the locations, an estimate of likely salary and details of any relocation assistance.

Shortlisted psychologists would receive guidance in making application and interview preparation. Job alerts will then be forwarded as roles become available.

Expressions of interest are encouraged from both local and overseas psychologists.  New Zealand immigration visas would be available for qualifying overseas candidates and their families.

Shortlisting Criteria

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Case Study

Natalie is a clinical psychologist recruited from the UK. This is what she had to say.

Job hunting from halfway around the world proved no barrier. After two years working in forensic mental health services in the UK, she says New Zealand sounded like an ideal change.

"I wanted to move away from the hectic London lifestyle but was not yet ready to move home to Ireland. I applied for the job in Wellington before moving and was pleasantly surprised at how easy the process was. I was interviewed over the phone, then it was relatively straightforward to obtain visas and to register as a clinical psychologist in New Zealand,"

Natalie says her favourite part of the job is working therapeutically with a complex group of people. "I love the diversity of the role. I work with individuals in prison and the community; I have the opportunity to complete assessments, provide interventions, work on research projects, and supervise others."

Empathy, understanding and analytical skills are vital, along with the ability to step back and make clear decisions about how best to help each individual. "Working therapeutically with offenders requires patience, tolerance and a willingness to work with the person at their level and their pace."

My employer welcomes psychologists with clinical or forensic backgrounds and provides excellent working conditions and a clear career structure. "It is a progressive organisation that respects its psychologists. There's a strong emphasis on rehabilitation and psychologists play a key role in this," says Natalie.

As for her new home: "New Zealand is an easy place to move to and a great place to live, especially if you enjoy the outdoors. It's every bit as beautiful as it is made out to be."