Forensic Pathologist

Our Purpose

The Canterbury District Health Board systematically plan, fund and deliver care to almost 600,000 people that live in the Canterbury region. The Canterbury Health System is a world leader in the delivery of integrated health care.  Our main focus is placing people (staff and patients alike) at the centre of everything we do.

The Team

Forensic pathologists play a crucial role in supporting the families of deceased, through their expert service to coroners, NZ Police and courts.

Our team is located on the Christchurch Hospital Campus and is supported by modern, well equipped mortuary facilities with an enthusiastic and skilled technical workforce.

You will work alongside 3-4 other pathologists undertaking and supervising autopsy examinations of sudden, unexplained or unexpected deaths for coroners. This will include professional duties in conjunction with the NZ Police and the Crown prosecution service for suspicious deaths and homicides. The unit serves a population of about 1.2M for suspicious deaths and homicides. The service for routine coroner-directed cases comes from a population base of about 660,000, with a current full post-mortem annual load of about 480.

The Forensic Pathology and Mortuary Services operates closely alongside our Anatomical Pathology Department and has access to a full range of diagnostics support services available in this large tertiary hospital campus including histopathology, microbiology, genetics, biochemistry and haematology laboratories and radiology services.

The Role

The Canterbury District Health Board is seeking expressions of interest from forensic pathologists who are FRCPA-qualified (or international equivalent) and competent to undertake forensic/coronial post mortems, and who are interested in joining our Forensic Pathology and Mortuary Services based in Christchurch, New Zealand. Previous training, qualifications and experience in forensic pathology are essential, with at least five years’ post-qualification recency of practice. Existing sub-specialty interest in trauma neuropathology and/or paediatric pathology would be an advantage. Professional duties will include providing expert advice to the coroners, families, courts and other medical staff.

For the right candidate who can demonstrate previous experience of leadership and management, this role also offers the opportunity to provide clinical leadership and development of the clinical capabilities of the current Forensic Pathology team in partnership with the Clinical Director. A candidate with leadership and management skills would be at an advantage. 

A commitment to teaching in support of the future workforce will be required with the anticipation that a RCPA registrar full time position will be created within the service commencing early in 2020. Research and undergraduate/graduate teaching opportunities are actively encouraged, with the University of Otago, Christchurch Clinical School of Medicine co-located on the hospital campus.

A completive salary package is offered as is assistance with relocation to Christchurch and a generous Continuing Medical Education allowance.

Our Culture: What matters to us

Ko ngā tāngata, te mātua mahi

Putting people at the heart of all we do 

Health is ultimately all about people. What’s important around here is the way we care for and respect others, the responsibility taken for delivering outcomes, and going about our work with integrity. 

Belonging Here

Being part of the Canterbury District Health Board, our people enjoy access to, flexible working arrangements and a genuine and ongoing focus on career development.

We hope you’ll seriously consider joining us, but if this role isn’t a good fit for you, please share this opportunity with people in your personal networks.

Apply online, or to find out more information, please contact Tracey Sutherland – Recruitment Specialist.


Your application will be reviewed and progressed as soon as possible.

Permanent/Full Time, Fixed Term/Contract/Full Time

Job no: 237205

Location: Christchurch

Closing Date: Saturday, 29 February 2020