Moving to New Zealand: End-to-end Relocation Guide for Expats

New Zealand’s features include gorgeous landscapes, hospitable locals, and a unique atmosphere. Its incredible diversity of landscape from one island to the next, together with the local Maori culture, creates an environment you will love.

Do you consider moving to New Zealand an exciting decision? Still, you might be worried about specific circumstances. In that case, in the scope of cooperation with IMovingTo, all the obstacles are perfectly solvable, and you can enjoy integrating into the new environment properly.

Wellington Cable Car new zealand

Culture, Environment, and Lifestyle in New Zealand

People of various nationalities and cultures are accepted and respected in New Zealand. Kindness, tolerance, and friendship are characteristics that are highly valued here.

New Zealanders live well-balanced lives with excellent professional prospects and lots of free time for leisure pursuits. Most New Zealanders are arranged, cheerful individuals who appreciate hard work, time with friends and family, and their stunning home country.

In general, they enjoy living life to the fullest by exploring the great outdoors, participating in sports, or simply watching them. Many outdoor activities are available, including water, winter, and even extreme sports.

The Maori language, cuisine, and rituals are all highly important aspects of life here. It’s crucial that you comprehend, respect, and interact with Maori culture, which entails acting in a way that is proper or respectful to the culture.

  • Since heads are considered sacred, anything related to them, such as pillows or hats, should be handled with care.
  • If you aren’t invited, don’t touch another person’s head.
  • Keep hats off the food tables.
  • Before going inside a house, take your shoes off.

Is New Zealand Expensive? – Cost of Living

The average monthly cost of living for a single individual in New Zealand is between $815 and $1,000, not considering rent. Whether you live in the city’s center or a bit outside it or the city you choose to relocate to will affect your rental costs.

Since their expenses are higher, particularly moving expenses, expats should aim for a larger pay range. Your flight ticket will be pricey when you go to New Zealand because it is remote from everywhere else in the world. Many expats will also need to factor in other expenses like furnishing the apartment, security deposits, and rental agent commissions.

The following aspects of the general cost of living will enhance your understanding of what to expect after moving to New Zealand.

  • A meal for two people in a mid-range restaurant: $70
  • A cinema ticket: $11
  • Monthly transport pass: $130
  • Monthly gym membership: $40

How to Relocate Your Household Belongings?

With several limitations placed on what you can and cannot transfer into the nation, New Zealand has particular and stringent rules for transporting household goods and belongings.


You need to provide the Ministry of Primary Industries with the appropriate documents and a declaration of the contents of your household goods.


To prevent any obstacles, when delivered separately from you, you can use the services of the companies that transport your belongings to make sure your belongings arrive within a day of your arrival. Besides, you can even consider hiring international packers and movers to ship your belongings with guaranteed safety by air or sea.

Keep in mind that you can also permit someone else to clear your stuff on your behalf if they arrive before you do. In addition to a copy of your passport, the authorized person will also require written authorization from you. But you might have to pay GST (Goods and Services Taxes) and taxes on your goods in that case.

Visa Types & Work Permit Requirements in New Zealand

In general, obtaining a work visa in New Zealand could be challenging because of the few openings or short application periods. Applications will open on a particular day if your country has a predetermined quota. Typically, you have 59 days from the application date to submit your application.

In New Zealand, there are 2 primary temporary work visas. Depending on your skill level and the length of the employment contract, you can stay for 1 to 2 years on a working holiday visa or 1 to 5 years on an essential skills work visa.


Only those who are legally permitted to reside in New Zealand permanently or given one of New Zealand’s self-employment visas are permitted to work as freelancers there.

Depending on your place of origin and whether you are applying in New Zealand or your country of residence, the application procedure and costs for a Permanent Residence Visa may differ.

Generally speaking, you should complete the Permanent Resident Visa application form and submit it with the necessary documentation to the appropriate receiving center. On the official immigration website, enter your nationality and the nation where you reside to find this information.

The New Zealand Immigration website allows applicants to complete a major fraction of the visa application procedure online. Completing the online form is quick and straightforward, and it shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes.

How to Get a Job in New Zealand?

2 significant industries for employment are construction and tourism. The public sector, the healthcare industry, and professional services are all prominent, while technology is increasingly expanding.

While Wellington serves as a superb hub for people interested in government and public service, Auckland is the largest city. It typically has the most variety of opportunities, especially in business and professional services.

The fields of information technology, finance, surveying, architecture, and construction currently offer the greatest salaries. Using the PayScale calculator, you can calculate how much money you might be making in New Zealand based on your skills.

TradeMe Jobs, Indeed, and are a few of the most often used job search engines in New Zealand. In New Zealand, employment agencies can greatly assist in connecting job applicants with opportunities across many industries. Michael Page, Hays, Adecco, and Enterprise are a few of the top employment agencies in New Zealand.

Healthcare System in New Zealand

The healthcare system in New Zealand is public and universal. The price of healthcare varies, and the government covers the majority of healthcare expenses via tax money. For citizens and permanent residents of New Zealand, the healthcare system is either free or inexpensive, thanks to government support.


Diagnostic tests, vaccines, cancer treatment, appointments, and, for kids, dental care and prescription medicine are all examples of free medical services. However, you’ll have to pay for your private health insurance if your necessities fall outside these categories. Private health insurance provides access to many specialists and much faster treatment at private hospitals.


If you are a citizen or permanent resident of New Zealand, you are eligible for healthcare coverage. If you are an employee with a New Zealand work visa valid for 2 years or more.

Transportation Costs in New Zealand

While budgeting your monthly financial plan when moving to New Zealand, transportation expenses should be taken into account. Auckland is a city that is famous for the most expensive public transportation networks in the world.

While a ferry pass is an additional, a monthly train and bus pass in Auckland will cost you between $121.80 and $148.86. The monthly pass in Wellington is a little more expensive, between $135 and $165. In Christchurch, transport passes cost between $65.27 and $79.77.

Because of the high price of public transportation, the popularity of cycling is significantly increasing. Accordingly, some areas of the country have constructed bike lanes on roadways and installed cycle paths.

In New Zealand, it may be worthwhile to get a car if you wish to travel due to the limited public transportation options, many rural locations, and narrow highways. That’s why most Kiwis own a car!

Managing Finances & Taxes in New Zealand

In New Zealand, opening an account is typically straightforward. You should have your passport, visa, residence verification, and a minimum opening balance (depending on the account type). You may be able to simply drop by a branch without making an appointment. The Bank of New Zealand, KiwiBank, and Westpac are the main financial institutions in New Zealand.

New Zealand has been used to examine several new financial systems due to its small economy. Eftpos cards, which resemble debit cards but do not allow for overdrafts, are one aspect of this.

Tax management is the responsibility of Inland Revenue. GST (goods and services tax), which is typically included in bills, and income tax are the two main taxes. The vast majority of the time, income tax is deducted automatically from your paycheck.

Between 10.5% and 33% is the progressive income tax rate. For taxation purposes, you should pay taxes on your international income if New Zealand is considered your home country.

Things You Should Know Before Moving to New Zealand

  • The New Zealand accent can be highly confusing to foreigners. A Kiwi can sound Australian, South African, or American within five words. If you’re relocating there, you should forget all you’ve ever learned about syllable sounds.


  • Even though Australia’s bright, sunny country is quite close to New Zealand, the climate is considerably different. There can be “four seasons in one day,” and the temperatures are considerably less harsh.


  • The ozone layer on Earth is essential for shielding us from the sun’s dangerous radiation. Unfortunately, a much thinner ozone layer above New Zealand results in harmful UV radiation anytime the sun shines.


Even if the sun doesn’t feel very intense when you’re in New Zealand, you should still take the necessary precautions to keep yourself safe.


  • There is a lot of tectonic activity in New Zealand. Most of Earth’s volcanoes and earthquakes are found within the Pacific Ring of Fire, and New Zealand is located directly within it.


This indicates that there are roughly 14,000 earthquakes in New Zealand each year, although ordinary people feel only 100 to 150. It is obvious why the nation is known as the Shaky Isles.

Pros & Cons of Moving to New Zealand


Gorgeous environment

Major motion pictures, like The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit Trilogy, and The Chronicles of Narnia, are only a few that have been filmed in New Zealand.


Watching these films makes it clear why this island nation was chosen as glaciers, landscapes, mountain ranges, and lakes are just a few of the breathtaking natural features found in New Zealand.

English is the official language

Learning at least one of the official languages is one of the main difficulties expats face when moving to foreign nations.


You may be glad that English is widely spoken in New Zealand. After relocating there, you will discover that adaptation is relatively simple because, aside from the language, the way of life is very similar to Western culture. This significantly reduces or eliminates culture shock.

Wonderful weather

You will understand what a perfect climate is if you have ever visited South Africa. New Zealand’s and South Africa’s weather are fairly comparable and characterized by warm summers, chilly springs, cool autumns, and moderately chilly winters. 


Far away from the world

Although there are many amazing things about New Zealand, one of the main drawbacks is that it may often feel separated from the rest of the world. You will fully comprehend if you are an expat who recently relocated here.

Egalitarian culture

Egalitarian values are prevalent in New Zealand.

This implies that talking about one’s accomplishments is practically frowned upon, and those who do so are swiftly made to feel small.


The tall poppy phenomenon, well-known worldwide, appears to be affecting New Zealand’s entrepreneurs and their general well-being.

Final Words

New Zealand is indeed a preferred moving option for expats who want to experience a rich culture and stunning natural surroundings.

If you belong to the ranks of people fascinated by the idea of relocating to New Zealand, then IMovingTo will help you overcome any difficulties associated with the moving process!

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