All You Need to Know Before Moving to New Zealand
Have you ever dreamed of being a part of a movie scene? In New Zealand, you will not only visit Hobbiton from the Lord of the Rings but can witness an actual giant bat. In fact, it is so huge that they called it a flying fox. With open wings their diameter reaches 5’6 feet (152 cm), so do not be surprised if one visits you on your balcony.
When you move to New Zealand, you will learn a lot more about this unique land and the people that inhabit it. To help you set your expectations right, let’s go over important information and some estimates to consider before the moving day. If you are wondering how to move to New Zealand, Hercules Moving Company can provide an excellent service ensuring that your valuables will be delivered as they were. Choosing a reliable international moving company is the key to a successful relocation.
Icebreaker: the county of livestock and war dance
Some consider New Zealand just another Australian island, but it is definitely more than that. The state covers an area of 268,680 km2 and has a coastline of over 15,000 kilometres. The county is divided into 2 islands. The largest is the South Island, which is home to a quarter of the country's population. As of today, the population of New Zealand counts over 5 million people, which is almost six times less than the number of sheep.
In the Maori language, Aotearoa (New Zealand) means "land of the long white cloud”. There are various explanations for this name, deeply rooted in traditional Maori lore, but all are somehow related to the idea that the horizon in New Zealand is often covered by long, white clouds and becomes like a long cloud when viewed from space, but perhaps this is just a coincidence.
How to Immigrate to New Zealand
New Zealand offers multiple immigration programs and visa types to choose from. In order to understand better your options, we briefly covered 5 paths that will allow you to legally stay in New Zealand. Visa application can take up to months, be sure to apply on time.
Immigration to New Zealand through education is favoured among young individuals seeking to continue their life in New Zealand. A big advantage of this path is the post-study work visa that is given to the graduates after completing their studies. Most employers give their preference to potential employees who have already obtained a work visa. Two main criteria would be a valid acceptance letter and enough funding to cover tuition and support you during your studies.
First Steps upon arrival in New Zealand
- Get an IRD Number.
Everyone earning income in New Zealand must pay taxes. If you don’t want to pay 33% ( the highest possible rate) of your income, you better apply for an IRD tax number to be taxed at your salary rate. Apply for it online as soon as you arrive.
- Apply for a National Health Index (NHI) number.
As an expat coming to New Zealand, you are entitled to have an NHI number. This unique index number is used to identify you by doctors and hospitals.
- Open a Bank Account.
You can open an account in the New Zealand bank from home before you move overseas to make the process faster. You will be able to do so considering that your move will happen in the next 180 days. You would need the next documents: a New Zealand visa, a government-issued ID, and your address outside of New Zealand.[p]The only difference to pay attention to is the EFTPOS cards. They are free of charge and only used within New Zealand and Australia. You can not pay with it online nor make contactless purchases. Usual Visa or MasterCard cards could have a fee of $10 NZD ($6.50 USD)
Simply speaking, each of your documents is equal to a certain value of points, an New Zealandn visa, for example, is 40 points, driver’s license equals 60 points. You can apply to open a bank account outside of New Zealand, providing that you will be coming in the next 12 months.
- Buy a Sim Card.
You can buy a pre-paid sim card online through eBay or Amazon. To activate it you would only need your passport. You do not need to have a New Zealand address to start using the sim card, but these are only good to get you going. We recommend changing it once you are in New Zealand for Spark or Vodafone.
Healthcare in New Zealand
The Healthcare system in New Zealand is run by the national government and is funded by the public. This allows New Zealanders to access free quality healthcare handled by regional and private centres. Healthcare-related costs the government 9% of the country’s GDP.
To be eligible to receive free healthcare you must be a New Zealand citizen, permanent residence or hold a valid work permit that is longer than 2 years. When sickness occurs, you first must visit a family doctor/general paediatrician who will examine you and refer you to a dedicated doctor. Although the New Zealand healthcare system is one of the best in the world, you still will be waiting for your appointment for a couple of days or weeks.
When moving to New Zealand, do not forget to find a reliable private health insurance company that will cover your emergency expenses during your stay.
Earning and Spending in New Zealand
he salary that you will receive in New Zealand heavily depends on your qualification and education. You are likely to earn more in a profession that is in a labour shortage: Dairy Farmers, Project Managers, Accountants, IT specialists and Engineers. The average salary, working full-time, in New Zealand is $27 NZD per hour ( $56,000 NZD per year).
Renting vs. Housing in New Zealand
The housing market in New Zealand is highly competitive due to the not-so-big land and a large number of immigrants coming yearly. Expect to spend a great amount of time regardless of whether you are planning to rent or buy a property in New Zealand.
When relocating to New Zealand, most likely you will be looking into Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch. These are the biggest and most expensive cities to live in. The average cost of rent varies, for a 1 bedroom apartment expect to pay around $1,500 NZD - $1,980 NZD ($980 - $1,300 USD) per month. For a 3 bedroom apartment the price goes up to $2,550 NZD - $4,300 NZD ($1500 - $2,800 USD) per month.
Rent in New Zealand, similarly to Australia, is paid weekly. Remember it when browsing renting websites and ads. You can expect to pay 40% - 50% less when renting outside the city. The landlord can request advance rent and bonds if you are renting for the first time in New Zealand, totalling 5 - 6 weeks’ rent cost.
Buying a property in New Zealand has become more challenging during the last few years. You can not buy a property to live in unless you hold citizenship or a residence class visa. The price of an average house in New Zealand is approximately $570,000 NZD ( $375,000 USD). In big cities, the price will rise to $880,000 NZD (580,000 USD) and the sky is the limit.
New Zealanders make the most out of the county’s weather by building houses to get the most of the natural light. Unfortunately, purchasing a house in New Zealand will not automatically make you a citizen. However, you can apply for an investor’s visa to gain permanent residency through investing 2.5 million NZD ( 1.6 mil USD) in a residential property.