Auckland vs Christchurch vs Wellington: Comparing living costs

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new zealand cost of living comparison citiesAuckland, Christchurch and Wellington are the New Zealand cities most popular with migrants. That’s why we wanted to compare the costs of basic expenses between these cities. Our aim?  To give you the information you need to make an informed decision about where you want to live.

Our comparison covers the costs of:

  • Rent;
  • Utilities;
  • Groceries;
  • Getting around;
  • Entertainment; and
  • Childcare.

Of course it is important to also look at average salaries, so that you can see how your expenses are likely to relate to your income. This is why we start by sharing the average annual salary of each city.

Please note: All costs are quoted in New Zealand dollars.


new zealand salaries comparison

Monthly expenses

Your monthly expenses will include costs such as rent, groceries, and entertainment. Your rent will be the first expense to take care of each month, so let’s start there.


new zealand rent comparison

This is how much utilities could set you back each month:

new zealand utilities comparison

Now let’s look at some of the other monthly costs you’ll have to budget for…


Groceries will demand a large chunk of your income each month. This is how much basic groceries could set you back:

new zealand groceries comparison

Getting around

If you don’t import your car, you’ll have to buy a new one or make use of public transport. This is how much both these options could cost you:

new zealand transport comparison


No-one only works and pays the bills. We also also spend time with friends and loved ones! Here’s how much you could spend on entertainment:

new zealand entertainment comparison


If you’re a family moving over to New Zealand, you’ll have to enroll your children of school-going age into a school:

new zealand childcare comparison

If there are any other costs you’re curious about, such as clothing, head on over to Numbeo. All of the costs above were taken from Numbeo and valid as at March 2019. Salaries were taken from Payscale.

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