New Zealand is regularly voted as one of the best countries to live for individuals and families alike.
Parents choose New Zealand because of the high quality of education and the lifestyle the country offers their family. Not to mention the fact that New Zealand is one of the world’s safest and most peaceful countries.
But how do you choose where in New Zealand to settle your family? It’s almost impossible to single out a specific place! It really comes down to what your family is looking for.
Big city lights
New Zealand’s three largest cities also happens to be three of the most popular cities with migrant families settling in the country.
Auckland, on the North Island, is New Zealand’s most populous city. Auckland is also New Zealand’s economic hub, and it’s known as a diverse and cosmopolitan city.
When it comes to things to see and do, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Auckland is home to many museums and historic sites, and regularly hosts festivals and sporting events. Auckland is also within travelling distance of magnificent natural attractions such as Rotorua Island, Muriwai beach, and Waitakere Rages Regional Park.
Auckland isn’t short on exceptional schools either. Six of the eight top schools in the latest Crimson-QS New Zealand school rankings are in Auckland!
These schools are a mix of girls’, boys’ and co-ed schools:
- St Cuthbert’s College: A private day and boarding schools for girls.
- Macleans College: Co-education state secondary school.
- ACG Parnell College: Independent co-educational school.
- Auckland International College: Independent co-educational secondary school.
- Auckland Grammar School: State secondary school for boys.
- Diocesan School for Girls: Private girls’ school.
When exploring Wellington, you can visit several of New Zealand’s largest and oldest cultural institutions, quench your thirst at one of its many bars, cafes and restaurants, and indulge in the arts and cultural events.
With six of New Zealand’s eight best schools in Auckland, there are only two spots left – and both schools are in Wellington:
- Scots College: Independent Presbyterian day and boarding school for boys and girls.
- Queen Margaret College: Independent girls’ school.
Just like Auckland, Wellington can also boast one of the best universities in New Zealand. The Victoria University of Wellington continuously performs well in world university rankings as well.
There is much to see and do in New Zealand’s oldest city. You can admire street art, marvel at state-of-the-art architecture, dine at world-class restaurants, and take in the creative scene.
Some of the highlights of Christchurch are:
When it comes to education, Christchurch is home to two of New Zealand’s top universities. The first one is the University of Canterbury, which is one of New Zealand’s oldest universities. The second institution is Lincoln University. This University prides itself on giving students ‘personalised attention’, which is made possible by keeping classes small.
Living at a slower pace
Living in big cities isn’t for everyone. Some of us prefer smaller cities and cities with a more relaxed pace of life.
Known as the ‘adventure capital of New Zealand’, Queenstown sits on the edges of Lake Wakatipu on the South Island.
Queenstown’s lakeside location offers residents the chance to indulge in numerous activities ranging from jet boating to fly fishing. The surrounding mountains are perfect for walkers and hikers as well as photographers eager to capture the area’s beautiful landscapes.
Despite all of the adventure activities on offer, Queenstown is described as quaint and relaxed. The city also hosts many cultural events throughout the year, and it has numerous fine-dining restaurants and cafes.
Whanganui is home to approximately 43,000 people, and sits at the mouth of the at the mouth of the Whanganui River.
The city offers plenty of activities to keep the whole family entertained. You can visit history museums and art galleries, treat your kids to a day at Kōwhai Park, or take a leisurely cycle or walk in one of the area’s nature reserves.
Living in Whanganui also means you’re only an hour’s flight from Auckland. It’ll be easy for family and friends to visit!
Here’s something you may not know – Gisborne is the first place in the world to see the sunrise each day.
Rise with the sun and you’ll get to make the most of the city’s beautiful coastline, forested mountain parks, and surfing and fishing opportunities. Many people do! It’s common to see Gisborne locals surf or cycle before work.
You may also want to indulge in the magnificent food and wine the city has to offer. Gisborne is especially known for its chardonnay.
You want to be close to all of the best sights and sounds New Zealand has to offer
If you want to experience as much of New Zealand as possible, Hamilton and Rotorua should be at the top of your list.
Hamilton is set on the banks of the Waikato River and only 90 minutes from Auckland. However, the cost of living in Hamilton is much more affordable than in Auckland.
Living in Hamilton means you’re never too far from somewhere to go or something to see. You’ll find New Zealand’s surfing capital Raglan, the Hobbiton movie set, and the world-famous Waitomo Glowworm Caves within driving distance of Hamilton.
Rotorua is a tourist hotspot and an all-year-round destination thanks to its mild climate. It’s never too hold or too cold. Another reason for Rotorua’s popularity is its central location on the North Island. You’ll get to Auckland, Napier, the Coromandel Peninsula, Mt Maunganui, and Mt Ruapehu in just under three hours.
The icing on the cake? Rotorua is one of New Zealand’s most affordable cities to live in.
Want to find out if you and your family are eligible to live in New Zealand?
Finding out if you can call New Zealand ‘home’ is as easy as booking a free initial assessment with us. This assessment is non obligatory and will show any migration pathways open to you and your family.
Should I move to New Zealand or Australia? We bet that’s a question you’ve asked yourself at least once before.
Here’s our tip to help you choose – let the reason for your emigration guide you.
For instance, do you want to grow your career, or is it so that your family can live in safer country? Australia offers more job opportunities but New Zealand is the second-safest country in the world.
Do you see how the motivation for your move could help you decide where to go?
Let’s work through a couple of pull factors together to help you decide between New Zealand and Australia.
(You can also skip to the end of the article where you’ll find a handy recap of all the information.)
Is an affordable cost of living important?
When drilling deeper into these averages, the highest and lowest annual salaries for New Zealand are listed as NZD434,000 and NZD24,600 respectively. Australia’s highest and lowest annual income come in at AUD405,000 and AUD23,000.
However, looking at salaries alone doesn’t give us the complete picture. One also has to consider the cost of living. It’s the only way to determine how much life you can squeeze out of your salary.
Numbeo tells us that the average prices of consumer goods and services, rent, and groceries are lower in New Zealand than in Australia. However, New Zealand’s purchasing power is 17.49% lower than Australia’s.
Averages can be extremely abstract, though. Let’s instead look at actual prices for everyday items, as shared on Numbeo. To compare apples with apples, we’re going to show all prices in New Zealand dollars.
Please note: At the time of writing, the exchange rate was 0.92(NZ) to 1(Aus).
On average, rent in New Zealand is 7.58% lower than in Australia. You can expect to pay $2,640.79 for a 3-bedroom apartment in the city centre in New Zealand, while the same apartment in Australia will cost you $3,012.19. Choose to live outside of the city centre and your rent for the same size apartment will decrease to $2,131.72 and $2,082.47 respectively.
To keep the lights on and the water running, you’ll have to fork out $184.35 a month in New Zealand, while it will cost you $238.99 in Australia. This is for an apartment of 85sqm and the cost also includes other basic utilities such as refuse.
Another utility we all surely consider as basic these days is the internet. The price for uncapped data over ADSL or a cable at 60mbps or more, will cost just about the same in both countries.
Staying connected costs $81.78 a month in New Zealand and $81.97 a month in Australia.
On average, you’ll spend 6.29% less on your groceries in New Zealand than in Australia. With that being said, it’s not all groceries that are cheaper in New Zealand.
Let’s take a closer look at grocery prices, shall we? We’re going to break it down in four categories:
|1L of Milk||$2.62||$1.80|
2. Meat and diary
|1kg Chicken fillets||$13.07||$11.85|
|1kg Beef round||$19.73||$19.44|
|1kg Local cheese||$10.74||$11.68|
Do you live for work or work to live?
In other words, which one do you value more – your career or your free time?
If it’s the former, Australia is a good first choice. Australia will offer you more opportunities, both in the number of jobs available and in chances to progress your career. That’s simply because Australia has a many big cities with booming industries. New Zealand’s big corporations are concentrated mostly in and around Auckland.
However, if work is more of a means to an end, you’ll find settling in New Zealand will suit you well.
New Zealanders are known for their ‘life is for living’ ethos. They believe a good day’s work should be balanced with time for family and friends as well as the many leisure opportunities presented by the great outdoors. In fact, when it came to work-life balance, New Zealand ranked first in the world in the 2020 Expat Explorer Survey.
Do you prefer life fast or slowed down?
Life in New Zealand moves at a more relaxed pace than in Australia. This can be attributed to New Zealanders’ love for downtime, as mentioned above, and also to the fact that New Zealand’s cities and towns are smaller than those of Australia. As we all know, fewer people equals less frenzy, less traffic, and less crowded spaces.
This is not to say that you won’t be able to enjoy a more relaxed life in Australia. It just means that you might have to skip the cities when choosing where to settle Down Under.
Do you have children?
You can rest assured that whatever your choice, New Zealand or Australia, your children will enjoy a world-class education.
The New Zealand education system puts the student at the center of everything it does, while keeping an open mind about learning and teaching techniques. The mission is to teach children to:
- Problem solve
- Process information
- Work with others
- Create and innovate
You’ll find New Zealand’s best schools in Wellington and Auckland. These schools are a mix of private and public schools, and offer both co-ed and single gender schooling options.
Over in Australia, the world-renowned Qualifications Framework guarantees that schools as well as tertiary education institutions are government authorised and accredited.
Further to this, Australian schools have:
- small classes,
- university-trained and qualified teachers,
- specialist teachers in subject areas, and
- additional learning support for children who need it.
To send your children to the best schools in Australia, your main considerations would have to be Melbourne and Sydney. These cities are home to Australia’s five top primary schools as well as the five high schools. The schools are a mix of co-education and single gender facilities.
Is good, affordable healthcare high on your priority list?
Again, both New Zealand and Australia are good choices. Both countries have public and private healthcare systems, and the healthcare you’ll receive is world-class.
In New Zealand, eligible residents get free or subsidised health and disability services under the public healthcare system. These services include:
- Primary healthcare visits such as doctor’s visits
- Prescribed medicines
- Public hospital services
- Support services if you have disabilities
Your children will qualify for a range of free healthcare services, all of which are related to their age.
For instance, children up to the age of 5 qualifies for Well Child/Tamariki Ora. This service gives children access to a range of health checks and provides support and advice to new parents.
Australia’s public healthcare system is called Medicare. Just like in New Zealand, public healthcare offers access to free or subsidised medical services and care. Australian citizens, permanent residents, and some temporary residents qualify for Medicare.
If you do qualify for Medicare, Medicare will cover part or all of the following health services when you need it:
- Seeing a GP or specialist
- Tests and scans, like x-rays
- Most surgery and procedures performed by doctors
- Eye tests by optometrists
Medicare also assist with the cost of medicine, mental health care, and screens, tests and scans.
If you do not qualify for Medicare, you’ll have to ensure that you have private medical aid for the duration of your stay in Australia.
Is your family’s safety your main concern?
Perhaps you’re emigrating because your home country is not the safest place. In that case, there is only one choice – New Zealand. In 2020, New Zealand was – yet again – the second safest country in the world, as per the Global Peace Index.
For the index, the state of peace in countries are measured using three domains:
- The level of societal safety and security.
- The extent of ongoing domestic and international conflict.
- The degree of militarization.
A number of indicators are captured within each of these domains, including violent crime, violent demonstrations, the homicide rate, and political instability.
The only country that did better than New Zealand was Iceland. Considering that Iceland is an island nation with a population of only 364 134, we reckon New Zealand might as well have been at number 1.
Australia reclaimed its number 13 spot on the Index in 2020. This puts Australia above countries like the Netherlands, Belgium and Sweden.
To recap the answer to the question “Should I move to New Zealand Australia?”
There really isn’t a standard answer to the question of whether you should move to New Zealand or Australia. As you can see now, it depends on what you want for yourself or your family.
- Is an affordable cost of living important? You’ll spend less in New Zealand on average on everyday goods and services, but your purchasing is 17.49% lower than in Australia.
- Is it grow your career? Then Australia with it’s many big cities and career opportunities should be your first choice.
- Do you want a better work-life balance? Choose New Zealand, where the motto is “life is for living”.
- Is it so that your children can have a good education? They’ll get that no matter which country you move to.
- Do you value good, affordable healthcare? Again, either country is a great choice.
- Do you want to move to a safe country? New Zealand is the second-safest country in the world!
Chances are, the reason for your emigration is a mix of one of more of these factors. In this case, our suggestion is to draw up a pro and con list to help you decide.
Let us not forget however…
Whether you go to New Zealand or Australia is also dependent on your family’s eligibility to emigrate to either country. That’s why it’s important to consider your reason for moving but to also do an immigration assessment so that you can ensure that you are making an informed decision.
If you qualify for both countries, as some people do, lucky you! Then you’ll be able to pick and choose the country that’s the best fit for your family.
The New Zealand Government has removed the start date criteria from the border exemption for critical health workers. Medical professionals in New Zealand welcomed this decision.
What does this mean for health workers?
New Zealand has border restrictions in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19. There are some exemptions, though. The border exemption for critical health workers is one.
The exemption allows eligible candidates from overseas to enter New Zealand to work. However, this exemption had a start date requirement. The requirement meant that new, approved employees had to start working for their New Zealand employer on or before 31 March 2021.
Now there is no start date requirement for critical health workers, which means the border exemption is indefinite.
Please note, though, that health workers still must meet all of the other border exemption requirements. Start dates are also still dependent on the availability of places in managed isolation and quarantine facilities.
What type of health workers are eligible?
The removal of the start date criteria applies to the likes of:
- Registered health practitioners, including nurses, doctors and paramedics – this includes those working in hospitals, practices, and aged care facilities
- Internationally-qualified nurses, who still have to register in New Zealand
- Workers that operate and maintain medical equipment
Please see the complete list of occupations on Immigration New Zealand under the Critical Health Workers heading. If you see your occupation, book a free initial assessment to find out if you’re eligible for a work visa.
Why was there an expiry date on the border exemption in the first place?
The border exemption for critical health workers was one of the first exemptions Immigration New Zealand put in place. The expiry dates allowed Immigration New Zealand to review the exemption to ensure it was still required and that it was attracting the workers New Zealand’s health care system needs.
This is what the healthcare sector had to say
New Zealand Rural General Practice Network Chief Executive Dr. Grant Davidson welcomed Immigration New Zealand’s decision.
“Many of our rural practices rely on international doctors being able to enter the country to support their communities. About one-third of practices in rural areas have long-term vacancies and there aren’t enough doctors in New Zealand to fill these spots”, Davidson said. He continued, “Border restrictions have been disrupting our placement of essential health workers in jobs beyond March 2021. We are pleased this barrier has been removed.”
The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners also praised Immigration New Zealand for their decision.
College President Dr. Samantha Murton said, “This is a major win for our GP clinics across New Zealand who are struggling to recruit enough doctors. Now with greater certainty at the border, general practices can attract overseas-trained doctors – and get them here, meaning more patients seen by a doctor and releasing some of the tension on other struggling GPs.”
Stay up to date with other COVID-19 related changes
New Zealand announced that it’ll close its South African offices by March. Immigration New Zealand also extended visitor visas by two months for some visa holders.
Extensions of New Zealand visitor visas
On 19 February, Immigration New Zealand extended the visitor visas of visa holders who are in the country and whose visas expire between 19 February and 31 March 2021 by two months from the date of expiry.
This extension by INZ is valid even though the new expiry dates are not yet visible on the visas. The new expiry dates will be available on the Visa Verification Service after 5 March.
Visa holders would have to apply for new visas to extend their stay past the new expiry date.
Please note: This visitor visa extension does not apply to COVID-19 short-term visitor visas.
Maximum stay rule for some visitor visas temporarily waived
People in New Zealand who apply for visitor visas before the end of June 2021 will get a temporary waiver of the maximum stay rule – visitor visa holders can only be in New Zealand for nine months out of an 18 month period. Those who apply will be eligible for a visitor visa for up to six months.
New Zealand’s immigration offices in Pretoria, Mumbai, and Manila to close by March 2021
Immigration New Zealand announced that it will close its offices in Pretoria, Mumbai, and Manila by March.
This decision comes as border restrictions remain in place almost 12 months after first being put in place. The restrictions have meant that incoming visa volumes from people who are offshore have decreased significantly.
Visa application processes – including appointments – will move online as part of the New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority programme.
Deputy Head of INZ Catriona Robinson says that INZ has a responsibility to adapt to the changing environment and ensure we are contributing to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery.
“As a result, INZ has made the difficult decision to close our offices in Mumbai, Manila, and Pretoria by March 2021 and bring more visa processing onshore,” Catriona Robinson says.
“This is not a decision that we have made lightly. Our staff in these offices have made a significant contribution to INZ and New Zealand. However, these offices have been closed since March 2020, and with no certainty about when visa volumes may return to normal, INZ has had to make some tough decisions.“
Robinson believes that INZ is well-placed to increase its onshore processing capacity.
“The roll-out of new technology functions aims to improve efficiency and resilience throughout INZ, which will help to us to better manage peaks and troughs in visa volumes while giving users of the immigration system a better customer experience,” Robinson says.
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Last year, Immigration New Zealand (INZ) committed itself to processing border exception requests within two working days, except for other critical worker requests which INZ is processing within two weeks.
Due to ongoing border restrictions, the two-day time frame has been placing enormous pressure on INZ staff. Especially since INZ has been getting thousands of requests each month!
It seems likely that border restrictions are going to be in place for some time and the border exception environment is becoming more complex as new exception criteria are introduced.
As a result…
INZ has decided to change the processing time frame for border exception requests to five working days.
The average processing times largely depend on the type of request at the moment. For instance:
- ‘Family of a New Zealand Citizen or Resident’: Two days
- ‘Family of a Temporary Visa Holder’: Two days
- ‘Humanitarian’ category: Two days
‘Ordinarily resident’ exception requests, which are more complex, take longer.
You can find a list of the critical purpose reasons under which you can apply for a border exception on Immigration New Zealand’s website – CRITICAL PURPOSE REASONS TO TRAVEL.
The border restrictions in response to COVID-19 have turned many people’s lives upside-down.
One of the affected groups have been international students who were in their home countries when the borders closed. Unfortunately, these students have been unable to resume their studies thus far.
Thankfully, INZ has now announced that up to 1,000 priority returning degree and post-graduate international students will be able to return to New Zealand from April 2021.
The requirements of this border exception
- You must have already completed some of your study in New Zealand.
- If you enter New Zealand under this exception, you have to apply for and be granted a new study visa in line with immigration requirements. You can include your partner and dependent children, in line with visa requirements.
- If your application is successful, you’ll have to complete standard managed isolation and quarantine:
- You must book your space through the allocation system
- You’re liable for the standard charges of the isolation and quarantine
- Due to the employment pressures as a result of COVID-19 and increased living costs, you’ll have to be able to prove that you have NZ$20,000 per annum to support yourself for the duration of your visa.
Get expert assistance with your study visa application
Get in touch with our team of licensed advisors if you’re one of the 1,000 returning students and you’d like assistance with your visa application.
You can book a free initial assessment online or email us firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our team of experts can ensure that you still meet the requirements to apply for a study visa. We’ll also guide you through the preparation of your visa application and submit your application too.
Immigration New Zealand has made a couple of announcements that affect Employer-assisted Visas, Essential Skills Visas and Working Holiday Visas. Get all the details below.
1. Employer-assisted visas expiring from 1 January 2021 to 30 June 2021 will automatically receive a 6-month extension
Employer-assisted visa holders whose visas are going to expire between 1 January and 30 June are sure to welcome the news of extensions for a further 6 months. This extension applies to the following visas:
- Essential Skills Visa
- Work to Residence Visa
- Special and Skilled work visas for China, Indonesia, South Korea, Philippines and Vietnam
- Special category work visas for Japanese interpreters and Thai chefs
- Employer-specific work visas granted under section 61 of the Immigration Act 2009
- Fishing Crew Visa
- Religious Worker Visa
- Silver Fern Practical Experience Visa
INZ is also going to extend the visas held by the partners and dependent children of eligible visa holders. All visa holders will get confirmation of the extension from Immigration New Zealand by March 2021.
2. Lower-pad Essential Skills Visa stand-down delayed for 12 months
The introduction of the stand-down period that was announced in July 2020 will be delayed until January 2022.
The stand-down period means that Essential Skills visa holders earning less than the median wage must leave New Zealand after three years for one year before they can return.
3. Working Holiday Visas extended by 6 months
Working Holiday Visas that expire from 21 December 2020 to 30 June 2021 will get a 6-month extension.
INZ will apply varied conditions to allow Working Holiday visa holders to continue in any employment that is not permanent in any sector until the expiry date of their visas. Furthermore, a time limit on total work for one employer will no longer apply.
Working Holiday Visa holders who are eligible for this extension will no longer be transferred to the Supplementary Seasonal Employment (SSE) work visa when their visa expires.
Migrant workers who are already on an SSE Visa can continue to work in the horticulture and viticulture sectors, or apply for an Essential Skills Visa if they find alternative qualifying work.
INZ is making this allowance because New Zealand is facing labour shortages across many industries at the moment.
4. 2019 Median wage in effect until July 2021
Immigration New Zealand will continue to use the 2019 median wage of NZ$25,50 an hour to determine conditions until at least July 2021, at which point the median wage will raise to NZ$27 an hour.
Immigration New Zealand has advised that any migrants who are unable to meet the conditions of their current visa, including migrants who have lost their jobs, should make arrangements to depart New Zealand or apply for a new visa that best suits their circumstances. This may include applying for a Variation of Conditions.
Getting a job in New Zealand is crucial to your skilled visa application. But how do you know what jobs are in demand? Or how to find the best jobs? And what is a good salary in New Zealand? You don’t want to take just any job, after all.
There are so many questions!
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! We’re answering all of the questions above and seven more right here. Read to the end and you’ll feel much more confident about your job search.
1. Is it easy to get a job in New Zealand?
This is going to depend on your situation.
For starters, you’re going to find it easier getting a job in New Zealand if you work in an occupation that is in high demand. Your job search is also going to be smoother if you already know someone in New Zealand in your field who you can network with.
Entering the job search prepared is also going to make it easier to find a job. With that we mean doing things like completing your professional occupational registration if it’s needed, redoing your CV in a format that’s preferred by New Zealand employers, and being in a position to tell the employer that you do qualify for a work visa.
2. What jobs are in high demand in New Zealand?
The jobs that are in high demand and occupations that have been identified by the New Zealand Government as a ‘skill shortage’ is not necessarily the same. There are definitely overlaps, like engineers and nurses, but as a migrant it’s advisable to look at the jobs on the Essential Skills in Demand Lists.
There are three of these lists:
- Long Term Skills Shortage List (LTSSL): The Long Term Skills Shortage List identifies occupations where there is a sustained and on-going shortage of highly skilled workers throughout New Zealand.
- Regional Skill Shortage List (RSSL): The Regional Skilled Shortage List (RSSL) identifies 15 regions with occupations that have an immediate shortage of skilled workers. This gives migrants a better idea about opportunities in regional areas.
- Construction and Infrastructure Skill Shortage List (CISSL): The Construction and Infrastructure Skill Shortage List also contains immediate short-term skills shortages but these shortages are specific to the construction industry. The CISSL is divided into the same 15 regions as the RSSL.
3. Can I apply for a New Zealand work visa without a job offer?
You can do further reading about working in New Zealand on our website. You’ll find all the requirements for work visas and also discover what it’s like to work in New Zealand.
4. What is a good salary in New Zealand?
A February 2019 Stuff article revealed that the average middle-class household earns up to NZ$100,000 a year but still struggle to make ends meet.
The article sourced data from the 2018 Quality of Life Survey produced by Nielsen on behalf of eight councils in New Zealand. These councils included Auckland Council, Christchurch City Council and Greater Wellington Regional Council.
This was the survey feedback from residents in Auckland and Christchurch, New Zealand’s most popular cities among migrants:
Almost half of Auckland households earning between $70,000 and $100,000 a year said they’re just able to make ends meet
In Christchurch, 34 per cent of residents in the $70,000 to $100,000 band said they had just enough to survive
When asked for comment, economist Shamubeel Eaquab said “Around the world we are seeing the same pattern. People are living with high incomes and struggling to make ends meet.”
Eaquab added that “A $70,000 household income in a small town could seem high, but in Auckland it’s probably not enough. Incomes have not kept pace with rents.”
What is the average salaries for in-demand occupations?
Let’s consult TradeMe which released a salary guide for New Zealand for the six months to April 2020:
|Early childhood teachers||NZ$60k|
|Civil and Structural Engineers||NZ$85k|
|Doctors and Specialists||NZ$45k|
|Psychologists and Counsellors||NZ$65k|
|Business and Systems Analysts||NZ$115k|
|Boilermakers and Welders||NZ$60k|
You can view the complete salary guide on TradeMe.
What is New Zealand’s living costs?
We compiled the living costs for New Zealand at the beginning of 2020. You can find that article in our blog section but please keep in mind that the costs were correct as at February 2020.
You’ll also find a living cost comparison of Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland in our blog section. We calculated the basic monthly expenses, travel costs, restaurant prices, and school fees.
5. How do I find jobs?
There are a couple things you can do to find a job:
- Stand out from the crowd with a migration cover letter and a New Zealand-friendly CV
- Market your CV
- Set up and maintain a LinkedIn profile
- Sign up for job alerts on career and recruitment websites
- Identify companies you’d like to work for and see if they have job openings
You’ll also need to know where to look for jobs. You’re in luck here because we’ve done the research for you. We’ve included employers in our Working in New Zealand Guide and we also list 10 of the country’s top recruiters on our website.
6. Will I need to do qualifications and occupational registration?
Immigration New Zealand has a list of common international qualifications that have already been assessed against the National Qualifications Framework (NQF). If your qualification is on this list, it is exempt from assessment. However, if you qualification is not listed, you may have to get it assessed by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA).
Immigration New Zealand has a list of jobs that require some form of official registration. You may need to provide evidence of your occupational registration when you submit your visa application if you are:
- Applying for residence under the Skilled Migrant Category and planning to work in an occupation where registration is required, or
- Including a job offer in a work visa application an occupation registration is a requirement
Please feel free to contact us to speak to us about qualifications and occupational registration.
7. What if the recruiter or company asks if I have New Zealand work experience?
Many New Zealand recruiters and employers value work experience gained in New Zealand because it shows that you’re familiar with the Kiwi way of working. Someone who’s worked in New Zealand may also need less training when starting with the company.
If you only have overseas working experience, you have to frame that experience in a way that shows the interviewer that your experience is valuable.
Let’s say the interviewer says to you, “I see you don’t have any New Zealand work experience.” A good way to respond to this is the following:
“That’s true. However, I have worked in many English speaking countries with similar engineering codes to those in New Zealand. The most recent role I had (name the country) was closely related to this position. I have checked and my qualification from (name the country) covered the same basic areas as the New Zealand degree.”
You can review more good and bad responses to this remark on New Zealand Now.
8. How do I show the recruiter I’m the right person for the job?
You’re in the interview because the employer think you can do the job based on your qualifications, skills and experience. Now you have to show them that you’re a good fit for the company too.
A large part of this is showing that you understand the New Zealand way of working:
- Managers and employees often have an informal and friendly relationship at work
- Status is not as important as in some other countries
- Kiwi employees prefer managers to consult and ask, not to command
- Leaders are expected to be good at motivating their team while treating everyone equally and with respect
- Employees that are not in management positions have to be able to work independently and use their initiative, without relying on a manager to make every decision
9. Do I have to go to New Zealand for interviews?
Even though virtual interviews are common these days, you should still expect that some employers would ask that you attend at least one interview in person. Just be sure to apply for a Look See Decide visa before travelling to New Zealand.
10. Can I work in New Zealand before I get my visa?
No, you cannot. You can only travel to New Zealand and start your job once you have your visa in your passport.
Do you have more questions about getting a job in New Zealand?
If you have other questions, please do not hesitate to call us on +27 (0) 21 202 8200. You can also book a free initial assessment if you’d like to go ahead and find out if you qualify for a work visa. Our licensed immigration advisors can do an assessment with you and advise on the next steps to take.
The COVID-19 pandemic pushed New Zealand’s economy into its worst recession in 33 years. Despite this, employment and career site SEEK recently reported that some industries are showing positive signs of growth compared to when the pandemic first hit.
SEEK found this when they collated data from July to August 2020 and compared it to data from March to April 2020. From this data, SEEK identified the top five industries in New Zealand for job ad growth at the moment as well as the 30 fastest-growing jobs in the country.
These were their findings:
1. Top five industries for job ad growth
|Sports and Recreation||125%|
|Farming, Animals and Conservation||83%|
|Consulting and Strategy||76%|
|Hospitality and Tourism||74%|
Hospitality and tourism was one of the country’s hardest-hit industries, so it’s encouraging to see it in this top five. We think it’s safe to say that this performance is thanks to New Zealand’s swift COVID-19 response that has enabled the country to go back to ‘normal’ faster than just about every other nation in the world.
The 30 fastest-growing jobs
|Industry||Role||Job Ad Growth|
|Government and Defence||Government Advisor||108%|
|Healthcare and Medical||Physiotherapist||101%|
|Manufacturing, Transport and Logistics||Storeperson||94%|
|Information and Communication Technology||Project Manager||82%|
|Community Services and Development||Social Worker||71%|
|Hospitality and Tourism||Chef||70%|
|Healthcare and Medical||Registered Nurse||56%|
|Trades and Services||Labourer||52%|
|Administration and Office Support||Receptionist||52%|
|Community Services and Development||Aged and Disability Support Worker||50%|
|Real Estate and Property||Residential Real Estate Sales||48%|
|Healthcare and Medical||Psychologist||32%|
|Sales||Business Development Manager||32%|
|Manufacturing, Transport and Logistics||Drivers||29%|
|Information and Communication Technology||Developer||28%|
|Administration and Office Support||Administrator||27%|
|Administration and Office Support||Executive Assistant||25%|
|Retail and Consumer Products||Merchandiser||17%|
|Administration and Office Support||Personal Assistant||16%|
|Retail and Consumer Products||Store Manager||16%|
|Administration and Office Support||Office Administrator||15%|
|Trades and Services||Cleaner||14%|
|Manufacturing, Transport and Logistics||Machine Operator||13%|
|Information and Communication Technology||Software Engineer||11%|
|Trades and Services||Carpenter||9%|
New Zealand recently had a federal election which explains the appearance of government advisor roles in the top spot. Storeperson roles, in at number three, are most likely on the rise due to changes in consumer behaviour. The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed many consumers to shopping online which means warehouses are busier than ever and in need of fast, efficient workers to get orders out the door.
But border restrictions are still in place, we hear you say
Yes, New Zealand’s border restrictions are still in place and still affect a lot of people. However, the fact that the job market is recovering is a positive sign of things to come. It means New Zealand’s economy and the country is a whole is starting to recover.
Another sure sign of this is the fact that New Zealand has already opened its borders to some critical workers. So, don’t put your dreams on hold! If you’re serious about moving to New Zealand, continue making it happen.
Our social media team did a poll on Facebook last week to ask our followers if they’re putting their emigration on hold due to COVID-19. Every single person who responded said that they have pressed paused until further notice.
Can you blame them?
New Zealand’s borders are still closed to most people from overseas and no-one can say when this will change.
With that being said, we don’t agree that putting your emigration on hold is the best decision.
Here’s why we say this:
1. New Zealand IS ACCEPTING visa applications under some categories
Immigration New Zealand announced in September that it’s now again accepting visa applications under four categories:
- Parent Retirement
- Migrant Investor (Investor 1 and 2), including Expressions of Interest for Investor 2
- Refugee Family Support (Tiers 1 and 2)
The rationale behind accepting Investor and Entrepreneur visas is that these visas brings investment into New Zealand and add jobs to the economy. This is much-needed in a post-COVID-19 world.
2. There is an ‘other critical worker’ border exemption in place since 11 September 2020
The New Zealand government has relaxed the criteria for some overseas workers to allow migrants with critical skills through the country’s borders. Primarily, the criteria now defines skills as ‘not readily available in New Zealand’ as opposed to ‘not available in New Zealand.’
The Minister of Immigration has said that this wording change reflects that, in some fields, there is a limited pool of experts and significant training would have to be undertaken before the skills were obtainable in New Zealand.
Here’s how it works…
You cannot request approval for the border exemption – it has to come from your New Zealand employer.
Employers can apply to bring employees to New Zealand under two categories:
- Short-term critical workers: Staff needed for less than 6 months in total
- Long-term critical workers: Staff needed for more than 6 months
Each of these categories has its own criteria. If you’d like to know more about these requirements, you can click here.
3. You can complete critical parts of your skilled migrant visa application despite the border closures
Let’s first explain why you’d want to do that. It’s simple. If you complete the critical parts now, you’ll be ready to submit your visa application as soon as the restrictions are lifted. You’ll be streets ahead of migrants who chose to wait and see what happens first.
Our advisors always tell our clients that their focus should be on the long term not the short term!
Let’s now look at some examples of those critical parts that you can tick off your to-do list. It is, for instance, your personal documents such as birth certificates and police clearances.
Keep in mind also that if you’re applying as a skilled worker you may need occupational registration and a qualification assessment. These are known to take long and may take even longer now. It’s therefore much better to start your emigration process sooner rather than later.
4. INZ could change immigration regulations which could mean that you don’t qualify to apply for a visa at all
We do not say this to scare you. This has happened all too often in the past.
Take for example the big changes that were made to Essential Skills visas earlier this year, including that your median wage would determine the family members you can support and in what manner.
Let’s not forget about when INZ closed the Parent Resident visa in October 2019 until February of this year. At the same time, INZ made a number of changes to the visa. One of these changes was capping the number of visas at 1,000 annually.
These changes scuppered many people’s plans!
Remember that generally you’re safe from any changes if your visa application is already in the system when it happens. This is another good reason to start your emigration sooner rather than later.
Ready to get going with your visa application?
If you read all of that and agree with us that the most sensible choice is continuing with your visa application, please do not hesitate to contact us for assistance.
Our advisors can assess your eligibility and work out a personalized immigration plan. Our administrative team can then help you get all the parts together.
The best way to start is with initial immigration assessment. This assessment is free and you can book yours online. You are also welcome to email us at email@example.com or to call us on +27 (0) 21 202 8200.
We want to see you realise your dream of living in New Zealand as much as you do, so we’re looking forward to working with you!