The information families need about New Zealand, from the best places in New Zealand to raise a family to frequently-asked questions about the education and health systems.
As of 12 October 2022, Immigration New Zealand (INZ) is accepting new Expressions of Interest for the Parent Resident Visa.
New Zealanders and their parents have welcomed this news, especially since INZ has reduced the sponsor requirements and increased the number of visas.
When do applications open?
Migrants who want to apply for a Parent Resident Visa must first submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) to Immigration New Zealand (INZ).
INZ started accepting EOIs on Wednesday, 12 October. Any EOIs that INZ receives from this date go into a ballot, from where INZ will make a random selection. The first selection happens in August 2023 and every three months after that.
Migrants whose EOIs get selected and get invitations to apply can submit applications for the Parent Resident Visa.
What about Expressions of Interest submitted before the Parent Resident Visa closed?
The Parent Resident Visa temporarily closed in 2019, with plans to reopen it in 2020. Unfortunately, COVID hit, which meant it didn’t happen.
At the time of the closure, many migrants already had EOIs in the system for the Parent Resident Visa.
Immigration New Zealand is keeping those EOIs and will select EOIs from the pool in the date order they were received. These selections will start on 14 November 2022 and happen every three months after that.
At this time, INZ can’t tell how long it’ll take them to select all existing EOIs. However, INZ has said they’ll publish accurate timeframes as soon as possible.
Migrants who no longer want to apply for a Parent Resident Visa can withdraw their EOI. Migrants will also get the opportunity to update their EOI if necessary.
What are the changes for sponsors?
Immigration New Zealand has lowered the income requirements for sponsors, i.e., the adult children of applicants.
INZ also allows two adult children, rather than just an adult child and their partner, to combine their income to sponsor parents.
Furthermore, a sponsor only needs to earn 1.5 times the New Zealand median wage instead of twice the median wage. This limit increased by half the median wage for each joint sponsor or additional parent.
These reduced requirements apply to EOIs already in the queue and EOIs submitted from 12 October 2022.
How many visas are available?
Immigration New Zealand has increased the number of Parent Resident Visas available each year from 1,000 to 2,500.
There’s no hurry to submit an EOI right away!
Immigration New Zealand has advised that migrants wait until closer to August 2023 to submit their Expressions of Interest. EOIs stay in the queue for two years, so submitting an EOI closer to August will mean it’s in the queue longer if it’s not selected the first time.
In the meantime, follow us to stay on top of immigration news
Remember the last time you tried to get your toddler to eat something new? It didn’t necessarily go down well, did it?
Children don’t always take to change immediately.
Now imagine the moment you tell your child you’re moving to New Zealand. That’s a change so much bigger than a new menu item.
Don’t worry, though!
While moving overseas with kids is not easy, it’s not Mission: Impossible either. As parents, you can make it a pleasant (even enjoyable!) experience for children of all ages with these six tips:
1. Breaking the news
Tell your children you’re moving to New Zealand as soon as you’re confident it will happen. Don’t wait until it’s time to pack up the house! Your children will need time to process the news and get used to the idea.
Get them on board by explaining the reasons for the move and sharing information about New Zealand.
Focus on things that would get your children excited. Do you like going to the beach? Tell them about New Zealand’s beautiful beaches. Even better – show them using Instagram or YouTube videos.
Encourage your children to ask questions, too! Give them honest answers in return. You must create a safe space for your children to communicate their concerns, fears, and curiosity right from the start.
Finally, make it clear that the family is doing this as a team and that you’ll need to work together for a successful and happy move.
2. Continue to communicate
It’s vital to check in with your children throughout your emigration. Find out how they’re feeling. Your kids are going to experience a range of emotions!
You can keep it casual. For example, have conversations at breakfast. It might also be a good idea to have one-on-one conversations. Children often open up more when talking to dad or mom alone.
Whatever your children’s emotions, let them get it all out. Your job is to listen and let your kids know you are there for them throughout this adventure.
3. Let your kids explore New Zealand
Unless you’ve already been to New Zealand, your children won’t know what to expect. That could make the prospect of moving daunting!
Introduce them to your soon-to-be-home as soon as possible with online guides, YouTube videos and age-appropriate books. You’ll also find many articles online with facts about New Zealand specifically for kids.
Once you know where in New Zealand you’ll live, research the city and neighbourhood together. You can ‘walk’ through areas with Google Street View.
Let your children guide the research. Ask them what activities and fun places they’d like to visit. These include parks, libraries, museums, zoos, and swimming pools.
Once your children are familiar with the sights and sounds of the city, ask them where they’d like to visit first. Set a date for soon after you arrive. That’ll give your kids something to look forward to.
4. Make your children feel involved
Making your children part of the planning process as much as possible is essential! It helps them feel valued. It also gives them a connection to their new home.
For example, let your children decide how they want to decorate their bedroom. You can also let them decide which of their belongings they’d like to pack or leave behind. Give some input but don’t control the process.
You can get teenagers involved on a larger scale. Get their input on the neighbourhoods where they’d like to live, what schools they’d like to go to, or show them houses you’re considering.
You don’t have to let them make the final decision about any of these, but consulting teenagers on decisions that’ll affect them (and taking their feedback on board) will foster goodwill.
5. Make time to say goodbye
Let your child have plenty of play dates with their friends before making the big move. Let them see grannies, grandpas, and other beloved family members often.
It’s important also to let children understand that their friendships and relationships with family aren’t at an end. Explain that they can stay in touch and do so once you’re in New Zealand.
Before you go, organise a farewell party with friends and family. You could do one big farewell or separate ones for the adults and kids.
Farewells will allow everyone to say goodbye before you leave. It’ll create great memories too! Take lots of photos and put them up in your new home.
6. Make the big day exciting
Kick off your family’s adventure on a high note by making the moving day special! Here are some ideas:
- Camp out together as a family in the lounge the night before. Watch movies on a laptop and have everybody’s favourite snacks ready!
- Prepare a special breakfast or go out to your favourite café one last time.
- Take a family photo in front of your house and frame it.
- Let grandparents drive you to the airport to give everyone extra time together.
- Ask everyone to share what they love most about where you’ve lived and what they’re most excited about your new home on the way to the airport.
- Pack an activity pack for each child, and hand them to your kids at the airport.
When you’re moving overseas as a family, open and regular communication with children is critical to address their feelings and concerns. Listen more than you talk!
To get your kids on board and looking forward to what lies ahead, involve them in the process and let them explore their new home online or through books. It’s essential also to give your children the chance to say goodbye to their friends and family. Don’t leave without doing so, or you’ll have unhappy children!
The final step to success is making the moving day special. There’ll be no time for tears when everyone is excited about the family’s new adventure.
The short answer to whether or not New Zealand have a good quality of life? Absolutely!
Time and again, New Zealand performs well in quality of life reports. Even during times of hardship, like the COVID-19 pandemic.
Let’s look at four recent indexes and reports that measure the quality of life to see how New Zealand performed compared to other countries around the world:
1. Better Life Index – OECD
The OECD Better Life Index measures the well-being of societies by looking at 11 topics. These topics reflect what the OECD identified as essential to well-being in terms of material living conditions and quality of life.
The 38 countries that form part of the Index are all OECD members and include the world’s most developed economies and several emerging economies, plus Brazil, Russia and South Africa.
What is the OECD?
The OECD is the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, and it’s an international organization that works to build better policies for better lives. The OECD’s goal is to shape policies that foster prosperity, equality, opportunity, and well-being.
Here’s how New Zealand performed:
New Zealand performs well in many dimensions of well-being relative to other countries in the Better Life Index. New Zealand outperforms the OECD average in income, jobs, education, health, environmental quality, social connections, civic engagement and life satisfaction.
- Disposable income: The average New Zealand household’s net-adjusted disposable income per capita is USD39,024 a year, which is more than the OECD average of USD30,490 a year.
- Employment: About 77% of people aged 15 to 64 in New Zealand have a paid job, which is above the OECD employment average of 66%.
- Education: The average New Zealand student scored 503 in reading literacy, maths and science in the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). This score is higher than the OECD average of 488.
- Health: At birth, New Zealanders have a life expectancy of around 82 years, which is one year higher than the OECD average of 81 years.
- Social Connections: There is a strong sense of community in New Zealand, and 95% of people believe that they know someone they could rely on in time of need.
- Life satisfaction: When asked to rate their general satisfaction with life on a scale from 0 to 10, New Zealanders gave it a 7.3 grade on average, which is higher than the OECD average of 6.7.
2. The Global Liveability Report 2021 – The Economist Intelligence Unit
The Global Liveability Report ranks 140 global cities for their urban quality of life based on stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure assessments. In 2021, the Report measured how COVID-19 affected liveability worldwide.
Who is the Economist Intelligence Unit?
The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) is the research and analysis division of The Economist Group, the sister company to The Economist newspaper. The EIU has a global team of economists, industry specialists, policy analysts and consultants.
Here’s how New Zealand’s cities performed:
The 10 most liveable cities in the world in 2021 were as follows:
- Auckland, New Zealand
- Osaka, Japan
- Adelaide, Australia
- Wellington, New Zealand
- Tokyo, Japan
- Perth, Australia
- Zurich, Switzerland
- Geneva, Switzerland
- Melbourne, Australia
- Brisbane, Australia
As you can see, Auckland is the world’s most liveable city! The city owes this ranking to its ability to contain the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic faster and thus lift restrictions earlier, unlike other cities around the world.
Wellington moved from 15th place in the 2020 Report to 4th place in the 2021 report, also due to its relative freedom during the COVID-19 pandemic.
3. Quality of Life Index 2022 – Numbeo
Numbeo’s Quality of Life Index is an estimation of the overall quality of life. It considers purchasing power, pollution, house price to income ratio, cost of living, safety, healthcare, traffic commute time, and climate.
Who is Numbeo?
Numbeo is the world’s largest database of user-contributed data about cities and countries worldwide.
Here’s how New Zealand performed:
New Zealand is in 9th place on the latest Quality of Life Index from Numbeo. The rest of the top 10 are Switzerland, Denmark, the Netherlands, Finland, Australia, Iceland, Germany, Austria, and Norway.
When looking at the indices, New Zealand ranked at number 19 for purchasing power, which means your money will go further in New Zealand than in many other countries. New Zealand also came in the top 20 for healthcare.
4. Quality of Life Ranking – US News
The Quality of Life Ranking from the US News measures the quality of life in 78 countries worldwide. The Ranking considers a variety of factors, ranging from the state of the job market to how family-friendly a country is.
Who is US News?
US News & World Report is a digital media company dedicated to helping consumers, business leaders and policy officials make important decisions. They use world-class data and technology to publish independent reporting, rankings, journalism and advice.
Here’s how New Zealand performed:
According to the Quality of Life Ranking from the US news, New Zealand has the tenth-highest quality of life globally. The other countries in the top 10 are Canada, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Australia, the Netherlands, and Germany.
New Zealand scored particularly well for:
- Being family-friendly
- Being economically stable
- Its well-developed public education and health systems
- Being politically stable
- Being a safe country to live in
Why is New Zealand’s quality of life important?
Your quality of life matters because it directly affects your physical and mental well-being.
Someone who lives in a clean, safe and thriving country with quality healthcare, access to education and jobs, a stable economy, and plenty of opportunities will be much happier than a person living in a country that misses the mark on some or all of these indicators.
Thus, you want to ensure that when you move to another country it offers an enviable quality of life.
You don’t want to be worse off than where you are – you want to maintain or improve your and your family’s quality of life.
As we saw, New Zealand’s quality of life is among the best in the world. When you decide to call this beautiful country your home, your overall well-being will benefit tremendously!
Some of the most frequently asked questions about the cost of living in New Zealand are, “Is it expensive to live in New Zealand?” and “What salary do you need to live in New Zealand?”
These are the questions we’re going to answer today by comparing New Zealand’s cost of living to that of four other nations – the UK, South Africa, the USA, and India.
Residents from these four countries often immigrate to New Zealand.
How does the comparison work?
To give you a realistic idea of how much New Zealand’s cost of living compares to the countries on our list, our comparison will look at the cost of seven everyday expenses:
We’ve pulled all the costs from Numbeo, which is the “world’s largest cost of living database”. The costs are crowdsourced, so keep in mind that costs are averages.
To keep things simple, we’ve converted all costs into New Zealand dollars. You can, however, look at the costs in each country’s local currency on its Numbeo page:
Let’s dive into the comparison
As explained above, we’re comparing rent, utilities, groceries, clothing, transport, schooling, and restaurants today.
On average, consumer prices in New Zealand are higher than in the UK, South Africa, the USA, and India.
The biggest difference is between New Zealand and India, with New Zealand’s consumer prices being 201.50% higher than India’s.
What about purchasing power?
You can’t do a living cost comparison without also looking at purchasing power.
Purchasing power is important because, all else being equal, inflation decreases the number of goods or services you would be able to purchase. So says Investopedia, that defines purchasing power as “the value of a currency expressed in terms of the number of goods or serves that one unit of money can buy.”
In other words, purchasing power is “the financial ability to buy products and services”.
On average, the local purchasing power in New Zealand is:
- 6.15% lower than in the UK
- 6.79% higher than in South Africa
- 21.34% lower than in the USA
- 67.47% higher than in India.
Let’s see how this looks in practice. We’ll start with rent which is the biggest monthly expense for most people.
Rent in New Zealand is lower than in the United States while it’s higher than in the UK, South Africa, and India. In fact, on average, rent in New Zealand is 257.65% higher than in India!
Let’s break it down by looking at the rental prices of 1-bedroom and 3-bedroom apartments both in the city and in the suburbs:
|New Zealand||UK||South Africa||USA||India|
|1-Bedroom Apartment in City Centre||1,642.69||1,527.17||672.15||2,037.95||234.21|
|1-Bedroom Apartment Outside of City Centre||1,319.84||1,258.77||582.55||1,653.64||148.73|
|3-Bedroom Apartment in City Centre||2,813.73||2,494.74||1,439.73||3,342.84||516.81|
|3-Bedroom Apartment Outside of City Centre||2,221.89||1,994.28||1,177.08||2,702.99||326.06|
Whether you rent or own, you’ll have utilities to budget for. We’re specifically going to look at the costs of basic household utilities such as water and electricity and internet.
As you can see from the information above, the cost of New Zealand’s internet is on par with that of the UK, South Africa, and India. You’re thus going to spend roughly the same on your internet connection if you’re moving to New Zealand from one of these countries.
|New Zealand||UK||South Africa||USA||India|
|Basic Utilities (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 85m2 Apartment||194.15||314.23||167.49||252.23||57.08|
|Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)||81.96||61.90||85.94||99.94||15.19|
There are bigger cost variances when looking at basic household utilities. You’re going to spend much less, on average, if you’re moving to New Zealand from the UK.
However, you can expect to allocate more of your monthly budget to household utilities if you’re moving from South Africa or India.
Let’s start by looking at the average cost of a basket of groceries in New Zealand in comparison to the other countries:
As you can see, the cost of a basket of groceries won’t differ much if you’re moving from the USA. But you’ll spend more at the tills if you’re moving from the UK, South Africa, or India.
Now let’s look at the prices of the individual items we put in our basket:
|Groceries||New Zealand||UK||South Africa||USA||India|
|Loaf of fresh white bread||2.59||1.97||1.39||4.17||0.70|
|White rice, 1kg||3.08||2.24||2.19||5.92||1.06|
|Local cheese, 1kg||11.51||11.25||10.94||16.66||8.04|
|Chicken fillets, 1kg||13.18||10.89||7.09||14.00||4.72|
|Beef round, 1kg||19.98||16.46||10.97||19.42||8.78|
Most children in New Zealand get some form of early childhood education, and early learning facilities may charge fees.
The New Zealand Government subsidises all children who attend early learning services for up to six hours a day, up until children go to school or turn six. Children aged 3, 4 and 5 years old, who are enrolled in an early learning service, can receive a higher funding subsidy called 20 Hours ECE.
As you can see from our graph, New Zealand’s pre-school costs are more affordable than that of the UK and the USA.
South African parents will have to fork out more than they’re used to on pre-school once in New Zealand. The same goes for parents moving to New Zealand from India.
|New Zealand||UK||South Africa||USA||India|
|Preschool (or Kindergarten), Full Day, Private, Monthly for 1 Child||1,086.41||1,903.64||320.48||1,411.52||82.12|
|International Primary School, Yearly for 1 Child||16,950.00||26,339.90||7,237.14||23,539.79||2,302.12|
When it comes to primary schools, the picture looks the same as for preschools. Keep in mind, however, that we’re looking at international schools. Your child’s education is free between the ages of five and 19 at state schools if you’re a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident.
Filling up your closet costs relatively the same in New Zealand, the UK, South Africa, and the USA.
When compared to India, the price of a summer dress is relatively similar. The average cost of the rest of the items on our list is going to be less affordable in New Zealand.
|New Zealand||UK||South Africa||USA||India|
|1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Similar)||106.98||118.54||73.83||66.12||45.52|
|1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, H&M, Etc)||62.41||58.87||49.56||53.19||45.01|
|1 Pair of Nike Running Shoes (Mid-Range)||144.30||125.43||132.03||115.24||70.50|
|1 Pair of Men Leather Business Shoes||175.14||124.10||123.52||146.05||52.93|
You can see from the table below that getting around in New Zealand, whether by public transport or car, is going to cost you more or less the same as in the UK and South Africa.
You will, however, spend more on public transport if you’re moving from the USA or India.
|New Zealand||UK||South Africa||USA||India|
|One-way Ticket (Local Transport)||3.50||5.04||2.45||3.37||0.40|
|Monthly Pass (Regular Price)||164.78||131.14||66.03||97.31||12.00|
|Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff)||3.00||2.50||1.17||2.42||0.34|
|Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car)||36,000.00||40,351.92||29,346.18||35,178.74||19,001.17|
|Toyota Corolla Sedan 1.6l 97kW Comfort (Or Equivalent New Car)||31,796.77||42,162.07||33,474.22||32,972.04||33,785.4|
New Zealand has a vibrant food and wine scene, and is home to roughly 700 wineries that produce high-quality wines.
You’ll find when eating out that you’re spending relatively the same as in your home country if you’re from Australia, the UK or the USA.
South Africans and Indians won’t though, and they’ll spend more of their monthly budget on dining than they’re used to.
|New Zealand||UK||South Africa||USA||India|
|Lunch at Inexpensive Restaurant||20.00||26.23||14.67||22.46||3.60|
|3-Course Dinner for Two at a Mid-Range Restaurant||100.00||100.88||58.69||89.83||18.00|
|500ml Domestic Beer||9.00||7.67||2.93||7.49||3.00|
|330ml Imported Beer||9.00||8.07||3.91||8.98||5.45|
|330ml Coke or Pepsi||3.39||2.74||1.44||2.92||0.67|
Also keep your salary in mind when considering the cost of living in New Zealand
Knowing how much you’ll earn is a big part of deciding whether or not you can afford New Zealand’s cost of living.
Someone who earns NZD10,000 a month can obviously live more comfortably than someone earning NZD4,000 a month.
To get an idea of how much you can earn, got to PayScale. You’ll get averages for a wide range of industries. News media website Stuff recently reported that wage rises are setting new records as employers compete for workers in 2022.
Our final recommendation is to speak to a recruiter working in your industry. Recruiters can give you accurate salary expectations based on your skills and experience.
Immigration New Zealand announced this week that it’ll allow the immediate family members of some temporary visa holders to travel to and enter New Zealand, starting 30 April. This decision will allow families to reunite after spending many months apart!
Who qualifies for the border exemption?
Immigration New Zealand (INZ) has enacted several border exceptions to enable specific groups of people to enter New Zealand.
The latest border exemption will enable the partners and dependent children of temporary visa holders who are still outside of New Zealand and fall within three groups to travel to New Zealand under the border exemption.
The three groups are:
- Partners and dependent children who held – and who continue to hold – a visa for New Zealand but were unable to join their partner or parent in New Zealand before the border closed
- The partners and dependent children of workers employed in critical health services
- The partners and dependent children of highly-skilled workers
1. Partners and dependent children who held a visa before the border closure
To be eligible to enter New Zealand, partners or dependent children outside of New Zealand must:
- hold a current visa based on their relationship to the person in New Zealand.
The partner or parent must:
- be currently in New Zealand, and
- have 12 months or more remaining on their work or student visa when the request to travel is submitted.
2. The partners and dependent children of workers employed in critical health services
To apply for an exemption to travel to New Zealand, you must:
- be the partner or dependent child of a person who is currently in New Zealand on a temporary visa.
The partner or parent must:
- be currently in New Zealand, and
- have a visa specifying they work in an occupation to deliver critical health services in New Zealand, and
- hold a visa that is valid for 12 months or more after the date the request to travel is submitted.
You’ll get an invite to apply for a Critical Purpose Visitor visa if your request is successful. Your visa application must include evidence of your relationship with the primary visa holder. For example:
- Any supporting documentation demonstrating your partnership
- Evidence that your partner supports your travel to New Zealand
- Any other evidence showing a commitment to a shared life
3. The partners and dependent children of highly-skilled workers
You’ll be eligible to apply for an exemption to the border restrictions if you are:
- the partner or dependent child of a person who is currently in New Zealand on a temporary visa.
The partner or parent must:
- be currently in New Zealand, and
- earn at least twice the median salary, which is NZD106,080 per year at the moment
- hold a visa that is valid for 12 months or more after the date the request to travel is submitted
The person in New Zealand must also meet one or more of the following requirements:
- They have unique experience and technical or specialist skills not readily obtainable in New Zealand
- They have a role essential for the completion or continuation of a science programme under a government-funded or partially government-funded contract, including research and development exchanges and partnerships, and have the support of the Science, Innovation and International Branch at MBIE to carry out this work
- A role essential for the delivery or execution of one of the following:
- An approved major infrastructure project or a government-approved event, or a major government-approved programme
- An approved government-to-government agreement
- Work with a significantly wider benefit to the national or regional economy
If your request is successful, you’ll get an invite to apply for a Critical Purpose Travel visa. Your visa application must provide evidence of your relationship with the visa holder in New Zealand. This evidence could be, for example:
- A description of your partnership, including details of any previously shared living arrangements
- Travel movements of you and your partner
- Any other evidence showing a commitment to a shared life
How do you request to travel?
To request to travel to New Zealand, you must submit an Expression of Interest. If INZ agrees that you have a critical purpose to travel to New Zealand, i.e. that you meet the requirements of the border exemption, you’ll get an invitation to apply for a Critical Purpose Visitor Visa.
How long does INZ take to process requests to travel?
INZ has published on their website that they aim to respond to requests within five working days. However, it may take longer depending on the volume and complexity of the requests INZ receives.
Can Intergate Emigration help me with my application?
Our team can assist you if you’re the partner or dependent child of a critical health worker or a highly skilled worker. You can reach us at +27 (0) 21 424 2460 or send us an email at email@example.com.
Our licensed advisors have helped many people apply for travel exceptions over the past year, so you can rest assured that you’re in good hands.
New Zealand is regularly voted one of the best countries in the world to live.
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 life 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 consultation call with us. Our licensed immigration agent will assess your eligibility and discuss your visa options with you.
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.
Don’t know where to start with importing household goods to New Zealand? We have the information you need to get the process going:
- How to avoid border clearance problems
- Items to declare
- Prohibited and restricted items
- Importing vehicles and pets
- Packing tips
Let’s start with the three things to do to get your goods through customs as quickly as possible.
1. Prepare an inventory
A detailed inventory listing all items in the consignment must accompany your shipment. You must also declare the necessary items. See our packing tips at the end of the article to making this process simpler.
2. Complete the necessary declarations
You’ll need to complete an Unaccompanied Personal Baggage Declaration form if your personal items are shipped by sea or by air.
Should your shipment contain goods that pose a biosecurity risk, it’s advisable to complete a Personal Effects Supplementary Declaration. This declaration provides more information about specific items and could change the risk status of your consignment.
3. Provide the required documentation
Personal goods being shipped to New Zealand must be accompanied by:
- A completed NZCS 218: Unaccompanied Personal Baggage Declaration
- A completed sea container Quarantine Declaration (for full container loads)
- A detailed inventory
- A completed sea container Quarantine Declaration, if you’re shipping a full container load
- Valid treatment certificates for goods that have been fumigated, heat treated or cleaned
- The shipping arrival papers, for instance Bill of Lading, Airway Bill or Arrival Advice
- Supplementary declaration, which provides more information about specific items and could change the risk status of your consignment.
- Any permits you need, for example:
Items to declare
New Zealand maintains the right to inspect certain items once these items have entered its borders to maintain the country’s strict health and safety standards. These items must be declared and include:
- Fresh or dried fruit, vegetables, mushrooms or fungi
- Any meat, fish, shellfish or poultry
- Ingredients used in cooking, all milk products, cheese, eggs or eggs products, and milk-based baby foods
- Hunting trophies or stuffed animals
- Traditional or herbal medicines or remedies, health supplements and homeopathic remedies that include animal or plant parts
- Dried flower arrangements or Christmas decorations made from plant material
- Items made from wood
- Items stuffed with seeds or straw
- Items made from bamboo, cane, coconut or straw
- Items containing hair, fur, unprocessed wool, skin, feathers or bone
- All outdoor, camping, sports equipment, hiking boots and other sporting footwear that could be contaminated with soil, seeds or water
- Animal grooming and veterinary equipment, beekeeping equipment, saddles, bridles, bird cages and pet beds
- Gardening equipment and outdoor furniture
This is not an exhaustive list, so check with your importer or with customs if you’re unsure about any items that you’re planning to take with you.
Restricted and prohibited items
Some personal items are prohibited or restricted from entering New Zealand:
- Any packets of food
- Honey, pollen, propolis, honeycombs and other bee products
- Plants, bulbs, cuttings, corms, rhizomes or tubers, commercially packed seeds and seeds for planting
- Packaging such as straw or used fresh food cartons
- Items restricted under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) such as coral, ivory, snakeskin or whale bone items, turtle shell and some sea shells.
It is best to leave these items behind when packing for you move, unless you can ensure that is accompanied by official certification.
We’ll also advise you to read up on New Zealand’s restricted and prohibited items. You can get the information you need from New Zealand’s Customs Service.
Importing vehicles and pets
You are allowed to take your car and your pets to New Zealand, but you’ll have to meet all the requirements to be able to do so.
If you pack properly when moving your household goods to New Zealand, you’ll minimize the time it takes to inspect your goods. Here are tips for achieving this:
1. Create a packing list:
Record all boxes and what is in each box. Also include a description of what the goods are made from. For example, metal bed frame or cane basket.
2. Label and number:
Number the packing boxes and match the numbers on your packing list. Be sure to use permanent marker to write on boxes when you’re labelling them. Don’t use sticky labels, as these often fall off during the move.
3. Cartons and packing materials:
It is best to not use second-hand boxes or bags, unless you’re absolutely certain these are free from animal or plant material. Additionally don’t use straw, sawdust, wood shavings or other plant materials as packing or filler.
4. Pack items in groups:
Pack similar goods together and group the boxes together.
5. Pack for safety:
Securely wrap sharp or breakable objects such as knives or ceramic items. Clearly mark boxes with medical items, dangerous goods, or any items that could pose a safety risk. Do not pack flammable items such as fireworks or paint thinners.
Summarising importing household goods to New Zealand
You have to create a packing list, ensure that you provide the required documents, and declare the necessary items to import your goods when moving to New Zealand. Please also refer to the Ministry of Primary Industries (MIP) and New Zealand Customs websites for more information.
You’ll also make your life much easier if you work with a shipping company that specializes in the import and export of household goods. Such a company would be able to advise on the costs, the forms, and the general requirements when shipping your family’s belongings.
Sources: MIP and New Zealand Customs
No EOI selections for residence under the Skilled Migrant and Parent categories for another 6 months
Immigration New Zealand announced on Monday, 19 October, that it’s deferring the fortnightly selection of Expressions of Interest under the Skilled Migrant and Parent categories for a further 6 months. The decision to defer this process was first made back in April due to the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The New Zealand Government has said that the continued deferral will give INZ the space to focus on processing applications from people who are in New Zealand or people who are eligible to travel while border restrictions are in place.
Can migrants still submit Expressions of Interest?
This is what Intergate Emigration’s licensed advisors had to say when we asked them this question:
“The Expression of Interest for the Parent category is a hard copy that’s couriered to New Zealand, so while EOI selection is closed, migrants are going to be unable to submit EOIs. Applicants will have to wait for the EOI selection to reopen again.
Our advice to skilled migrant applicants would be to also wait for EOI selections to reopen again. EOIs from offshore applicants are only eligible for selection with 160 points and a job offer, so it won’t make sense to submit an EOI in the interim. The best plan of action would be to look at the temporary route first and to do an assessment to ensure that you qualify for the visa.”
Contact us if you’d like to explore other visa options
Do you have your heart set on living in New Zealand but you don’t want to wait for the EOI selections to open? Don’t hesitate to contact us to explore other visa options.
We would like to see you realise your dream of making New Zealand your home as much as you do!
Health care in New Zealand is world-class! In a 2019 study conducted by ID Medical, a UK healthcare recruiter, New Zealand’s healthcare system was tied with that of the UK.
New Zealand also fares well in the World Health Organisation’s rankings where it finds itself among the top 50 countries.
It should come as no surprise that many migrants who pick New Zealand lists the country’s health care as a ‘pull factor’. Especially migrants with families!
Parent or no parent though, you’re sure to have questions about New Zealand’s healthcare system.
That’s why we’ve decided to answer 8 of your most frequently asked questions today. Up first:
1. Does New Zealand have a public healthcare system?
Yes, New Zealand does have a public healthcare system. Eligible residents get free or subsidised health and disability services which include:
- Primary health care visits such as doctor’s visits.
- Prescribed medicines.
- Public hospital services.
- Support services if you have disabilities.
2. Does the public healthcare system also cover dentistry?
While dental care is free for eligible children up to the age of 18, you’ll have to pay for most dental services yourself. However, the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC), a government agency, will help with the cost if you need dental treatment because of an accident or injury.
Please note that free dental care for eligible children are not available through every dentist practice. You’ll have to check with your dentist if their practice offers this service.
3. Who is eligible for New Zealand’s public healthcare system?
You may be eligible for subsidised or free health care under the public system if you are:
- A New Zealand citizen or permanent resident or resident, although some exceptions do apply; or
- A work visa holder who is allowed to work in New Zealand for two years or more; or
- The holder of a work visa that allows you to work in New Zealand for two years or more when combined with time spent in the country just before getting your current work visa; or
- Under 17 and your parent or guardian is eligible; or
- An interim visa holder who was eligible immediately before you got the interim visa; or
- A refugee or protected person.
There is a chance that you’ll still qualify for public healthcare despite not meeting any of the requirements above. Please get advice from your immigration advisor or consult the Ministry of Health’s website.
4. Is private healthcare also available in New Zealand?
Yes, New Zealand does have private healthcare facilities. You’ll have to pay for healthcare services at these facilities yourself as the New Zealand government does not subsidise or pay for private healthcare services.
It is important to note, however, that you must be eligible for public healthcare in order to be allowed to take out private health insurance.
The benefits of private health insurance is that it allows you to decide how much cover you want and the type of services you want cover for. Private health insurance also means you can go to the doctor, specialist or hospital of your liking.
To compare private health insurance policies, go to LifeDirect, a New Zealand insurance comparison website.
5. Can I count on New Zealand healthcare’s system to look after my children?
Most definitely! As mentioned earlier, eligible children under the age of 18 are entitled to free dental health care. That’s not the only way the healthcare system in New Zealand looks after your children though:
- From birth to the age of 5: All children in New Zealand qualify for a free health service called Well Child/Tamariki Ora. This service gives children access to a range of health checks and provides support and advice to new parents.
- Under the age of 13: All children younger than 13 are eligible for the following free medical services:
- Immunisations against serious diseases.
- Regular eyesight and hearing checks at school.
- Visits to the doctor. Not all GPs may provide free visits, so check with your GP first.
- Basic dentistry, as mentioned.
- Under the age of 17: Publicly-funded healthcare.
6. What do I do in the case of a medical emergency?
In the unfortunate case of a medical emergency, you can either dial 111 to request an ambulance or go to the closest hospital’s 24-hour emergency department. You can get more information about when to visit an emergency department on the Ministry of Health’s website.
If injuries are sustained due to an accident, the Accident Compensation Corporate (ACC) cover will take care of most of the costs.
7. How do I find a doctor?
The good news is that New Zealand have over 35,000 GPs, so you’re sure to find a doctor in your area. Simply go to the Healthpoint website and do a search by suburb, name or service. This website also gives information about services and common treatments offered by GPs as well as referral expectations.
It’s important to know that doctors usually give priority to people who live or work in their local area, so local is always best when picking a GP.
8. How do I find hospitals in my area?
New Zealand has both public and private hospitals. You can find a hospital in your area by doing a search on the Ministry of Health’s website. Click here for public hospitals and here for private hospitals.
Go to the Ministry of Health’s website for more on health care in New Zealand…
The New Zealand’s Ministry of Health has a comprehensive website where you’re sure to find the answers to any other questions you might have. You can find the website here: www.health.govt.nz