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.
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 exemptions 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 exemptions over the past year, so you can rest assured that you’re in good hands.
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 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 advisor Sarah Hewitt had to say when we asked her 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.
My 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
If you’re looking for a checklist for moving to New Zealand, you’re at the right place! What you’ll find below are the tasks most critical to your immigration at each phase of the process. You won’t find the steps for your visa application itself, as it is best to discuss these with your immigration advisor.
How to use this checklist?
As we explained, your checklist is divided into phases. You’ll see that there are six phases. The first four phases involve all the hard work. The last two are simply tasks for the day before you fly and for the day of your departure.
Further to this, the timelines assigned to each phase of the process is estimates. Your immigration might move faster or slower than our phases indicate. That’s okay! Each immigration is unique.
That’s also why you might find that you won’t do the tasks from top to bottom. You might have to jump around. That’s fine too.
Now let’s get to your checklist for moving to New Zealand.
You’re just getting started
During this phase, you’re still gathering your thoughts and you’ve just decided that you’d like to move to New Zealand.
- Get your eligibility assessed by a licensed immigration agent. You should only proceed with the rest of the process if you’re certain that you qualify to live in New Zealand.
- Discuss your plans with your immediate family. Start with your children and then talk to your parents and siblings. They’ll need time to get used to the idea of not having you around!
- Investigate employment opportunities – where are the jobs in your occupation available?
- Decide where you want to live, then research house prices, salaries and the cost of living in the area.
- Update your CV to make it suitable for New Zealand employers.
- Check that your entire family has valid passports. Ensure that there are at least two years available on each passport. The process of applying for a visa may take several months!
- Check to see if your pet is allowed in New Zealand. New Zealand has strict requirements for the import of cats, dogs and other common pets.
You’re going from thinking about it to taking action
Your eligibility assessment has shown that you qualify to live in New Zealand, so now you can get the ball rolling. This phase is roughly 18 to 12 months before you move to New Zealand.
- Seeing as you know that qualify for a visa, now is the time to start job hunting. We’ve shared a list of recruiters in New Zealand on our blog before.
- Check with your immigration advisor whether or not it is time to go for medical examinations and to get police clearance certificates. You shouldn’t get these documents so far in advance that they’re no longer valid when you submit your visa application.
- Check what you’re allowed to take with you to New Zealand as far as personal belongings are considered. New Zealand has lists of prohibited items and items that you have to declare before clearing it for entry into the country.
- Start sharing your plans with your wider social circle, your children’s schools and your colleagues. With that being said, if you don’t want to discuss your plans just yet, that’s okay too. Do it when it feels right.
- Set up a meeting with your boss to discuss your plans. Who knows, you might need them as a reference.
- Make a list of the furniture and household items that you want to take with you to New Zealand. Once this list is drawn up, start selling or donating the unwanted items. Trust us, you don’t want to start clearing your house at the last minute!
- Start getting your finances in order. You might want to reduce debts or save money to have cash reserves for when you arrive. Also make a list of subscriptions that you’d have to stop or debit orders that you’d have to cancel.
- Now that you know what you want to take with, get quotes from shipping companies. Get quotes from pet importers too, if you have pets. These costs are bound to make up a huge part of your expenses, so it’s best to know how much to budget for well in advance.
- Get quotes for flights to New Zealand. You can’t book flights too far in advance, but it’s good to know how much tickets are as soon as it’s possible to do so. While you’re at it, get quotes for travel insurance.
- Unless your New Zealand employer is offering temporary accommodation, now is the time to start exploring accommodation options. Many people choose to rent a place for a couple of months to start off with. This means you have a home when you arrive, but also have time to house hunt at leisure once you’re in New Zealand. It’s so much better to be able to inspect a house or apartment yourself than having to decide on where to live over Skype!
You’re getting ready to leave in a couple of months
You can start seeing the finish line! It’s still about six months away, but now is the time to get the parts most critical to your move in order.
- Put your house in the market, either to sell or rent. The earlier you start this process, the better – especially if you’ve decided to sell your house. While you’re at it, ensure that your utilities and rates are paid up.
- Get rid of the last of the unwanted household items and furniture. When it’s all out of the way, start packing up your house. This might be stating the obvious, but start with the items you use the least. If you find that you’re overwhelmed by the amount of things you have to pack, tackle the process one room at a time. Another tip is to label boxes clearly so that you know to what room a box belongs. It’s going to make unpacking so much easier!
- Unless you’re going to import your car, you should put it on the market now too. Ensure that all services and maintenance are done and that you have paid any fines before selling it to someone else.
- Your pets might have to enter quarantine upon arrival in New Zealand. Now is the time to check that everything is in place for this process.
- Get credit references from your current bank and other lenders and open a New Zealand bank account. You can open a bank account from overseas up to a year before you move. It really is a good idea to do it now, because then you can make credit card and cash withdrawals as soon as you arrive in New Zealand.
- By now your immigration advisor would’ve told you if you qualify for New Zealand’s public healthcare. If you don’t, start making arrangements for private health insurance.
- Collect all the most important documents to take with you. These are commonly birth certificates, marriage certificates, medical documents, academic qualifications, credit references, and driver’s licenses.
- Talking about driver’s licenses – you’ll need a translation of it in English if you’re license is in another language. You’re allowed to drive in New Zealand on your overseas license for 12 months, so you won’t have to convert your license immediately.
- Now is the time to sign for temporary accommodation in New Zealand if you haven’t done so yet. If you have family or friends close by, get them to go have a look at the place and report back on its suitability.
- If you’ve been renting, give notice to your landlord. Most rental agreements require that you give notice at least two months in advance.
- Book your flights and arrange transport to your new home. You’re going to be exhausted when you arrive, so strongly consider hiring a car. That way you won’t have to figure out the public transport or where to catch a taxi.
- Get refills of prescription medicines and contact lenses. If you think you’re going to need new glasses in the upcoming months, rather go to your local optometrist now to get a pair.
- Cancel all those subscriptions and debit orders you put on your list. Also cancel things like gym contracts, phone contracts, and any insurance you won’t need.
- Request handover files from your dentist and doctor for your whole family. These files will be enormously helpful to your new doctor and dentist in New Zealand.
- Start saying goodbye to friends and family. It’s going to be hard but it has to get done!
There are only three weeks left until you fly!
Things are starting to feel real! These last few weeks are going to go by so fast!
- If you’re not done yet, finish packing up your house so that your belongings are ready to go.
- Organise transport to the airport.
- Make sure that your pets and your household belongings leave for the ports when the day comes.
- Call the bank to arrange the closure or transfer of your bank accounts.
- Have special farewells with your family and closest friends. Be sure to have separate farewells for your children and their friends. This move is going to be tough on your kids too!
The day before jetting off to New Zealand
With all of the hard work behind you, there is only a couple of things left to take care of.
- Pack your hand luggage. You first want to ensure that you have all the most important documents in your bag. Then you want to add any items that are going to make your flight easier. This could be anything from travel toothbrushes and books to toys and snacks for the kids.
- Finish up packing everyone’s suitcases.
- Get a good night’s sleep – tomorrow’s the big day.
It probably felt like this day would never come! Yet, here it is. You’re packed and ready to go.
- Double check that your hand luggage includes all your documents.
- Go through the whole house or apartment and check all the rooms to make sure that nothing has been left behind. Don’t forget to check in kitchen drawers and clothing cupboards in the bedrooms.
- Close the front door and set off on your new adventure!
Print and file your checklist for moving to New Zealand
You could just bookmark this page but our suggestion is to print the checklist and file it so that you can reference it easily. In fact, print a couple of copies so that each family member has a checklist. That way you can check up on each other to ensure that each item on the list gets done.
One last tip – consult with your migration advisor along the way
Depending on what services your migration advisor offers, he or she might also be able to advise you on certain steps of your checklist. Specifically when it is time to take specific steps. For instance, when you can start looking for a job or when it’s best to book flights. Please do consult with your advisor to find out what advise he or she will be able to give you.
As a parent looking to migrate, it’s only natural that you have a million questions about education in New Zealand.
Let us start by telling you that New Zealand prides itself on an education system that is world-class, modern and responsive. It’s not just talk either. Expat parents rate New Zealand’s education system as the fifth best in the world!
To help you understand exactly how schooling works in New Zealand, we’re going to answer 13 questions that every parent asks.
1. At what age should my child start school?
Going to school is compulsory for New Zealand children from the ages of 6 to 16. Parents are allowed to already send their children to primary school at the age of 5, but by the age of 6 children must be enrolled to start their schooling.
2. What are the different school phases?
New Zealand’s school system is divided into three phases:
- Secondary (or high school)
As explained above, your child must enter primary school by the time he or she is 6 years old. If your child is at a full primary school, he or she will complete Year 1 to Year 8 at the school. He or she will then continue on to secondary school for Year 9 to Year 13.
However, if your child is at a contributing primary school, he or she will complete Year 1 to Year 6 at the school. He or she will then go to an intermediate school for Year 7 and Year 8 before continuing on to secondary school at Year 9.
What is the difference between a full primary school and contributing primary school?
Full primary schools offer all primary school years, from Year 1 to Year 8, while contributory primary schools only offer Year 1 to Year 6. Contributing primary schools are more common but your child will get the same high standard of education no matter which type of primary school he or she attends.
3. What are the different types of schools in New Zealand?
New Zealand has state schools, state-integrated schools and private schools:
State schools are schools owned and funded by the government. Education is free in these schools for domestic children, but parents normally have to still pay for things like uniforms, stationery, exam fees and, in some case, extra-curricular and sports activities.
Your child will be deemed a ‘domestic’ student if they:
- are a New Zealand resident, permanent resident or citizen; or
- hold a student visa based on your temporary work visa.
State-integrated schools are school with a ‘special character’. This means the school is either run by a particular religious faith or use specialist education methods, like Montessori.
Education in state-integrated schools is also funded by the government, but these schools normally charge ‘attendance dues’ fees to help maintain the school.
Private schools are not funded by the government. Instead these schools charge set fees for the term or year. You’ll find some private schools are co-ed, while others are single sex schools for either boys or girls.
4. What is the learning environment like?
Getting an education in New Zealand means a child is taught through practical and theoretical learning, with students encouraged to think creatively, independently and analytically. Personal, focused attention is usually guaranteed, thanks to relatively small class sizes.
5. Does New Zealand have a school zoning system?
Yes, New Zealand does have a school zoning system. These school enrolment zones stop schools from getting overcrowded, and give children who live in the school area, or zone, a guarantee that they can go to their local school.
You can read more about school zones on our blog.
6. When are the school terms?
The school year is split into four terms commencing in late January through to mid-December. There is a 2-week holiday after each of the first three terms. At the end of the year there is a 6-week holiday instead.
- 1st Term: Late January to mid-April.
- 2nd Term: Late April to early July.
- 3rd Term: Mid July to late September.
- 4th Term: Mid October to mid-December.
7. How long is a school day?
The New Zealand school day usually starts at 9am and last until 3pm or 3.30pm.
8. How do I enroll my child in a school?
It is best to contact your local school to find out what the enrollment process is. Please be aware that you might need to provide evidence of your child’s visa status as part of the process.
9. What happens if we move to New Zealand in the middle of the school year?
Your child can enroll in school at any time during the year to continue their schooling. The school will place your child in a Year that corresponds with their age. For instance, if your child is 8 years old, he or she will most likely be placed in either Year 3 or Year 4 with other 8 year-olds.
10. How do I find schools in my area?
The Ministry of Education has an online tool that helps you find and choose schools in your neighbourhood. You can access this tool on the Ministry’s website. The Ministry also helps you by suggesting some things to consider when deciding on a school. You can also find these on their website.
11. Are school buses or public transport available to take my child to school?
It is not always possible for parents to drop their children at school or to pick them up in the afternoon. Thankfully, it is safe for children to walk or ride their bicycle to school. Despite this some schools still offer school buses.
Many children also make their way to and from school in a ‘walking school bus’. This is an organized and supervised group walking to school together. It’s a great way for children to meet other kids their age in their neighbourhood!
12. Is corporal punishment allowed in schools?
No, it is in fact illegal. Teachers are not allowed under any circumstances to use physical force to discipline a student.
13. May I homeschool my children?
Yes, you may but you’ll have to apply to the Ministry of Education for a Certificate of Exemption from enrolment at a registered school. To get the exemption you’ll have to satisfy the Ministry’s requirement that your children will receive lessons regularly and at the same standards as they would have received at a school.
You can rest assured that your child will receive a quality education in New Zealand. Should you need help with a study visa for your child, or your own visas, please do not hesitate to contact us for expert advice and assistance.
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Criteria to emigrate to New Zealand – For skilled workers, partners, parents, students, investors and entrepreneurs
It is no easy feat trying to learn the criteria to emigrate to New Zealand. Kudos to you if you have managed to do that! But if you haven’t yet, don’t waste another minute trying to do it on your own. Just read through our guide below.
What you’ll find on this page is the most important requirements for emigration routes to New Zealand. For ease of reference, the information is broken down into four categories:
- Joining a partner or adult child
- Starting a business
You can read through all sections or jump to the immigration route you’re most interested in. You could also just jump to the end of the blog post to get a short summary of all the main requirements.
If you have any questions at any stage, please do not hesitate contact us. You can call us on +27 (0) 21 202 8200.
Now let’s get started…
1. To work in New Zealand
Is it your dream to live and work in New Zealand? Then you’ll have to meet one of the criteria we discuss below to emigrate.
1.1 You must have the skills New Zealand need
To work in New Zealand on a work visa, your occupation must appear on a skilled occupation list or an essential skills list. Further to this, you must have the experience, skills and qualification necessary to do the job.
The reason for this is two-fold. Mainly it’s because there is not enough skilled New Zealanders to fill all the most important job openings in the country. At the same time, though, the New Zealand government wants to be clear about what type of foreign national can be employed. This is to protect the job security of New Zealanders.
However, having the right skills isn’t the only requirement when applying for a work visa. Depending on whether you apply for the skilled migrant visa or the essential skills work visa, you’ll also have to meet these basic criteria to emigrate to New Zealand:
Skilled migrant visa:
To apply for the skilled migrant visa, you must:
- be 55 or younger
- score enough points to submit an Expression of Interest
- have a job offer for skilled employment or be in a skilled job in New Zealand
Please note: Due to the coronavirus pandemic, selections for Expressions of Interest are suspended until further notice.
Essential skills work visa:
To be eligible for the essential skills work visa, you must meet these requirements:
- You have a written full-time job offer from a New Zealand employer
- Immigration New Zealand is satisfied that there aren’t any suitable New Zealanders to fill the position.
- Your salary is according to the ANZSCO level of your occupation.
1.2 You must have a New Zealand partner
If you have a spouse or partner who is a New Zealander, you can apply for a partner visa. This visa not only enables you to live in New Zealand but also allows you to work.
For your partnership to be eligible for a partner visa, it’ll have to be one of the following:
- Legal marriage
- Civil union (whether opposite or same sex)
- De facto relationship (whether opposite or same sex)
In all cases the relationship must be of a genuine nature and stable. In other words, you and your partner entered into the relationship with a view of it being exclusive, long term, and likely to last.
In addition to these requirements for your relationship, there are also criteria your partner has to meet. He or she has to prove:
- his or hers New Zealand residence status
- that New Zealand is his or her primary place of residence
- That he or she is an eligible supporting sponsor
Read more about the partner visa.
1.3 You must have a partner who’s a work visa holder
When your spouse or partner applies for an Essential Skills Work Visa to New Zealand, it goes without saying that you’d like to join them in New Zealand if the visa gets approved. The good news is that there is partner visa for this purpose. This visa allows you to go to New Zealand with your spouse or partner and also enables you to work.
There are two great positives about this partner visa. For starters, you don’t have to have a job to apply for the visa. Secondly, it is an open visa so you can work for any employer you want to. You’re not tied to any employer and you can move employers as you wish.
Unfortunately, you cannot include dependent children on this visa. Depending on your children’s ages, you’ll have to apply for either the appropriate visitor visa or a student visa.
Read more about this visa.
2. To join a spouse or partner in New Zealand
Sometimes life throws you a massive curve ball. Like falling in love with someone from another country, your spouse being offered a job overseas, or your girlfriend getting accepted for her dream course…at a university 12,000 kilometres away.
In any of these instances, you’d obviously want to join them if you can. The good news is that you can if that destination abroad is New Zealand. That’s because Immigration New Zealand has various visas to keep couples together when one person is heading to their shores.
These visas cater for when your partner is one of the following:
2.1 Your partner is a New Zealand citizen or resident
When your spouse or partner is a New Zealand citizen or resident, you can apply for a partner visa. If you’re granted the visa, you’ll enjoy permanent resident status. This means you can live, work and study in New Zealand.
As discussed under the work section, your partnership must be a legal marriage, civil union, or de facto relationship. Furthermore, the relationship must be of a genuine and stable nature.
Read more about the partner visa.
2.2 Your partner is a work visa holder
You can apply for a partner visa if your spouse or partner is applying for or has an Essential Skills Work Visa. If granted the visa, you’ll also get to live and work in New Zealand.
To be eligible for this partner visa, you and your partner must live together in a genuine and stable relationship that is a:
- legal marriage,
- civil union, or
- de facto relationship.
Read more about this visa.
2.3 Your partner is a student in New Zealand
If your partner is going to study in New Zealand, you can join them using a visitor visa that caters specifically for the partners of international students. Once in New Zealand, you can explore the country as a tourist but also study for up to three months.
To be eligible to join your partner, your relationship must be a legal marriage, civil union or de facto relationship. Qualifying for this partner visa is about more than just your relationship, though. You’ll also have to prove that you can support yourself financially during your stay in New Zealand.
Read more about this visa.
3. To join your adult children in New Zealand
Let’s be honest – the children you actually want to join in New Zealand are your grandchildren. Watching them grow up over Skype is just not the same as holding and hugging them every day!
Luckily, you can immigrate to New Zealand to live with your grandchildren (and children) permanently – but you’ll have to meet this criteria:
3.1 Your child must be a New Zealand citizen or resident
The parent retirement visa lets you join your adult child in New Zealand. To be eligible, your child must be a New Zealand citizen or resident.
However, having an adult child is not the only criteria you’ll have to meet to emigrate to New Zealand. You’ll also have to:
- prove an annual income of NZD60,000
- invest NZD1 million in New Zealand for four years, and
- prove that you have another NZD500,000 to live on.
If you can meet all of these requirements and you do get the visa, you’ll be eligible for permanent residence after the four-year investment period.
There is also a parent and grandparent visitors visa that you can apply for. This is a three-year multiple entry visa and allows for stays of up to 6 months at a time.
Read more about the parent retirement visa instead.
4. To start your own business or invest in an existing business
It should come as no surprise that you’ll have to have finances and sharp business acumen to start or buy into a business in New Zealand:
4.1 Capital, a business plan, good business character, and enough points
To emigrate to New Zealand as an entrepreneur, you’ll first and foremost need a minimum of NZ$100,000, which does not include working capital. The only industries exempt from this requirement is IT and science.
Secondly, you’ll need a comprehensive business plan that shows that the business will add value to New Zealand and can succeed.
Thirdly, you must be able to prove that you have ‘good business character’. To evaluate your business character, INZ will review any instances of business failure, fraud and bankruptcy.
Finally, you must score enough points in your assessment. If you don’t, you may have to explore other visa options.
Read more about the entrepreneur visa.
5. To obtain New Zealand residence through making a financial investment
Are you looking for a residency by investment route into New Zealand? Then you’re at the right place. New Zealand has two investor visas. The main criteria is that:
5.1 You must invest at least NZ$1.5 million for four years
New Zealand has two investor visas: the Investor visa and the Investor Plus visa. For the former, you’ll have to a minimum of NZ$1.5 million for four years. For the Investor Plus visa, you’ll have to invest at least NZ$10 million for three years.
In addition to the financial criteria, you’ll also have to meet the following requirements to apply for the Investor visa:
- You’re 65 or younger.
- You can only invest in acceptable New Zealand investments.
- The investments must made through the New Zealand banking systems and must be from a validated source.
- You must have settlement funds of NZ$1 million available to prove that you can support yourself.
- You’ll have to demonstrate three years of business experience in:
- owning a business or being in a senior management position,
- within a business with an annual turnover of at least NZ$1 million, and
- with at least five full-time staff members.
- You have to spend at least 146 days of the last three years of your visa in New Zealand.
- You have to score enough points in your points test.
To apply for the Investor Plus visa instead, you’ll have to meet these criteria to emigrate to New Zealand:
- The investment must be in an acceptable New Zealand investment.
- The investment must come through the New Zealand banking system from a validated source.
- You must spend at least 44 days of the last three years of your visa in New Zealand.
You do not have to prove settlement funds or business experience, and you can apply for the Investor Plus visa at any age. Furthermore, you do not have to do a points test.
Read more about the investor visas.
6. To study in New Zealand
There’s no reason why you wouldn’t want to study in New Zealand! You’ll get to explore some of the most beautiful spots on our planet, live in the second safest country in the world, and get a world-class education.
6.1 You must have been accepted by an appropriate New Zealand educational provider
To join thousands of international students already in New Zealand, you’ll have to get accepted by an appropriate New Zealand educational provider. Their letter of acceptance must include:
- the name and contact details of the educational provider
- the course you’ll be attending and the duration of the course
- proof that your course and the educational provider meet New Zealand’s requirements
- the cost of the course and, if the course if longer than one year, the annual tuition fee
- the details of the person who’ll pay the tuition fees
- if the course if full time or part time
- confirmation of meeting the requirements under the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students
This is not all, though. You’ll also have to:
- have medical and travel insurance,
- prove that you can support yourself financially during your studies
- prove that you have the means to leave New Zealand once you’re done studying
Read more about the study visa.
Recapping the criteria to emigrate to New Zealand
There are many ways to make living, working, running a business or studying in New Zealand a reality. That is, if you can meet the requirements to do so:
- Work: The required skills, a New Zealand partner, or a partner with a work visa
- Joining your partner: A New Zealand partner, a partner with a work visa, or a partner with a study visa
- Joining your children: An adult child who is a New Zealand citizen or resident.
- Running a business: Capital, a business plan, good business character, and enough points
- Investing to get residence: Invest at least NZ$1.5 million for four years
- Studying: Acceptance from a recognised New Zealand educational provider
Want to find out if you meet the requirements to apply for any of these visas?
Qualifying for a visa is not as easy as ticking a couple of boxes. There are many factors that could influence your eligibility to immigrate. Your health, for instance.
Most online assessments won’t take all of the necessary factors into consideration. A licensed advisor, however, will most certainly do so.
To have our licensed advisor assess your eligibility to move to New Zealand, simply book a consultation call online. You’ll know at the end of the call is you meet the criteria to move to New Zealand and what your visa options are.
New Zealand isn’t one of the cheapest countries to live in, but it is still a popular choice with families in search of a better life.
You owe it to yourself, though, to see if you can afford to live in New Zealand before uprooting your family. It’s stressful enough to move countries. You don’t also want to add financial stress into the mix.
That’s why we’re going to look at the cost of living in Wellington, Auckland, and Christchurch.
Wellington is New Zealand’s capital, and Auckland is the country’s largest city. Christchurch has been New Zealand’s construction hub for at least a decade due to the area having to rebuild after 2011’s devastating earthquake.
What are we comparing?
Our starting point is looking at the average annual salaries of each city. You can’t fully assess your living costs if you don’t know how much you’re likely to earn.
The costs we’re comparing are for everyday expenses such as rent, utilities, and groceries. We’re also going to look at the cost of transport, buying a car and putting your children through school. To round things off, we’ll look at what it’s going to cost you to unwind over the weekend.
Please note: All costs are in New Zealand dollars.
There isn’t a massive difference between the average salaries earned in Wellington and Auckland. It’s only NZD1,000. Christchurch offers the lowest average annual salary at NZD64,000, which is NZD4,000 less than in Wellington.
|Average Annual Salary||68,000||67,000||64,000|
It’s not surprising that living in the suburbs is cheaper. The most affordable accommodation is in Christchurch, where a 1-bedroom apartment in the suburbs is NZD1,143.75 a month.
If you’re a family of up to four, you’re also looking at Christchurch if you don’t want expensive accommodation. The monthly rent for a 3-bedroom apartment in the suburbs is NZD1,977.78, which is NZD740 cheaper than in Auckland and NZD590 less than in Wellington.
|1-bedroom apartment in the city||2,009.52||1,902.79||1,465.00|
|1-bedroom apartment outside of the city centre||1,550.00||1,681.67||1,143.75|
|3-bedroom apartment in the city||3,315.38||3,374.35||2,662.50|
|3-bedroom apartment outside of the city centre||2,571.43||2,718.38||1,977.78|
Household utilities are most affordable in Wellington, but an internet connection is the cheapest in Auckland. When adding utilities and the internet, Wellington comes out tops for affordability. Christchurch takes second place, and Auckland is the most expensive.
|Basic utilities for a 85m2 Apartment (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage)||169.64||181.91||170.61|
|Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)||83.52||84.27||83.53|
When comparing a basket of nine everyday items, you’ll spend NZD54,43 in Auckland, NZD50,60 in Christchurch, and NZD49,57 in Wellington.
|Loaf of bread (white)||2.78||3.18||2.37|
|1kg Local cheese||11.62||11.69||10.66|
|1kg Chicken fillets||13.04||14.87||13.15|
6. Sending your child to school
While state schools are free, private schooling is not. Preparing your child for school is going to cost between NZD1,000 and NZD1,270 a month. For primary school, you’ll have to budget for between NZD11,600 and NZD20,375 a year on average.
|Private preschool (or kindergarten) - Monthly for 1 child (full day)||1,039.00||1,267.12||1,126.00|
|International primary school - Yearly for 1 child||15,500.00||20,375.00||11,600.00|
4. Getting around
New Zealand has a public transport system but many people still choose to buy a car to get around.
You’ll see new cars cost more or less the same in all three cities, as does filling up.
Costs do vary quite a bit when taking the bus or train. There is an NZD1.60 difference between the cheapest and most expensive one-way tickets. This difference is even more for monthly passes. There is nearly an NZD100 difference between monthly passes in Auckland and Wellington!
|Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (or equivalent new car)||35,000.00||36,245.00||39,750.00|
|Toyota Corolla Sedan 1.6l 97kW Comfort (or equivalent new car)||31,073.7||31,496.67||31,310.00|
|1-way Ticket (local transport)||5.00||3.60||3.40|
|Monthly pass (regular price)||150.00||215.00||111.96|
|1L of Petrol||2.18||2.11||2.11|
5. Eating out
No-one only works to pays the bills. We also like to unwind. Many of us do that by enjoying a meal in a restaurant.
Going for a quick lunch with colleagues will set you back NZD20 in Wellington and Christchurch. Date nights are going to be the most affordable in Wellington, where a three-course meal is NZD90. The same meal is going to cost NZD120 in Auckland and NZD105 in Christchurch.
|3-course Dinner for two people||90.00||120.00||105.00|
|330ml Imported Beer||10.00||10.00||10.00|