Moving to New Zealand

Last updated: Dec 3, 2019

Whether you’re moving to New Zealand for the relaxed way of life or the amazing scenery, there are some things that you need to know in order to make your moving experience stress-free. Read on for advice on visas, how to find work in New Zealand and much more! If you need to find a moving company, then read our article to help you choose the right removal company for you.

Visas for New Zealand

If you’re planning on moving to New Zealand, then one of the most important things you need to get sorted is your visa. You can either apply for;

  • A work visa
  • A resident visa

Most people search for a job first and then apply for their visa afterwards. Please note that you won’t be able to start working and earning money without a visa! To get a permanent resident visa you will need to have already had a resident visa for at least 24 months. For more information on how to meet the criteria for different types of visas for New Zealand, you can look at the Immigration website.

Living in New Zealand

It’s a good idea to know what living in New Zealand is like to avoid any culture shock when you get there. This section goes through what it is like to live in New Zealand and how to find work and housing.

Working in New Zealand

As mentioned before, if you first don’t have a job, then you won’t be able to apply for a work visa. So, another priority is to find a job! Some sectors that have been labelled as having skills shortages include:

  • Medicine
  • Engineering
  • IT
  • Construction
  • Trades

There are some good online portals to find work, for example Indeed.co.za. However, in order to secure the job of your dreams, there are some things to consider. Emigration New Zealand has summed up some tips on how to apply for jobs in New Zealand.

Moving to New Zealand

Cost of living in New Zealand

The cost of living in New Zealand is a lot higher in comparison to South Africa. Nevertheless, this is counteracted by much higher salaries and wages. Below should give you an idea as to the difference in living costs in New Zealand compared to South Africa:

ItemAverage Price in South AfricaAverage Price in New Zealand
One Litre of Milk12.94R25.81R
Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant120.00R151.67R
Average Monthly Net Salary16,315R36,213R
Domestic Beer (0.5 litre bottle)21.30R50.88R

All of these prices were taken from numbeo.com where you can find many more price comparisons of the cost of food, transportation, utilities and clothes. If you want a better idea on how much your move may cost you, read our international moving costs page for more information.

Housing in New Zealand

Something that you will need to consider is where you want to live. Do you prefer to live in the city, the suburbs or in the country? Furthermore, you’ll need to decide if you want to buy or rent?

Buying houses in New Zealand is relatively easy and is mostly done through estate agents. Despite it not being complicated, we still advise people planning on moving to New Zealand to first rent a place to live rather than buy. This will make finding your dream home easier as you can get to know your surroundings and get a better idea to what kind of home you would like to live in.

Rental prices do vary, it depends on size, quality and location. Expect prices to be a lot higher than in South Africa. For example, the monthly rent of a one-bedroom apartment in the centre of Auckland is on average 16,950R in comparison to 10,800R in Cape Town.

Below are some good online portals to find places to rent:

For more advice on renting in New Zealand, justlanded has a page explaining more about rental costs in Auckland and Wellington.

Culture in New Zealand

The work-life balance in New Zealand is probably one of the things that drew you to thinking of moving to New Zealand. The country has a lot to offer: amazing landscapes, low crime rates, an abundance of jobs and the friendly Kiwis.

For more information on what New Zealand is like, this article explains what the New Zealand Culture is like. The New Zealand government website has a lot of information that you can use to get a better idea as to what New Zealand is like. They also have an online planning tool to plan you move.

Checklist for Moving to New Zealand

This section goes through everything that you need to think about and prepare for when moving to New Zealand, even the things that you may not have thought of!

Cost of Moving to New Zealand

Size of HouseholdTime it takes to MoveCost of Move
1 bed flat6-10 weeks34,800R-59,200R
2 bed house4-7 weeks46,900R-78,200R
3 bed house4-7 weeks83,400R-137,200R

Above you can find the cost of moving to New Zealand via sea. There are several factors that influence the cost of your move: maybe you’re only moving a few boxes, some furniture or the entire contents of your home. If you need anymore information on the costs of moving, read our container shipping prices page for tips and advice.

Healthcare in New Zealand

If you’re planning on moving to another country, then making sure that your healthcare is covered is very important. New Zealand has both a public and private healthcare system and their standards of care are high. Under their public healthcare system, most services are free including standard medical tests, children’s immunisations and most medication is subsidised by the government. However, there are some things that aren’t covered by the government e.g. dental care and other non-emergency procedures.

Education in New Zealand

Planning on moving with your family? Or maybe you’re moving to New Zealand specifically for university? Either way, you may want to know a little bit more about the education in New Zealand. There are three types of schools: state-run, state-integrated and private schools. No matter which school you attend, it is compulsory from the ages of six until sixteen.

State-run schools are free for citizens and permanent residents of New Zealand. Between the ages of three and five, a child can go to Early Childhood Education (ECE) service after which they attend primary school from the age of five until twelve. Then from the age of thirteen to seventeen, children attend secondary school.

Education in New Zealand is regarded to be of a high quality, so it’s no wonder that attending university there is popular for international students. Some of the best universities in New Zealand include the University of Auckland, University of Otago and the University of Christchurch.

What Next?

Overall, we hope that this page has helped you become better informed about moving to New Zealand.  You may find these pages to also be of interest to you: