Cost of Living in New Zealand
Relocation to New Zealand has never sounded as attractive as it does now with the government adopting measures to reduce general costs in conjunction with its pro-immigration policies.
The move is geared towards making expats more comfortable as they find their new home in the South Pacific nation.
However, it remains fundamental for an expat to compare New Zealand costs with what one currently spends in order to assess with accuracy the quality of life that may be deemed affordable. Expats should also take into account currency changes as well as varying salary levels when assessing the possibility of moving to the country once known for its high cost of living.
True enough, rentals and homes have become relatively lower than they have been in years. Today, an average four-bedroom house, for example, would cost just about the same as a single-bedroom apartment in a typical European country and will usually cover household utilities such as electricity, gas and water.
Properties in the bigger cities such as the capital, Wellington, and Auckland naturally offer the highest rentals and are perfect for those seeking the cosmopolitan life. However, larger families and retirees would usually prefer the countryside where everything is cheaper and life is much quieter.
An average expat family in New Zealand will probably spend around 300 Euros a month on food and drinks. What foreigners love about the country is its abundance of fresh produce that is conveniently available at nearby supermarkets, stores and delis at fairly cheap prices. More so, when fruits and vegetables are bought wholesale and fresh from harvest from community vendors, they come even cheaper, although prices can change depending on the season. Tomatoes, when bought at the height of winter, for example, can cost about NZ $10 per kilo. Pricier food items include mussels and lamb, while beef, poultry and seafood are generally cheaper. Dining out at an inexpensive cafe will cost about NZ$10 per meal while prices could go up to as much as NZ$125 at more sophisticated restaurants.
In New Zealand, petrol prices are at least one-third of its cost in the UK, reason why many expatriates are comfortable with the idea of buying their own cars. Japanese brands are notably more popular because they cost less compared to anything made in Europe. Public transportation consists of buses costing about NZ$1.50 - $3.00 per sector on average, taxis which charge about NZ$2 and NZ$3 per kilometre within the city, trains which are as affordable along with the interisland ferries.
Expats with children appreciate free healthcare for those under six and subsidized services for those below 18. A doctor's visit can cost anywhere from NZ$10 to NZ$60 depending on his public funding level while a private health insurance can still prove to be favorable to cushion medical expenses and hasten treatments.
There is no limit to the amount of foreign currency or traveler's checks a newly arrived expat can bring to New Zealand. Money can also be exchanged easily at any of the banks or official exchange bureaus. There could be individuals offering this type of transaction but it is best to avoid these kind of transactions. Credit cards are also an acceptable mode of payment, the most common of which are through Visa and Mastercard.
The government has specifically spearheaded the tapering of general costs in order to accommodate the growing number of expatriates who are moving to New Zealand. It is common knowledge that the country has opened its doors to immigrants to accommodate requirements resulting from its ballooning population of aged nationals. For anyone who seeks a new life of prosperity and neutrality as well as take part in the evolution of a new citizenry, New Zealand can prove to be an excellent choice.
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