Relocation to New Zealand



New Zealand is a small country located on the south-western side of the Pacific Ocean which is divided by the Cook Strait into two islands: the south island and the north island. It has been a haven for expats because of many employment opportunities. You can land a job in corporate offices in the cities or vast farms all around the country. Idiomatically and literally speaking, New Zealand is the ‘greener pasture’ you’ve always been searching for. So if you’re all set in reaching your goals along with thousand other expats in this beautiful land of the Kiwis, here are a few guidelines to help you out.


There are two most useful ways of looking for housing in New Zealand: through newspaper and local real estate agents. If you view an ad in the paper, make sure to visit it first before reserving so you can see the actual status of the apartment. Local landlords are very creative when describing their properties so it's better to checks it first. Most realtors charge the equivalent of a week’s rent for their service, but they tend to be helpful because they know the neighbourhoods very well and have a wider range of options for you.

Unless your landlord tells you explicitly, always include in your budget an extra amount for your utilities. In the main cities of New Zealand, the average monthly cost of your necessities (water, electricity and gas) is €150. Once you're settled, you can star applying for other services like the internet which is around €50 per month. Mobile prepaid phone calls are charged €0.40 per minute.

House and Apartment Hunting

The typical house in New Zealand has gardens out front, but there are also many apartments across the country. You should expect that the rental cost goes higher as you move closer to the major cities like Auckland, the North Island’s home for most business offices and several schools. Despite the busy work vibe of the city, you will not run out of outdoor activities that will keep you relaxed on weekends. A one bedroom apartment in Wellington is around €1000 while a three bedroom unit is roughly €2000 per month.

If you are planning to live in the South Island, you can consider the city of Nelson. It is an ideal place to live with your family since it has a more laid back environment and is located near three beautiful National Parks. The average cost of a one-bedroom apartment in Nelson for €750 per month. You can also find a three bedroom unit for around €1000 monthly.

"The houses are not heated very well and are drafty and cold. Hardly anyone has central heating so the bedrooms are always freezing at night." - Stephanie De La Garza, Expat in New Zealand

International and Local Schools

Most expat children in the country are enrolled in international schools like the Auckland International College where the International Baccalaureate Program is being used.

Higher education in Nez Zealand is funded by the student fees and the government. There are many local universities and state schools in the country. One of them is the University of Auckland which is the leading and largest local school in the country.

Moving Your Belongings

It is best to hire an international or local shipping and removal company to assist you in bringing your belongings to New Zealand. These movers take care of the whole process from picking up your belongings to delivering them to your new home. The average transit time to New Zealand by sea is 31-36 days. Auckland Port is the largest and leading port in the country and where the majority of containers arrive.

There is a 180 day quarantine period for a dog or cat entering New Zealand as an implementation of the Rabies Prevention Law. The animal can be quarantined in your originating country for the first 170 days. However, New Zealand requires a minimum of ten days of quarantine for all animals entering their territory. Also, make sure that your pet has a Rabies Vaccination Certificate and the standard International Health Certificate signed by a licensed veterinarian from your country of origin. For more information about New Zealand’s pet import regulation, click here.

The two modes of public transport in the country are buses and rail system. If you want to import your car to New Zealand, you have to be a skilled driver to be able to navigate its roads and terrains. Here are some documents that you need to prepare:

  • Proof of Current Registration
  • Certificate of Title
  • Bill of Lading
  • Purchase Invoice
  • Passport
  • Freight costs
  • Insurance Invoice

New Zealand or what its native Maoris call as Aotearoa (land of the long white cloud) has been a home for countless immigrants for a long time. Even if you’re staying for good or just a few years, this country will offer you possibilities beyond your expectations. With its breathtaking scenic views and friendly locals, New Zealand is surely the place to be.


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Continue reading:

Relocation Guide

Expat Housing Services in New Zealand

Moving Services in New Zealand