Working in New Zealand



People around the world have a growing fondness for New Zealand and the reasons why aren’t hard to understand. As long as expats put in work at the end of the day, there’s food on the table and room to develop in any chosen career.

To obtain a work visa, an individual needs a job offer from a New Zealand-based employer. While migration to the country makes use of the point system for an application to be approved, being granted a work visa depends on the availability or unavailability of local labor. This means a foreigner may only work in the country when the employer is able to prove the absence of a qualified local candidate. Upon arriving in New Zealand, the person applies for a work permit which will be valid for three years for a single position. 

It is no secret that the country has opened its doors to foreign skilled workers to fill the void left by its growing senior population. As such, various professions have been opened as part of the government's campaign to fill the gaps. Topping the list of fields where expat workers have been widely accepted into are medical services, education, biotechnology, food processing, and information technology.

"If you work in a particular field that the country is in shortage, anything is possible. My experience, I was lucky enough to get a work permit and find a job in IT. Thanks to that, I could apply for the Residency." - Aroune Heunthep, Expat in Auckland

A typical workplace in New Zealand has a cordial atmosphere even as workers remain responsible towards their jobs. People dress informally while maintaining high productivity at work. Though the work environment in the country is known for long work hours, locals certainly know how to have a good time at the end of the day. It is not uncommon to find colleagues and their families participating in sports and other family activities together. When it comes to practices directly related to work, however, they can be quite strict, especially on punctuality and good etiquette. During introductions, women are generally expected to extend their hands first. English is main language for business communication. 

Note that that are no official working hours in New Zealand, and workers are generally free to begin and end their workweeks as they please. This practice is in line with the with the Employment Contracts Act which took effect nearly twenty years ago but prior to that, a forty-hour work week was considered standard. Still, most employees work with their usual 38-40 hours over a five-day period while bigger companies came up with their own schedules in agreement with their employees. 

Pay in the metropolitan cities and those in the countryside vary expectedly, with the former being at least 20% higher than the latter to compensate for the higher cost of living within the city limit. But on average, a male employee who puts in 38 hours of work a week earns about 1054 NZD while his female counterpart who works about three hours less gets paid about 847 NZD. Those who work in the finance, information and telecommunications sectors are also noted to be the highest paid among New Zealand professionals. 

Expats decide to adopt a foreign country as their own for various reasons. Personal economic growth is often one of the strongest motivations for choosing New Zealand among other destinations in the world. And when they do land here successfully, they are often just glad to be amongst the friendly locals experiencing an exciting culture and the overall sense of productivity and reward that other people in other nations of the world can only dream of.



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