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.

The economy of New Zealand is heavily dependent on international trade with other powerhouse nations such as Australia, United States, Japan, China and member states of the European Union. In 2016, this nation possessed the 69th largest economy in the world in terms of Purchasing Power Parity or PPP with a total Gross Domestic Product of USD 173.2 billion. Expats decide to adopt a foreign country as their own for various reasons, and personal economic growth is often one of the strongest motivations for choosing New Zealand. Here, foreign assignees will have the chance to be amongst the friendly Kiwi while experiencing an exciting culture and an overall sense of productivity.

Jobs in the Land of the Long White Cloud

It is no secret that the country has opened its doors to skilled foreign 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. The service sector continues to dominate the local economy and is accountable for 74% of the national GDP. Other large-scale industries in this country that provide a massive number of jobs are manufacturing, metal fabrication, wood and paper products, mining and agriculture. 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

Average Salary and Work Hours

Pay in the metropolitan cities, and those in the countryside differ expectedly, with the former being at least 20% higher than the latter to compensate for the higher cost of living within the city centre. But on an average, a male employee who puts in 38 hours of work a week earns about NZD 1,054 or USD 739.80 while his female counterpart who works about three hours less gets paid about NZD 847 or USD 595. When it comes to Average monthly salary, those who work in the finance, information and telecommunications sectors are noted to be the highest paid among New Zealand professionals.

Note that that are no official working hours in New Zealand, and workers are free to begin and end their workweeks as they please. This practice is in line with the Employment Contracts Act which took effect nearly twenty years ago but before 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 schedules in agreement with their employees.

The Kiwi Work Culture

A typical workplace in New Zealand has a cordial atmosphere where 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 expected to extend their hands first. English is the main language for business communication.

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Work Guide

Expat Services in New Zealand