Looking to move to NZ?

New Zealand is a popular destination for travelers, there’s not many places you can snowboard on the alps, relax in thermal pools then enjoy a beer on the beach – all in one day!

There are a few key decisions you need to make before coming to work in New Zealand

live in nz

Where should you live?

Before picking a location, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you want to live in the countryside, a small town or large city?
  • What type of weather do you prefer?
  • Are you bringing a specific skillset or want to learn on the job
  • Do you have a license to drive?

Countryside jobs are mainly agricultural and horticultural, some even offer hosting, the weather in New Zealand varies a lot, if you prefer warm sunny weather then consider Bay of Plenty, Hawke’s Bay or Nelson/Marlborough. If a colder climate is more to your liking, try Christchurch, Dunedin or Queenstown.

What about accommodation?

When you first arrive in New Zealand staying in a Backpackers can be an excellent way to settle in, meet people and find somewhere to live permanently. A lot of Hostels also offer a bed in exchange for work.

If you’re traveling solo, it may be difficult to rent a house by yourself, so instead check out flatmates wanted on Trademe. However, depending on your job they may assist with your accommodation, this is also something to consider before choosing a job.

Some other options that may suit you are Air BNB, Au Pair, housesitting/looking after pets or working on site (e.g. ski-lodge, farming).


How will you get around?

New Zealand’s public transport becomes more scarce as you leave the major cities, driving/owning your own car will open up a lot of opportunities for traveling the country and getting to work.

A popular place to purchase a used car in New Zealand is on TradeMe, to drive on New Zealand roads your vehicle must have a Warrant Of Fitness (WOF) and Registration (Rego). You must also have a driving licence.

The most common form of public transport in New Zealand are buses, coaches, taxis/uber. Other forms you may find useful are trains and ferries.

What type of work can you do?

You will need to organise a work or resident visa before coming to New Zealand which will likely require a job. However, you can apply for jobs before you have a visa as your Employer will generally understand the situation and can help with the visa application.

Choosing a job that best suits you will depend on location, length of your stay, pay and your skillset. It’s also worth considering what your goals are while you are here (would you like to travel around, or focus more on a career).

Seek and TradeMe jobs are common places to look for work, here are the top 20 most needed jobs in NZ. Some “easier to get” jobs in New Zealand are: Construction Worker, Bartender, Fruit Picker, Brewery Worker, Farm Hand, WWOOF and Tourism staff.

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How can you make friends?

Getting to know people at work then hanging out outside of work is a common way of making friends, some other ways you could meet people in a new city are:

  • Join an event on Meet Up or Newcomers
  • Find a Facebook Group around your interest and start chatting with people
  • Visit some local Backpacker bars to meet other travellers
  • Try an activity like Surfing, Snowboarding or even a pottery class to meet new people

Kiwi’s love to help and show you their beautiful country, one of the perks of being a small country are the short distances, you could ski the Alps and surf some waves all in one day. Grab some friends on the weekend and go for a road trip!

What are the food & drinks like?

New Zealand is home to some of the best seafood in the world (e.g. crayfish, king salmon, green-lipped mussels, paua, scallops, oysters, kina and fresh fish). We also pride ourself on lamb, beef, fish and chips, BBQ’s and pies!

We’re also big fans of foreign cuisine, you won’t have any troubles finding something that reminds you of home (depending where you live of course!).

New Zealand Craft Beer and Wine (and Gin) is world class, pairing locally grown ingredients with highly skilled craftsmanship they have become globally recognised and a favourite for many, definitely worth a try!


What happens with pay?

If you’re just here for a year or so travelling/studying then you can you open a basic no-fee account for access to your money electronically and set yourself up with an EFTPOS card. Most people in New Zealand pay by EFTPOS or credit, cash is less popular.

However, if you plan on staying in New Zealand longer then you will need to set up a bank account. This can be done when you arrive in the country. You will need to provide a proof of address, identification, your overseas Tax Identification number and a copy of your visa. Find out which bank best suits you: ANZ, Westpac, BNZ, Kiwibank.

If you need to submit a tax refund in New Zealand, use the form below to file a return: