Move To New Zealand

As a beautiful country with incredible landscapes, a welcoming culture and an easy-going way of life, New Zealand has plenty to offer those looking to experience new adventures. If you’re thinking of moving to New Zealand, our handy guide can tell you everything you need to know about your NZ move.

Finding work in NZ

There are a lot of things you need to do to prepare for your move to New Zealand, and one of the first things you’ll need to do is find work. A work visa is a must to work in the country, and you’ll need to have it approved before you can begin working. Fortunately, the New Zealand Government has made it easy for you to find the information you need to be able to find work in NZ.

With a strong economy, New Zealand is a great place to find work, and with skills shortages in the country, there has been a big drive to encourage people from overseas to move to New Zealand for work. Some of the areas experiencing skills shortages include:

  • Agriculture
  • Construction
  • Engineering
  • Technology
  • Hospitality and tourism
  • Trades

It’s also possible to find work outside of areas with skills shortages, with employers able to support your work visa if a resident can’t be found for the job.

An online search is one of the easiest ways to find work in New Zealand. There are even some dedicated websites recommended to help people from outside New Zealand find job opportunities:

You can also search for opportunities with employers directly, or if your existing employer has offices in New Zealand, there could be internal transfer opportunities.

The cost of living in NZ

Understanding the cost of living in New Zealand can help you understand what to expect when you move, allowing you to make comparisons to your current cost of living. 

The cost of living is higher in some of New Zealand’s main cities, Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. The average living costs for a family of four are around $4,769.60 a month without rent, while a single person’s living costs are $1,324.17 on average, without rent. Compared to Australia, the cost of living in New Zealand is generally higher, with rent, groceries and dining out typically higher.

While the cost of living can be considered high, there is a high standard of living and a higher minimum wage than many other countries.

Working in NZ

What is it like to work in New Zealand? The work culture in NZ is generally friendly, relaxed and ensures great work/life balance. It’s also a diverse environment, with the opportunity to work with some incredible people across different industries. 

Flexible working in New Zealand is widely supported. Any employee can make the request for flexible working to alter hours, working patterns and place of work, helping workers and employees experience many benefits.

The working week is typically 40 hours, with four weeks of paid annual leave - an attractive prospect for those moving to New Zealand from overseas.

Work/life balance is also very important in New Zealand, with a general attitude of leaving work behind at the office to ensure that quality time outside of work is spent with family and to enjoy other pursuits.

The weather in NZ

Understanding the local climate can be a major deciding factor in a move to a new country. So, what is the weather like in NZ? 

The New Zealand climate is varied, but the areas near the coast have mostly mild temperatures. The north of the country experiences subtropical weather during the summer months, while temperatures can dip as low as -10°C in the winter. Generally, temperatures are lower in southern New Zealand than further north. 

Temperatures are typically at their warmest from December-February, with July providing some of the coldest temperatures.

Education in NZ

New Zealand has a highly regarded education system, with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) comparing New Zealand’s education favourably compared to other nations. It has one of the lowest teacher-child ratios in the world, meaning more individual attention for students.

In terms of further education, university courses are more affordable, with the cost of a student visa around $300AD compared to $565AD in Australia. 

The best places to live in NZ

New Zealand is a great country to live in, but you’re probably wondering where exactly are the best places to live? It’s a question that will spark debate amongst New Zealanders, with different parts of the country having their merits. It also depends on your own interests and climate preferences, but generally NZ offers a little something for everyone. 

Auckland is high on many people’s list of the best places to live in New Zealand. With over 180 ethnicities, it’s a diverse place, and it is particularly popular with people from overseas. It’s also a fantastic city to find work, being the largest city in the country.

If you love the outdoor life, then Queenstown is the perfect location to base yourself. Its waterfront location provides an incredible range of activities, while skiing is a popular winter activity. Work prospects are great, with Queenstown being home to many different industries.

The capital Wellington is another popular destination with expats, with a cool, relaxed vibe that has some amazing scenery, beaches, and things to do. The Rimutakas and the Tararuas mountains that surround Wellington provide an incredible backdrop that never gets dull to look at.

Christchurch is the biggest city on the South Island, and has a fantastic community feel. It was heavily damaged during the 2011 earthquake, but is undergoing a lot of redevelopment that is making it an exciting city to live in. There’s a lot to do and explore, and is an excellent place to work too.

Property Prices in NZ

Like most countries in the world right now, the housing market in New Zealand is continuing to grow. This is driven by high-demand, and limited housing available to meet in.

The average house price in Auckland is $1,040,000, where properties are the most expensive. Wellington, meanwhile, has an average property price of $812,251.

Sports & Recreation

New Zealand is well-known for its sport. As a country providing a lot of recreation activities, it’s the perfect destination for those who enjoy being active outdoors. Some of the most popular sports in New Zealand are rugby, cricket and football, with the NZ national rugby team, the All Blacks, known as one of the best rugby teams in the world, the most successful to compete in the Rugby World Cup

Thanks to New Zealand’s diverse landscape, there are a lot of possible recreation activities. From water sports to skiing, mountain climbing and other outdoor pursuits, you won’t be short of activities to get stuck into.

But New Zealand isn’t just a great place for sport, there’s a lot of arts and culture to be soaked up too. Artists from all over the world tour New Zealand, while there’s also an excellent comedy and theatre scene. Living in New Zealand gives you the chance to enjoy Māori and Pacific influences, which you’ll find in all aspects of the arts.


Got some burning questions about your move to New Zealand? Some of our frequently asked questions include:

How much money do you need to live in NZ?

The amount of money you’ll need to live in New Zealand will depend on your lifestyle and your circumstances. The median salary is $50,000, but careers in areas like ICT can pay up to $200,000. The housing market is competitive, and homeowners typically spend a fifth of their income on housing costs.

New Zealand offers a lot to see and do, with a lot of it being affordable and focused on time outdoors. Eating and dining out is comparative to places like Australia and the UK.

When moving to any country, it’s recommended that you have around 3 months’ worth of savings behind you to help you adjust, secure work and housing and explore your new home.

What jobs are in demand?

There are many jobs in demand in New Zealand thanks to its growing economy. Even with the pandemic, the job market has been strong. There’s a demand for jobs in areas such as:

  • Healthcare
  • Construction
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • ICT
  • Telecommunications
  • Agriculture and forestry

Can I move during COVID?

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected travel worldwide, and the border controls in New Zealand, which has contained the spread of the virus more effectively than many other parts of the world, remain strict. If you want to move to New Zealand during COVID, there are strict entry requirements. Quarantine-free travel is possible between New South Wales and New Zealand. 

New Zealand is a welcoming country that is very accepting of people moving from elsewhere. The New Zealand Now website features some incredible resources to help you find out everything you need to know about moving to New Zealand.