There are five major banks and a number of smaller banks to choose from in New Zealand.
There are banks in cities and towns right throughout the country, but not all banks operate nationally. It’s a good idea to check their website to see if the bank you’re considering has a branch in your new hometown.
Banks in New Zealand have lots of experience in helping migrants and many of them have multilingual migrant advisors. Check that they speak your language if necessary.
It is a good idea to open a New Zealand bank account from your home country. You can open an account here up to a year before you move.
You can transfer money into your new account before you arrive in New Zealand. It acts as a holding account, ready for you to use when you arrive. It also means you can provide your employer with a bank account number so receiving your first pay is easier.
When you arrive, you will most likely need to activate your New Zealand bank account. To activate your account you’re often asked to verify your identity and permanent address. As you may not have a permanent address as soon as you arrive, it’s a good idea to check with your bank what the options are for your first few weeks here.