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Moving to New Zealand

Immigration

A good place to start is to check out the New Zealand Immigration website. This can help guide you through the different types of visas available as well as explaining eligibility and requirements. You can visit their website at https://www.immigration.govt.nz/new-zealand-visas.

moving to nz
Relocating

There are a number of removalist companies that specialise in global relocations, so it’s a good idea to get a range of quotes before making a decision. Keep in mind the cheapest quote isn’t necessarily the best one.

Take into consideration:

  • how long it will take for your belongings to arrive
  • the insurance policy details and whether or not the company can help you with customs documentation

New Zealand has some tight quarantine laws, particularly around food, plant and animal material. There are also other restrictions on what you can bring into the country and in some cases permits may be required.

To be safe, it is best to check with customs before deciding what to bring with you when you move to New Zealand.

Travelling

It’s called down-under for a reason. Flying here from Europe, South Africa, North America and even most parts of Asia takes time. So it’s good to be prepared.

Depending on your country of origin and preferred stopovers, there are numerous airlines to choose from. Most New Zealand capital cities, but particularly, Auckland, Wellinging and Christchurch, provide multiple flying options.

Once past the usual customs, visa and quarantine checks, a new world of opportunity and challenge awaits. Here is a list of some things to consider:

  • Sort transport to your lodgings (all airports have shuttle transfers, taxis plus various public transport options)
  • Book and/or check in to your accommodation
  • Contact family and friends ‘back home’ and tell them you’ve arrived
  • Explore your new surroundings and sample the local produce
  • Learn the lingo and customs
  • Register at your local consulate

Everyone’s circumstances and expectations differ. But moving to New Zealand, with some prior planning and savvy in-flight practices might just be the most liberating and life-affirming decision you ever make.

Banking

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.