Emigrating to New Zealand

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New Zealand has a skills shortage list, so as long as you have the right skills, there will be no shortage of opportunities available to you. Skill shortages happen when employers find it hard to get staff with the right skills for the job. Knowing which jobs are in skill shortage can help you choose the best job option or decide what subjects to study. When jobs appear on Immigration New Zealand's skill shortage lists, this means the Government is actively encouraging skilled workers from overseas to work in that role in New Zealand. 

You can easily compare the cost of groceries in comparison to where you are currently living by shopping online at one of their supermarkets. This will help give you an idea of what a weekly shop would cost and how you can make changes to your shopping habits to live within your means.

Renting a home

The cost of renting varies widely depending upon where you live, so its adviseable to shop around online to see the best prices.

Travelling by Public Transport

All major cities and towns in New Zealand have public transport and the majority use these services to travel to and from work.

Owning your own car

Depending upon how remote your place of work is, you may need to purchase a car to get about. With the average cost of $35,000 for a new car, many favour the second hand car market. You will have to pay a licensing fee and a vehicle registration fee every year to be able to drive in New Zealand. These rates depend on the size of the engine and the age of the vehicle. Your car will also have to undertake an annual test to make sure its road worthy. If you drive a diesel engined vehicle, you will also be charged a road user fee, which is calculated per kilometre.

International migrants are allowed to drive for up to 12 months in New Zealand, either on their current overseas driving licence or on an International Driving Permit. If you are planning to stay longer, It is advisable to obtain your driving license for New Zealand during this period.

Further details can be obtained from the New Zealand Land Transport Safety Authority.

Travelling Distances

Kiwis drive on the left, similar to the UK and the speed in urban areas is 50kph and 100kph on the main roads. New Zealand is long and narrow. It is over 1,600 km long and 400 km wide. Its coastline is approximately 15,000 km with a total land area of 268,000 square km. So, to give you an idea of distances and the travelling times by car.

North Island Auckland to:

  • Hamilton - 125 km / 1:40 hrs
  • Gisborn - 480km / 6:25 hrs
  • Wellington - 642 km / 8:33 hrs

The car ferry from Wellington on the North Island to Picton on the South Island takes approximately 3 hours

South Island Picton to:

  • Christchurch - 337 km / 4:29 hrs
  • Timaru - 495 km / 6:36 hrs
  • Dunedin - 692 km / 9:13 hrs
  • Invercargill - 896 km / 11:56 hrs

The Climate in New Zealand

New Zealand is in the Southern Hemisphere, so the temperatures are slightly cooler and temperate than Australia. The North Island has subtropical weather during the summer months, while the South Island can be as cold as -10 in the winter months.

Because of the long and slender shape of New Zealand, no where is very far from the coast, which means milder temperatures, moderate rainfall and abundant sunshine.

The warmest months are December - February with maximum temperatures between 20 & 30ºC, whilst the coldest months are June - August with minimum temperatures between 10 & 15ºC.

Taxation in New Zealand

Same as the UK, the Inland Revenue collects income tax on all earnings. Most people opt for PAYE (pay as you earn). Employers will deduct your income tax, based on the percentage of your salary. If you recive income from an employer, you will receive an IRD number. You will also need this if you want to open a bank account in New Zealand. Income tax is paid on the following incomes:

  • Wages
  • Self-Employed income
  • Social Security Benefits
  • Investment Income
  • Income from rentals
  • Overseas income

Once you have become resident of New Zealand, all your earnings including income from abroad will be liable to income tax. Annual Income Tax %

  • Up to $14,000 - 10.5%
  • $14,001 - $48,000 - 17.5%
  • $48,001 - $70,000 - 30%
  • $70,001 - $75,000 - 33%

Goods and Services Tax (GST) Similar to VAT in the UK, GST is charged at the rate of 15% for all goods and services, excluding financial services and a small number of other items. If you are self employed and reach a threshold, you will need to register and charge GST on your goods and services. As a business, you will be able to claim back this GST on any business expenses.

Local Property Taxation Similar to council tax rates in the UK, property owners are charged an annual rate based upon the value of the home to pay for local services. The average home pays between $1,500 and $3,000 each year in rates. The higher the value of the home the higher the rates paid.

Salary Guide

This is the 2018 guide to salaries for the following job categories:

  • Accounting | $42,000 - $125,000
  • Architecture | $37,000 to $85,000
  • Automotive | $37,000 to $85,000
  • Banking, finance and insurance | $42,000 to $125,000
  • Construction and Roadworks | $37,000 to $145,000
  • Customer service | $37,000 to $65,000
  • Education | $37,000 to $85,000
  • Engineering | $42,000 to $125,000
  • Executive and general management | $45,000 to $207,000
  • Government and council | $40,000 to $145,000
  • Healthcare | $40,000 to $85,000
  • Hospitality and tourism | $35,000 to $63,000
  • HR and recruitment | $45,000 to $125,000
  • Information technology (IT) | $45,000 to $207,000
  • Legal | $40,000 to $115,000
  • Manufacturing and operations | $35,000 to $85,000
  • Marketing, media and communications | $42,000 to $125,000
  • Office and administration | $37,000 to $75,000
  • Property | $42,000 to $155,000
  • Retail | $35,000 to $65,000
  • Sales | $37,000 to $105,000
  • Science and technology | $37,000 to $105,000
  • Trades and services | $37,000 to $85,000
  • Transport and logistics | $37,000 to $80,000
Publication Date
29 March 2023