Category Archives: New Zealand

Working in New Zealand

Although many of our readers go to New Zealand on a short holiday, I realize there are mates who would love to stay there longer. But we all have duties and bills to pay so this isn’t the easiest thing to do. Unless of course you go there to work which can expand your stay for quite long time and let you enjoy New Zealand fully. Going to work in another country has always quite a few aspects.

We’ll list the more important ones from New Zealand perspective below:

Work Visas

Three types of work visas are available:

  • Temporary work visa. It is valid for between 9 months and 3 years. There are different sub-types depending on where you alredy have work arrangement or you plan to just go there and search for work. In the second case you need to have skilled profession and be under 35 years old.
  • Long-term “Work to residence” visa is valid for up to 30 months and lets you apply for residence visa.
  • Working holiday visa is valid for 12 – 23 months and covers wider range of professions. The cost of this visa when applying through visa agency will be between €100 and €200.

One of the good pages that explains a lot and well about New Zealand work visas can be found here.

... another fun work location, Southland, New Zealand, 26 August 2008

Work Programs

Many companies – visa agencies, travel agencies, etc, offer so called “work programs in New Zealand” for fees usually between $500 and $1,500. I think calling them “work programs” is a bit misleading because most of them don’t secure you any work. Don’t get me wrong, they are still helpful, just don’t expect most of them to guarantee you a job position there. Most often they do the following:

  • They help you with the visa application/process your visa
  • They provide you assistance and advice when you apply for job
  • Often some kind of accomodation, transfer and social events are included
  • Some will help you learn driving in NZ and apply for driver’s license

In any case carefully read what’s included and judge yourself whether it’s worth the money. Do not expect that paying few bucks (even if a lot) will guarantee you a job.

What Kind Of Work Is Available

Generally said, all kind of work is available. But if you are looking to get hired, you may want to know what are the most sought skills:

  • Agricultural workers
  • Construction workers and engineers
  • Education specialists
  • IT

For a lot more detailed overview see the essential skills in demand here.

Starting Small Business

Almost every democratic country in the world will welcome you if you want to invest your own money and a start a small (or large) business. New Zealand is not different. To the best of my knowledge, there is nothing special as requirement to start business there. So if you have a good idea and the money to start it, just go ahead.

There are entrepreneur visas available for you. More information here.

Cost of Living

Like in most countries the cost of living differs vastly depending on which city you want to live in. Auckland is most expensive especially considering the housing costs. Going South the cost of living goes down. In general the cost of living in New Zealand is comparable to this of Western Europe.

Here’s a guide giving more specifics.

If you have any other questions regarding working in NZ let us know in the comments.

Expats in New Zealand: Check These 10 Resources

Planning to move to New Zealand or already there but still new? Being an expat is not like backpacking. You can’t live as tourist all the time and live in a campervan. Well, some can, actually but that’s another story.

If you are looking to turn into real expat, here are several good sites, forums and blogs that can serve you as a starting point. They are not sorted in particular order.

1. Expats Living in New Zealand Forum

This section at the Expat Forum is quite active. You can meet plenty of new kiwis there and ask all kind of questions. All kind of stuff is discussed – what’s good in New Zealand and what’s not, costs of living in various cities, health requirements, rentals etc. As there is no good expat forum dedicated only to New Zealand (at least I know none!), this section is your first must-visit item.

2. Moon over Martinborough

This is a blog by two Americans who moved in New Zealand in 2006 to live rural life. I agree this is not the typical blog with advice on what to do as expat kiwi. No, it’s more about sharing real stories of life. And these guys have changed their lives a lot – just get some sense of it on the about page.

It’s not a blog for those who would be looking for typical employment in New Zealand. There are other blogs and sites that will help you. This blog gives inspiration to those with entrepreneurial and adventurous spirit who would like to take their live in hands down there. Lovely!

3. Dawes Family in New Zealand

Another Americans, and another family/personal blog. It shares even more personal stories, but don’t worry, it’s not a schoolmate’s diary. The stories these folks share will help you experience more of the life in New Zealand they way it is. And coincidence, they also emigrated in 2006.

4. Fried Kiwis

This is a new expat blog of a new expat. A new fried kiwi! Liz and her family moved there in September 2012 son they are sharing the very fresh views of a newcomer. You’ll get to learn about the new things you can expect when going to New Zealand of course through their personal experience. And maybe you can even meet these guys to feel less lonely.

5. This New Zealand Life

If you want to read more practical and advice kind of site, this one is for you. New Zealand life has things categorized and is rather content rich. Articles about cost of living, dangers, what’s life like there, and news section will keep you updated on all the stuff you need to know. Here’s an example post to see what kind of practical info I am talking about.

6. Move to New Zealand

Here’s a complete immigration guide. Working, banking, salaries, cost of living, housing, law stuff, things like that. The forum and blogs aren’t really active. The information in the articles seems actual however. Bookmark this site if you are seriously planning emigration.

7. Move2nz (Again!)

This is a free community site with over 40,000 members. Definitely a place where you won’t be lonely. There is a newsletter, discussion forums, and various articles with relocating advice. You nee to create (a free) account in order to get access to most of the content.

8. Broken Luggage

Broken Luggage is a blog from a married couple – again Americans arrived in Auckland in 2009. It’s not the most frequently updated blog you’ll find here. But the great pictures they post make it worth a visit any time. There is excellent table of contents that will help you find any of the practical information about relocating. And there’s plenty of it there!

9. Inquisitive Bird

This is a blog of a young teacher. So here you have yet another perspective to migrating in New Zealand. Started in January 2011 and moderately active.

10. Beckoning Balance

And let’s finish with Beckoning Balance, a top expat blog started in 2008. They publish a lot of outdoor pictures from the nice nature in New Zealand. And a lot of personal and often touching stories.

Did I miss your cool expat blog or another great site about moving down there? Let me know in the comments!