Working in New Zealand


A smart move for your career, lifestyle and family.


Those three islands tucked into the bottom right corner of the map are so small, and so distant from other landmasses, most people forget their location. Yet New Zealand’s remote position offers travelers a unique opportunity for employment. And – as several of this year’s best bloggers about working holiday visas have shown – the country is quickly becoming a favorite place for working holidays and longer-term stays.

Hospitable locals, a stable economy and the renowned, fantastical landscapes captured in The Lord of The Rings are just a few of the reasons you should consider looking for work in “NZed.” Need a handful more?

Here they are:

  1. The small population.
    With just about 4.5 million people, New Zealand has all the benefits of a small community: low crime rates, trusting neighbors, economic stability, minimal ethnic and racial tension, and high levels of general contentment. Even its biggest city, Auckland (which contains over a quarter of the population) generates enough of these qualities to repeatedly rank as one of the best cities in the world.
  2. The lack of competition.
    This relatively small population brings big advantages for both nationals and foreign workers. Jobs are easy to find in most fields, especially if you leave the city for rural areas; once you find a position and demonstrate a work ethic, many employers are happy to sponsor and extend your visa. The government can also afford higher minimum wages and support for worker’s rights.
  3. The immigration process.
    Kiwis tend to be straight-forward people, and their immigration efforts reflect this. An easy-to-follow website and pleasant immigration officers lead applicants through the visa process, whether you’re after a one-year working holiday or a multi-year skilled visa. The working holiday visa process is especially simple: apply online, provide a few key requirements, pay the fee and receive an email notification within a few days. Want to reapply for a second year working holiday? Unlike Australia, no fruit picking required!
  4. The work environment.
    Kiwis claim their international reputation as hard workers earns them jobs ahead of other English-speaking nationals. So, while you can expect to join globally trusted businesses here, you’ll also be expected to play on the weekends. A work-life balance is important to managers, who hire based on personality andprevious experience. Co-workers call each other by first name and share Friday afternoon drinks; they respect success but not the arrogance that too often accompanies it. New Zealand also has some of the best paid holiday and maternity leave periods in the developed world.
  5. The endless holiday.
    With coastlines and mountains in each direction, the lucky traveler could scuba dive andsnowboard in the same day. This varied landscape, squeezed into an area the size of Colorado, allows for extremes in outdoor sports, wildlife, weather patterns and adventures. It’s why New Zealand is the modern home of bungy jumping – and why Kiwis are quick to try anything that promises adrenaline. With so much to get out and do, every post-work hour is a vacation from reality.
  6. The isolation.
    While the tyranny of distance dictates imports and exports, and pushes up the daily cost of living, it also gives New Zealand more reason to stand out. Communal and governmental actions protect the islands’ delicate and unusual ecosystems. The educational system and culture scene strive to promote Maori and Pasifika traditions. And political leaders aren’t afraid to speak out against globally-contentious issues, such as nuclear power and oil drilling in the oceans.
  7. The accents.
    When Taylor Swift heard a Kiwi accent on live television, she gushed and asked to hear it again. Sure, the dialect confuses ‘e’ and ‘i’ and rhymes ‘bare’ with ‘here’, but famous people find it cute. And the mix of English, Polynesian and Maori languages creates a whole dictionary of slang terms and unusual colloquialisms. You may have heard “Sweet-as”, but would you respond churyeah nah, or simply ehbecause you’ve been knackered since sparrow’s fart?
  8. The sweet stuff.
    Whether you call them candy, sweets or lollieslike the Kiwis do, the range of NZ-made cookies (biscuits), ice cream, Popsicles (ice blocks) and chocolate gives locals another reason to feel unique. Specialty treats include milk bottles, lamingtons, lolly cake, Shrewsburys, Whitaker’s and hokey pokey. Want to upset a Kiwi? Tell them their famous desert, Pavlova, comes from Australia . . .
  9. The bragging rights.
    Youngest country in the world. Best airline in the world. Best rugby team in the world. Cleanest air in the world. Longest-named town in the world. New Zealand claims a lot of top titles, and working abroad here gives you the right to claim them as well. Wow the folks back home with statements like “In 2014, it even won World’s Best Country. . .”


Make the best of your adventure

New Zealand has a burgeoning economy, which creates an environment of work opportunities and collaboration in the Kiwi spirit. We’re at the forefront in many areas of information technology and in biological and medical research.

Life is for living, and while New Zealanders work hard at their jobs, employers recognise the importance of work-life balance. Life in New Zealand is about balancing the time you spend working hard, and the time you spend enjoying the Kiwi lifestyle

between $13,000 and $16,000 per year ($260–320 per week)

Cost of Living for International Students in New Zealand

Basic costs

In addition to your tuition and insurance fees, you will need between $20,000 and $25,000 per year ($380–480 per week) for accommodation/rent, food expenses, transportation costs, phone bills, internet usage and entertainment. No matter what your tuition or course fee is, the average living expense will be same for everyone. Please note that these amounts are just recommendations, Immigration New Zealand requirement is $15,000 per year plus return airfare or additional $2,000.

General expenses

(in US dollars)

Rent (per month): $530+
Groceries (per week): $95+
Gym membership (per year): $200+
Entertainment (per week): $30+
Milk (per litre) $2
Coca Cola (per can): $1.3
Cup of Coffee: $2+
Lunch from University food hall or campus café: $4.5
Local calls made from a cell-phone: $0.3
Taxi – 5 km ride: $6+
Movie ticket: $7
Visit to doctor: $34+

Other Costs

You may have additional expenses during your study years. These include, costs of textbooks and stationary, medical costs and dental appointments, quarterly or yearly insurance fee, weather appropriate clothing, weekend trips. These costs will differ from individual to individual as there is no generalization.

If you choose not to stay at a University accommodation, you will have extra charges such as bond/finder’s fee, utility bills like power, gas, phone and internet. Plus you will save on transportation costs as you won’t need to rent a car; it will take five minutes to reach your classes.


Working in New Zealand

New Zealand is a favoured destination for people from around the globe – and with good reason! Famed for its stunning scenery, friendly people, and high quality lifestyle, New Zealand boasts a vibrant economy with innovation and cutting edge technology at its heart.

But, we are constantly short of one vital resource, highly skilled ICT professionals – so more and more New Zealand organisations are now looking overseas to attract the talent they need.

Working hard is important in New Zealand – but so is making good use of time outside work. Life is for living and employers generally respect that, which is why New Zealand workers enjoy about the best work/life balance in the world.

New Zealand companies generally have a relaxed atmosphere – but in return there is an expectation that employees will get their work done. Most New Zealand employers work hard to make their work place more enjoyable.

Check to see what the right visa you need before you arrive in the country, this will make sure the immigration and work search goes smoothly:


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