8 Tips for Moving to and Working in New Zealand

Are you thinking about moving from Australia to New Zealand? Fortunately for Australians, New Zealand has a friendly, welcoming culture, and is extremely easy to relocate to and find employment in for expatriates. Thanks to an agreement between the two countries, Australian citizens don’t have to go through a laborious visa application process. This makes it easy for Australians to visit, move to New Zealand and work – and for Kiwis to do the same in Australia.So if you’re considering a move to New Zealand look no further as we share eight key tips for getting ready before you depart.

1. Apply for a Visa in New Zealand

As long as you have “good character” (described by the nation’s immigration authorities as not having a criminal record of note, or being viewed as a person likely to cause political trouble), you can travel to New Zealand on your Australian passport and immediately apply for an Australian Resident Visa. Once granted, this visa will allow you to work in New Zealand for an indefinite period of time. If you need to travel outside New Zealand, you can apply for a waiver so your visa will not be cancelled.

2. Researching homes before your move

If you are looking to move to New Zealand for an extended period, it’s a good idea to start researching potential homes well before you book your movers. This will ensure you find the right job and living arrangements as well as booking the correct international removal services.

3. Researching New Zealand cities

When deciding on a city to move to it’s important to consider your current circumstances. For instance, will you be moving to New Zealand alone, with a partner, or with kids? Your home life will impact where you choose to live as much as your professional needs. Young single people or couples may enjoy living in one of New Zealand’s more populous city centres, while families may choose to settle in a more suburban neighbourhood with access to good schools. Top cities for emigrants to New Zealand include:

  • Queenstown
  • Wellington
  • Auckland
  • Napier
  • Christchurch

When looking to plan your move it’s important to check beforehand if the removals company has locations at your final destination. This will help ensure that your move from start to finish is as seamless as possible.

4. Looking for New Zealand jobs

As an Australian, you may have certain skill sets that can be valuable to the New Zealand economy. Some of the most popular job postings in New Zealand are for electrical installers or engineers. You may also find yourself in the job of a teacher, or a business manager. Other major job opportunities in New Zealand include:

  • Agriculture and forestry
  • Construction
  • Internet technology
  • Real estate
  • Finance

If you plan on launching your own company, New Zealand is an excellent place to pursue your dreams. There are plenty of resources to help you find a job or start your own New Zealand based business.

5. Fitting in with New Zealand workplace culture

Work cultures in Australia and New Zealand are very similar, but Aussies will need to remember that an overly effusive manner of speech in the workplace might be a bit much for the somewhat more reserved Kiwi business environments. That said, aside from the slightly more formal tone expected at work, the workplace is generally relaxed and communal meals and potlucks are common during work hours.

6. Understanding New Zealand personal culture

New Zealanders generally like their personal space, so be polite and step back in crowded areas. That said, the indigenous Maori culture has influenced New Zealanders’ interactions, and you may find yourself greeted by a kiss on the cheek as opposed to a handshake. Watch to see if shoes are removed at the doorways of a home, if they are, follow suit.

Sharing food and drink together is a cornerstone of New Zealand culture, so expect to have plenty of invitations to “go out for coffee”, or “come over for dinner.” If you are invited to someone’s house and told there is no need to bring a gift, you may still wish to bring a small token for the hostess.

7. Creating work-life balance

In New Zealand, people like to work hard and then shift to personal time. Friday night drinks with work friends are commonplace, but talking about work is frowned on at these gatherings. Most New Zealanders are happy with their work-life balance, and around half have flexible start and finish times in their daily schedules. Even the 1 in 5 Kiwis who regularly work 60 hours a week or more are generally happy with their situation. You can watch those around you and adapt to the easy-going Kiwi lifestyle!

8. Planning for your move

Once you’ve lined up a place to live and have some leads on potential jobs, it’s time to get serious about transporting all of your personal items and moving to New Zealand. Often the excitement of moving house, let alone country can keep you distracted so making a list is important in keeping you on track. As you start to pack there are a few key things to consider when writing your checklist such as:

  • Are you taking your car with you to New Zealand?
  • Are you moving your beloved pets?
  • Are you moving from a large or small home?
  • Are you moving items into storage?
  • Are your items insured?

If this is too overwhelming you may find it makes more sense to hire a reputable removals company who can handle everything throughout the removal process, rather than trying to sell your items and buy everything new for your home. If you have a job waiting, you’ll want to jump right into your new routine of living and working in New Zealand. An international movers with experience in Australia to New Zealand transport is ideal.


Are you considering a move to New Zealand? Contact the team at Allied today and speak to one of our international removals specialists to get started today.