Advice for British Expats Moving to New Zealand

When preparing for a big move, it is essential to conduct thorough research on the country at hand, and New Zealand is no different.

2/2/202420 min read

1. Preparing for the Move

From its weather and landscapes to its politics and healthcare systems, having an understanding of what life is like in New Zealand will better prepare you for your move. There are no better places to familiarize yourself with New Zealand than the extensive Range of articles, videos, and other resources on New Zealand Now_the New Zealand government's portal for everything you need to know about the country; New Zealand Now is an authoritative, and comprehensive info center. In order to visit New Zealand for more than 6 months, or to move there permanently, you will require a visa. The type of visa needed depends on the length of your stay, the reason for your stay, and your age. This guide provides an overiview of the most common types of visa needed, with the full listing of types of visa. It will mention and how to apply for them. Welcome to our current expert partners_ the London based European Recruitment and New Zealand Visa Bureau. We work closely with them to provide the latest information and a seamless end_to_end migration service to our clients starting in the UK.

1.1. Researching New Zealand's Culture and Lifestyle

New Zealand tends to be less class-conscious and more easygoing and live-and-let-live than the UK. The national culture has historically been influenced by Maori, Polynesian, Asian, and Pacific traditions, along with European influences, and more recently American influences. The Human Rights Act currently prohibits discrimination on the grounds of race, colour, ethnic or national origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, political opinion, employment status, family status, and religious belief.

1.2. Understanding Visa Requirements

The type of visa required will be dependent on the reason for your stay, your nationality and how long you plan to stay.All UK passport holders can visit New Zealand for up to 6 months without the need to apply for a visa prior to travel. This only works if you has enough money to support yourself and hold a valid ticket out of New Zealand. The Visa Options Page provides information on the different visa options that you might be eligible for including work, resident and visitor visa options.

1.3. Organizing Finances and Insurance

Consider leaving a finances open in New Zealand, particularly with a bank that operates in both your home country and New Zealand, to have a smoother transition. It is worth bearing in mind that New Zealand has a number of specific direct transfer systems and software which might not be compatible with what you are currently using, and most of the banks will charge fees for transfers and foreign currency transactions. It would be ideal to make sure you have emergency money available until you have your New Zealand account set up. Any regular commitments such as insurance should have funds sent to the account in New Zealand.

2. Finding Accommodation

Once you have established where you would like to live in New Zealand, you can begin to research the housing market. Renting property is a popular choice as it is much quicker and easier than buying, especially in the short term. Rental properties will almost always come with a full range of white-ware - washing machine, fridge-freezer and dishwasher and, often, a microwave or smaller appliances too. All manner of accommodation is available in New Zealand, from single rooms to executive-style mansions, and the rental prices vary dramatically according to a multitude of factors, including location, size and age of the property.

2.1. Exploring Different Regions and Cities

The Northland peninsula is known for its spectacular, unspoiled beaches and coastlines, and is home to the Waitangi Treaty grounds, an incredibly important site in New Zealand's history. Moving southwards, the Auckland region is home to one third of New Zealand's population, and offers a high quality of life due to its mild climate, job opportunities and vibrant urban culture. However, this popularity does mean that property in Auckland can be quite expensive due to demand. The Waikato/Bay of Plenty region is known for its rolling, green landscapes such as the Waitomo Caves and Hobbiton. Due to its strong rural economy and close proximity to Auckland the region is growing in popularity for commuters and expats. In contrast to the Bay of Plenty, the Taranaki region has been historically reliant on the oil and gas industry. However, there is an increasing sense of environmental awareness and the region is busy diversifying into other industries.

2.2. Renting vs. Buying Property

This section will present an overview of the property ownership scenario in New Zealand. It needs to be pointed out that the legal system for property ownership in New Zealand is derived from English law, and is thus largely similar to the system in use in the UK. Similarly to the UK, there is no restriction on foreign ownership of property in New Zealand. However, it is compulsory for foreign buyers to seek permission from the Overseas Investment Commission of New Zealand if they are planning on buying sensitive land in New Zealand.

2.3. Working with Real Estate Agents

Beware of the dangers surrounding the sales process. Before signing anything you should make sure that you are confident in your decision and have done lots of research and asked lots of questions. If an estate agent is pushing you to sign something or is pressing you, make sure you tell them that you have a legal advisor, or family/friend who is helping you with these decisions, and you will only sign once you have gotten their opinion on things. Some estate agents can tell the buyer and the seller two different things in order to get what they want without interfering between both clients. Don’t forget to ask lost of questions ( write them down and take this list with you you meet the real estate agents) This way, you will be able to compare and contrast what one agent says to what another agent tells you. Try not to worry too much about differences in contracts because you can always change the paperwork before they are finalized, as well as cancel the contract if you are not confident either party can fulfill their side of the arrangements. You can ask a legal advisor or anyone who knows the language well to check all the paperwork before signing anything crucial.

3. Navigating the Job Market

Moving to another country often also requires finding a new job, and New Zealand is no exception. There are multiple factors to consider and services that may be helpful during this period. Planning and research are highly important in order to smoothen this sometimes difficult process, and recognizing this is the first step. Additionally, it is important to remember that a change of country may also imply a change of career. Many expats find that entering a new country can provide new opportunities to pursue a different career, such as retraining in a new field. Many industries in New Zealand will seek an equivalent qualification from the UK, showing proof of your ability to work in that field. It is important to once again begin researching specific industries and how to convert your qualifications. The main National Qualifications Frameworks in New Zealand can be found at the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) and Industry Training Organisations regulate dual educational facilities and work, where training is done on the job.

3.1. Researching Industries and Job Opportunities

The good news is that new and growing industries in New Zealand are taking advantage of the growing market demand, producing many new job prospects. Certain areas have lots of attention, and consequently, job vacancies available, such as ICT (information and communication technology), engineering and metals, and energy. Statistics show a current demand in carpenters and joiners as well so, if youa��ve experience, youa��re moving to the right place! So how do you find out more about your potential industries before committing to living in New Zealand? To summarise the top two resources you need to be checking now: etc.

3.2. Updating Your Resume and Cover Letter

Go through your existing resume and trim back anything that isn’t relevant to roles you’ll be applying for in New Zealand. Make necessary europass, language and other formatting changes so your resume is compatible with systems in New Zealand, ensuring you’ve included your membership to a professional body (if relevant) and your driver’s licence. You might want to include the date and place of your birth to meet local requirements too. However, don’t mention your age, gender, race or any other personal information that could lead to bias. Tailoring your resume for each position you apply for is imperative to securing employment.

3.3. Networking and Building Professional Connections

When it comes to building professional connections in New Zealand, the best advice is to start as soon as possible. The primary way to network is through LinkedIn. Most New Zealand companies use LinkedIn, so be sure to have a strong profile and use the site regularly. Once you’ve built up some connections, message them to ask for an informational interview to learn more about their roles and the company. You can also try contacting recruitment and head hunters from the UK who operate in New Zealand, but be prepared to have several useful conversations with them before any introductions are made. These conversations should be seen as useful meetings in their own right, whether or not they result in a job. In New Zealand networking is part of life, it’s how people get ahead, so the evening meetings and the personal approach matters more than it usually does in the UK.

4. Settling into New Zealand

Once you've arrived in New Zealand, you'll need to sort out a few things to help you get settled. We talk you through the process of opening a bank account, registering for healthcare services and enrolling your children in school.

4.1. Opening a Bank Account

The requirements for opening bank accounts in New Zealand vary depending on the bank. However, below are some requirements that are likely to be asked: Banks usually require two forms of identification. This can be a combination of a passport, national identity card, driver’s licence or an alien card. Comprehensive evidence that you now live in New Zealand. This can be shown with a tenancy agreement, a utility bill or a wage slip. Banks also usually require details of your New Zealand tax number. Because of this it is usually not possible to open a bank account before you leave the UK. Good advice is to research which bank you are likely to use and check their required documentation.

4.2. Registering for Healthcare Services

The healthcare system in New Zealand is different to the UK, and their accident cover is set out under the Accident Compensation Act 2001. This means that the majority of personal injury claims are covered by this scheme, and are not dealt with through the Courts. There are benefits to this system. For example, if you’re involved in an accident and injured through abuse, you are able to make a claim for injury costs. However, there are also downsides to the compensation process, and one of these is that if the accident was caused due to continuing reckless conduct, there is a chance that you will be denied any compensation. There are many other things to make yourself aware of before settling down in New Zealand as a British Expat.

4.3. Enrolling Children in Schools

You do not need to apply for places at New Zealand state schools. It is expected that you will go to your local school and discuss enrollment in person. Some schools have zones and out of zone children may not be able to go to the school.ня If you wish to investigate private schools the Private Education Commission has a register of private schools. All schools are registered with the New Zealand Ministry of Education and the Education Review Office. As a result you will be able to find information about the quality and standards of the schools.

5. Embracing the Kiwi Lifestyle

After getting settled in your new community, you will want to experience the unique cultural aspects of New Zealand that so many already love. This can include a variety of different activities, like attempting to speak (and understand) the Kiwi slang, learning about the traditional customs, and even playing a round of rugby. There are plenty of great places in New Zealand to visit, including several National Parks where you can go mountain biking, hiking, or backpacking. And on the days you’re feeling less adventurous, you always have the option to put your feet up and enjoy a cold beer on one of the stunning west or east coast beaches. New Zealand is the perfect place to enjoy the things you love doing most!

5.1. Understanding Kiwi Slang and Customs

While we share a language, kiwis have a unique way of expressing themselves. Speedin' on the road doesn't mean you were caught doing 100 on the motorway, it means standing someone up, while a party might be called a �do�.estatus and titles are played down and the concept of mateship rules are a strong foundation in New Zealand culture. In general Kiwis are said to be a friendly, outgoing and generous people. You�ll find that they don�t boast. Kiwis will play up “reality” and usually downplay their own successes. Here it is all about the person, it’s all about the individual and the unique things they’ve done.

5.2. Exploring Outdoor Activities and Recreation

A lot of pcool outdoor activities to explore in New Zealand. Not only do they offer a great way to meet people, they’re a great way to experience the country’s natural beauty. Perhaps the most popular among these activities is hiking, known locally as ‘tramping’. New Zealand is pabundant with trails across the whole country; some of the most popular tracks are the Milford Sound and Routeburn. For anyone spearheading this activity, we recommend investing in a substantial pair of hiking books as well as a sturdy, reliable tent. Fishing and hunting could also be found in New Zealand in the future. The sea that surrounds Wellington is an incredible source of food for anyone willing to try their hand at it, but it is also dangerous. Only those well-experienced and familiar with the local waters should attempt to fish off the coast.

5.3. Trying Traditional New Zealand Cuisine

Some of the most iconic hai nzer kebabs, blended meat pies, and pork-roast on a Sunday with apple sauce and plum sauce dispersed everywhere. But why stop there? Whether it is a hangi at a traditional Maori event, a Māori sea to given you away, or an ice cream at the beach, not wanting to have a taste of these delicious daily bites would raise a lot of eyebrows.

6. Dealing with Homesickness and Cultural Adjustment

Small changes in your lifestyle and daily routine may help you deal with homesickness and cultural differences. Take the time to accept that New Zealand is a foreign country and adjust your expectations accordingly. Become aware of your reactions and attitudes, and consider how these are influenced by both your home culture and New Zealand culture. Find professional help if you cannot deal with homesickness and cultural adjustment on your own. However, most of the time all that is needed is a positive attitude and some time in order to adjust more fully to the Kiwi culture.

Regardless of how well prepared you are, you may still feel homesick during your time in New Zealand. Here is a list of tips to help you deal with the situation, outlined by the University of Auckland: 1. Commit to the experience and recognize that there will be a natural period of transition where you miss home. 2. Stay connected with friends and family from home, but do not isolate yourself from the new culture. 3. Build close relationships with others, making friends from different cultures as well as your own. 4. Journal about your experiences and feelings, using the opportunity for self-reflection and personal growth. 5. Exercise, eat healthy, and get enough sleep. These will improve your mental and physical health, and therefore your mood.

6.1. Staying Connected with Family and Friends

It is now also becoming popular for expats to write their own blogs, so they can keep their friends and family updated. You may want to consider setting up your own one. This way, you can talk about the exciting things that are happening, future plans and even add a section giving advice and information for others who are following in your footsteps to New Zealand.

It is always good to remember that you are going to start a new chapter in your life, but your family and friends will always have a chapter in your life’s story. Make sure to keep in touch with loved ones – call them, email them, and make use of the various web chatting platforms. This will help you feel less isolated when you first arrive in New Zealand. On a more personal note, you will be able to reassure your parents, family and friends who may be feeling a bit lost or emotional about your move.

6.2. Joining Expat Communities and Support Groups

Once you arrive in New Zealand, the single most effective strategy for combatting homesickness and aiding your cultural adjustment is to join local expat groups and to seek out other Brits. You should ask your employer, friends or local British expat communities if you have any, for advice. The British High Commission should also be able to help you if you're unable to find any advice. Online resources like forums and social media sites can also be an invaluable source of advice. Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter allow you unprecedented access to other Brits living in the country, and in most cases, they are only too happy to help and provide valuable information. The expat groups on Facebook are known to be particularly responsive.

6.3. Seeking Professional Help if Needed

If you’re really struggling to settle into New Zealand life, it might be a good idea to speak with a professional who can offer advice. This could be your GP, who may be able to refer you to a counsellor who understands the issues faced by expats, or just to talk about how you’ve been feeling, without the stigma often attached to seeking mental health support. If you’d prefer not to speak with someone face-to-face, there are a range of telephone and online counselling services available which can offer support at whatever level you need. You may want to contact your embassy in New Zealand for advice about services for expats, or for advice dealing with specific issues.

7. Exploring New Zealand's Natural Wonders

North Island has several must-see sights including loading geysers, glow-worm caves, and the geothermal park. Waitomo glow worm caves attract many tourists each year and are a once-in-a-lifetime experience. South Island has more than seven different eco-regions which are locations that have the same type of ecosystem. The regions range from the dry grasslands of Canterbury to the Aoraki-Mount Cook alpine region with its flowing glaciers. Fiordland National Park is home to one of the most special forests on the globe and you may see dolphins, seals, and penguins down at the beach. Ayers Rock, now known by its aboriginal name Uluru, is a very large inselberg which is a word which refers to a prominent and free-standing landform that has steep sides and a flat top. It is found in the southern part of the Northern Territory. There several caves include inside and beneath the sides of Mount Augustus. The north and western faces of the Mount are made by a cliff and the caves include rock walls that mistake ancient Aboriginal art and carvings.

7.1. Visiting the North Island's Attractions

You won't be short of attractions to visit when you are on the North Island. For a start, you can always visit Auckland if you are somebody who enjoys city life. It may not have the beauty of Wellington or the facilities which are seen in Christchurch or Dunedin - but it really is the place to be if you want to see New Zealand nightlife at its best. The Sky Tower has an amazing observation deck, but if you're afraid of heights, you need not worry about not getting good views of the city: Mount Eden is just one of the 48 volcanic cones to found on the North Island and it has some stunning views too. When you've had enough of the city, its always worth taking the drive from Auckland to the Waitomo Caves. These caves are incredible - until you have seen what the inside has to offer, you really will not have seen the spectacular side of the North Island. You can take a number of tours underground here. Also, while out this way, you may want to see the 3m high "Kiwi House" wind tunnel at Otorohanga.

7.2. Discovering the South Island's Beauty

Queenstown is regarded as the ‘Adrenaline Capital’ of the country and will be ideal for those seeking their next adventure fix. Throughout the winder’s seasons, these activities range from skiing to hydrospeeding and the summer’s from bungee jumping to skydiving and jet boating. The North Island will be the go to place for experiencing their thermal geysers, consisting of Rotorua and Taupo. These acuities will be rich in natural beauty and with much to learn about New Zealand’s Maori culture. Always bear in mind that New Zealand’s seasons will be opposite to those of the UK’s, so exposing yourselves to the south’s glaciers during the country’s summer time, otherwise you may lose out on a hidden gem.

7.3. Exploring National Parks and Conservation Areas

New Zealand is home to an extensive network of national parks and conservation areas, which have been established to protect natural areas that are of significance to the cultural heritage and the interdependence of life. The opportunity for outdoor activities and adventure tourism in New Zealand is better appreciated where the principles of care and respect for the environment are properly understood and practised. Guided tours in some areas are conducted by knowledgeable people whose primary aim is to educate and inform visitors about the wonders of nature.

8. Understanding New Zealand's Healthcare System

New Zealand’s healthcare system is a mixture of public healthcare and private healthcare systems. Most expats get medical cover through Southern Cross Healthcare, which is New Zealand's largest private health insurance provider. Local medical practices that register patients for healthcare clinics are the main source of medical care. We also have a large number of public hospitals throughout New Zealand, which offer free medical care to residents and citizens, as long as they have the necessary visas. The public healthcare system is managed by the Ministry of Health, which is also responsible for the overall health of New Zealand's citizens and residents. In the last few years, the public healthcare system has seen some reductions in services and patient levels, so it's becoming more difficult to get medical care. It's especially seen in regards to accessing hospital treatments since waiting lists are longer than they used to be. Therefore, it's very important to register with a local medical clinic so you can get treatment as soon as you need it.

8.1. Accessing Medical Services and Specialists

Public hospitals and medical centers are the main health organizations at which British expats can access medical services and specialists in New Zealand. Private clinics specializing in emergency clinics, x-ray and ultrasound services also exist.本Most cities in New Zealand also have a centrally-managed accident and medical society. It is important to know where the nearest accident and emergency department is located. Public dental services are also available to British expats in New Zealand. Non-residents, that is British and foreign expatriates, may have to pay for medical attention, but the costs involved are low compared to the standard fees charged by medical professionals in the UK and other parts of the world.

8.2. Understanding Health Insurance Options

When you come to New Zealand from the United Kingdom you will notice a few differences. Many New Zealanders do not understand the way the British health system works and it can be equally complicated for you to understand how the New Zealand health system works when you first get here. In the United Kingdom you may not have required health insurance, but in New Zealand having health insurance means you can access a wider variety of healthcare - including private medicine when you need it most. There are such a variety of plans and companies to choose from, that choosing can be like crossing a minefield. But having health insurance is of course an essential part of settling your family in any new country, so it is important to get it sorted as soon as you can. At the end of the day, it is an assessment of which company will provide the best care for you.

8.3. Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle in New Zealand

While most of the population speaks English and the general quality of healthcare is high, understanding the concept of "going to the doctor" in New Zealand can present significant differences to what expats are used to in Britain. All residents have access to public healthcare through the funding of general tax contributions and the citizenship is relatively easy to obtain, but it does require that you intend to live in New Zealand for at least two years, and aim to stay in the country for the majority of the time. You should also be able to demonstrate a commitment to New Zealand and show that you also meet certain requirements during your time in the country. These include being tax resident, having at least 91 days spent in the country in each year during a minimum of two years out of five, and meeting the requirements of a place available for him to live in there. If you are moving to New Zealand but do not intend to meet all the secondary requirements of residency which are the same for any one applicant, it will be difficult for you to access the aspect of public healthcare as a citizen will and you may require private health insurance.

9. Getting to Know the Education System

The Ministry of Education is responsible for all public education in New Zealand. As in the UK, school is compulsory for children between the ages of 6 and 16, and it will be your responsibility to make sure your children attend school. Similarly to the UK, education is divided into three levels: primary, secondary, and tertiary, the last of which is more commonly known in the UK as further and higher education. In addition, all teachers in primary and secondary education must be registered with the New Zealand Teachers' Council in order to teach and work effectively with department.

9.1. Researching Different Education Levels and Options

If you have children, you will want to be familiar with the New Zealand education system. It is not compulsory for children to attend kindergarten, although most children do, not least because it is seen as preparation for schooling. From ages 6-12, children attend primary schools; in larger towns and cities, full primary schools take from year 1 to 8, and intermediate schools take years 7 and 8. From ages 13-18, children attend secondary school.册

9.2. Enrolling in Higher Education Institutions

New Zealand has eight government-funded universities, one private university, 16 government-funded polytechnics and a large number of private training establishments. Higher education institutions are allowed to offer degrees, though some are specialized and provide only vocational degrees. Currently, the cheapest option is the University of Canterbury with fees being around $3000 less than other universities. Fees differ from course to course and students are generally required to show evidence of flexible funds towards the payment of fees for a student visa requirement. Some institutions offer scholarships to international students and more details of these scholarships are listed on the Education New Zealand website.

9.3. Understanding Education Costs and Scholarships

Having compulsory public and private schools in New Zealand means you may have to spend a substantial amount on their education if you plan to move with your children. Educational costs are generally different for both public and private schools. If you are to place your kids in public schools, then the educational expenditures amounting to an annual fee of $11,000 to $15,000 per year will have to be incurred by you. However, the costs of private schools can be a lot higher than those for public schools, and you can find yourself spending a fortune even as high as $25,000 to $35,000 per year.

10. Driving and Transportation in New Zealand

Driving in New Zealand is a little different than it is in the UK, and it's important to understand that before you get behind the wheel. In New Zealand, driving is on the left-hand side of the road. The New Zealand Road Code and road safety guidelines provide a comprehensive understanding of the rules and regulations of driving and travelling in New Zealand. You can download these documents from the New Zealand Transport Agency's website. There are three classes of driver license, which are: Learner license: This is the first step for learner drivers and authorizes you to drive vehicles up to 4.5 tonnes gross laden weight (GLW). It is given for 18 months and is extendable for another 18 months. Full License: is the second phase for those drivers who have successfully completed their road test after 18th month of holding their restricted license. An international driving permit is valid for one year in New Zealand. Also remember that anyone driving in New Zealand must have a valid driver licence, and is legally required to carry their licence at all times while driving.

10.1. Obtaining a New Zealand Driver's License

The conditions regarding obtaining a New Zealand driver’s license vary vastly depending on the country the current driving license has been issued. The residents of a country covered by the International Road Traffic Convention 1949 can easily convert their existing license to a New Zealand license. These countries include Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, South Africa, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and a number of certain US states. This doesn’t imply that an overseas license can just be traded for a New Zealand license. For starters, the drivers need to be at least 17 years of age and have driven a car before obtaining their license. After the validation of the foreign license, the applicants are slated for a theory test in order to display suitable driving and road rule knowledge in New Zealand.

10.2. Understanding Road Rules and Safety Measures

One thing to be aware of is the fact that the road rules in New Zealand are different from those in the UK, so you will need to familiarize yourself with the nuances before getting behind the wheel. For example, drivers drive on the left-hand side of the road in New Zealand, and also give priority to vehicles on the right when coming to intersections, etc. There are also other differences such as, in New Zealand, pedestrians have right of way over vehicles at all intersections and pedestrian crossings, and you must stop for them. This can take a bit of getting used to, so some caution might be advised to begin with until you are more confident with the road rules and have acquainted yourself with New Zealand's highways, roads and their own unique set of circumstances.

10.3. Exploring Public Transportation Options

The city’s most popular bus routes include the 18 and 18e. These routes go from Johnsonville in the north all the way to Island Bay or Seatoun in the South and East respectively. The number 7 and its express version, the number 7x, also takes a similar route from Newlands all the way to the airport. Several buses also travel to the Hutt Valley. The 83 takes passengers to Petone, the 110 to Wainuiomata, and the 160 to Paremata.