Unless you are a big fan of the Lord of the Rings films, you may not know much about Australia's cousin to the east. With its breathtaking views, temperate climate and biodiversity, New Zealand is an ideal place to take not only a vacation but reside. For many who are looking for a more permanent change, New Zealand is a great place to consider living, with its booming economy and affordable cities. Here we can show you not only the benefits of moving to New Zealand but how to move to New Zealand.

An Introduction To New Zealand

New Zealand is an island nation located in the southwestern Pacific Ocean.  It is comprised of two main islands, the North and South Islands and approximately 600 other small islands. Located 900 miles east of Australia, this country boasts a relaxed vibe that blends both European (primarily British) and Maori cultures. Most New Zealanders, or "Kiwis," as they are colloquially known, live in urban areas, with Auckland being the country's largest city, with a population of around 1.5 million residents. Wellington is the second largest city with a population of just under half-a-million residents.

Also, being the capital, Wellington is a great place to find out how to move to New Zealand. Both cities scored high on the Mercer Quality of Living Survey, with Auckland at #3 and Wellington at $15.  

With a total population of under 5 million, New Zealand has plenty of room and plenty of things to enjoy like its picturesque landscapes including rolling green mountains, sandy beaches, and even fjords. It also has a bustling nightlife in its urban centers, great cuisine, vibrant art and music, sporting events and adventures for the outdoorsy type.  In a nutshell, there is something for everyone in New Zealand!

Why Move To New Zealand?

couple hiking in new zealand

Before we tell you how to move to New Zealand, let's get into all the great things that this small, but the mighty nation has to offer:

New Zealand Has Wonderful Weather

Most of New Zealand experiences warm, dry summers and mild, wet winters where temperatures remain above freezing. A few areas of the country receive snow, but that occurs in more mountainous areas. Just remember that, like Australia, it is "Down Under," and the seasons are reversed so that you will have summer in January and winter in July!

New Zealand Is For Relaxation

Most New Zealanders have a casual, relaxed demeanor that shows because New Zealand's life expectancy is higher than that of some other Western Countries. This is mainly because of the emphasis on work/life balance, have short commutes and the fact you are always 30 minutes or fewer from beaches and parks!. Activities are almost endless. One can go hiking in the mountains, sit down for a delicious meal, then take in some city nightlife all in the same day! For the more mellow at heart, its beautiful scenery is enough just to sit back, relax and enjoy.

New Zealand Has Many Housing Options

Whether it is flat in the city, a beach-side cottage or a rural plot of land, New Zealand has got you covered. As you learn how to move to New Zealand, you will get information on how to secure the dwelling of your dreams!

New Zealand Has Low-To-No-Cost Healthcare

Healthcare in New Zealand is free or low-cost if you are a citizen, resident or hold a work visa (valid for two or more years). Temporary visa holders may qualify for limited care. Private insurance is available for purchase for those who do not qualify for any public health programs. The Accident Compensation Corporation that will cover all medical and recovery expenses if you are ever in an accident even if you are at fault.  Doctors are easy to access, and emergency and accident treatment is free.

New Zealand Has Excellent Schools

With a strong public school system, you or your children can get an exemplary, well-rounded education at the primary, secondary and collegiate levels.  

New Zealand Is Affordable

Auckland, New Zealand's largest city, ranks as the 64th most expensive city, compared to New York City, which is the 9th most expensive. Your U.S. dollar goes further in New Zealand, due to the exchange rate. Overall, because some things in New Zealand are cheaper and some are more expensive, the cost of living is similar.  

New Zealand Is Looking For Skilled Workers

Since New Zealand recognizes most of the United States' professional and technical qualifications, many United States citizens are finding jobs in many fields, especially in construction, engineering, healthcare and information, and computer technology. Its strong economy also ensures more job security. There are several work visa options.  We will explain more about these visa programs as we show you how to move to New Zealand.

New Zealand Is Great For Families

With all the things New Zealand offers, it is a fantastic place to raise a family, and many expats would agree! Nearly 70% say that living in New Zealand has made their children more confident and well-rounded.  

How To Move To New Zealand

landscapes of new zealand

There are many reasons to move to New Zealand, and we will show you how to move to New Zealand. We have broken it down to into several simple steps:


Make Sure New Zealand Is Right for You

Take into consideration that unless you have a permanent resident visa, it could limit your time in New Zealand. Moving halfway around the world takes a lot of work. Make sure that your family (if you have one) is on board, as no one wants to face difficulties later on. You should also decide where you want to live and explore the restaurants, schools, shopping and other amenities in the area and make sure that it fits with your lifestyle.

It is suggested you secure a visitor visa and take a trip. Then you can find out whether New Zealand is right for you and your family.  


Secure A Visa

There are temporary work visas including a working vacation visa (for adults 30-and-under who are working for 12 months or fewer). Adults over 30 can also secure a temporary work visa valid for a set amount of time.  If you are looking for something more long-term and you meet the qualifications, you can apply for a skilled migrant visa that lets you work and live in New Zealand immediately.

If your mind is set and you want to become a permanent resident and enjoy many of the rights as a New Zealand citizen, including public services and the ability to vote in both local and national election. People can get a residence visa through work, business or family.  

Last, if you are bringing business to New Zealand, you can apply for an investor visa.

For more information on what type of visa is best for you, and how to apply to visit the New Zealand Visa Bureau.


Things To Do Before You Move

Aside from the fact that you need to pack up or sell off your possessions and say goodbye to friends and family, here are some things that are required of you before you move to New Zealand:

  • Have all important documents like birth certificates and driver's licenses in a secure and easy to retrieve
  • Unless you have one already, secure a job
  • Find a place to live even if it is only temporary
  • Open up a bank account at a New Zealand bank
  • Research the cost of living in New Zealand so you can budget accordingly
  • Find out what you can or cannot bring with you

NZ Ready is a great tool designed to help migrants with the move.  


Things To Do When You Arrive In New Zealand

  • Find and enroll your children in school
  • Apply for an IRD number  
  • Continue looking for a job if you have not secured one already
  • Apply for a driver's license 
  • Find a doctor
  • Make sure you have transportation
  • Set up the phone and internet service
  • Find temporary accommodation if you have not done so yet


After You Have Settled In New Zealand

  • Enjoy
  • Explore
  • Relax


passport, book and a map underneath

We have shown you how to move to New Zealand. Its strong and growing economy, affordable living, low healthcare costs, great schools, and many activities and the need for skilled workers makes it a wonderful spot to live. Now it is up to you to decide if this would be a good fit for you and your family.  

If you have decided you want to move to New Zealand, then allow us congratulate you! We are sure you are going enjoy your newfound laid-back lifestyle and endless adventures while soaking in the culture. Take the time to discover this beautiful country before you make any long-term commitments like deciding on what area you want to settle.

And if you are not ready to take that leap just yet, New Zealand is a wonderful spot to create many vacation memories.  

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