expat network

Top Tips When Moving To New Zealand

moving to New Zealand

Moving to to New Zealand?

Read our tops tips from Crown Relocations to help you plan an easy move!

Written exclusively for Expat Network by Crown Relocations


Start with the visa!

We recommend that you start the visa process as soon as possible. In some cases it can take a year or more to gain approval. Research the visa types available to you as there is more than one option to choose between such as:


New Zealand residence visas

This visa allows you to live in New Zealand indefinitely but they can be challenging to apply for. They are given on a points based system where you’ll be need to be categorised as a ‘skilled migrant’, based on several factor including but not limited to, work experience, qualifications and whether you have a job offer of skilled employment.


New Zealand work visas

If you need to start work in New Zealand sooner, then there are several different categories of Work Visa available. You may be able to include all family members on your application, as visas are available for accompanying partners and children.


Retiring and investing in New Zealand

There are also visas options if you’re planning on retiring to or investing in New Zealand. Depending on the length and type of your visa, you may be entitled access to publicly funded healthcare and education for children.


Professional support with visa application

We recommend you seek professional advice to ensure you apply for the visa which best meets your needs. It’s important to be aware that there are very strict requirements when it comes to providing immigration advice for New Zealand. Advisers have to be fully licensed in order to provide any advice, which is a great way to protect your interests. Crown do have fully licensed advisers available to support you, so speak with a Mobility Adviser if you’d like further information.


New Zealand: Money and Taxes

It’s a good idea to open a New Zealand bank account before you go and you can do this up to a year in advance. The main banks are ANZ, Bank of New Zealand, ASB, Kiwibank & Westpac. If you’re earning an income in New Zealand, you will need to apply for an IRD number. As a resident, you’ll pay tax in New Zealand on your ‘source based income’ e.g. on your employment  and your worldwide income such as rental income, foreign pensions or interest from an offshore bank account. The UK does have a double tax agreement with New Zealand so investigate this to make sure you’re not paying tax twice.


 New Zealand Education and Schools

School attendance is compulsory from ages 6-16 and the school year runs from late January to mid-December with four terms a year. Your children need to hold a valid student visa to get access to free public schools. Another option is to explore private or state integrated schools. There are no traditional ‘international schools’ in New Zealand. There are a very small selection of schools which offer IB or Cambridge qualifications.


Shipping your items to New Zealand

You cannot ship your items on a tourist visa. If a shipment doesn’t have a visa with it, there’s a possibility the whole consignment could get pulled at customs and returned.

Many clients opt for groupage shipping (where your belongings are in a shared consignment) as this works out more cost effective. In these circumstances we’ll ship the container to Auckland or Wellington, unload your goods and send them by truck to the final destination.

Your allocated Move Manager will discuss with you what you need to consider for customs based on the items being shipped. Alternatively, you can visit customs.govt.nz for customs and mpi.govt.nz for agricultural entry requirements.


Understanding the New Zealand health system

The New Zealand public health care system operates at a high level. Funded through general taxation, New Zealand residents are eligible for free hospital-based care, emergency treatment and standard medical tests. A selection of children’s immunisations, prescription medications, visits to the doctor and ambulance services are also subsidised. Visits to the doctor for children under 6 are usually free.


In order to access these public healthcare services, expats must have a work visa for a minimum of 24 months or hold a residence visa. For your peace of mind it’s also a good idea to take out private health insurance.


Crown Relocations provides transportation, destination and immigration services, as well as family support, to assist people relocating internationally or domestically.

With experts working in 54 countries, Crown is an enthusiastic champion of the benefits of relocation. We provide support, guidance, care and the personal attention needed to ensure success.

Crown Relocations – Go knowing – www.crownrelo.com