Moving to New Zealand

A Complete Guide on Moving to New Zealand

bg2When contemplating an international move to New Zealand you need to be well prepared.  The reason that we say this is because you are relocating nearly 11,500 miles away and so preparation is key to a successful international removal to New Zealand.  Fox Moving and Storage have been assisting our clients with their relocation to New Zealand for over forty years and over this long period of time we have built up vast knowledge about relocating to New Zealand, solving your self storage issues and allowing you to settle into life in New Zealand as smoothly as possible.

As a result we decided to compile a guide about relocating to New Zealand, offering you helpful advice and ways in which you can save money whilst living here.  Many of the British expats that we have relocated over there have found our advice invaluable, you will be living with around 255,000 other British expats so you will find yourself in good company.  So read our report and get yourself fully prepared for the exciting times ahead when you and your family relocate to New Zealand.

Differences and Similarities

New Zealand is an English speaking country so the biggest hurdle of moving to another country is not going to be a problem for you like it is for so many other people who relocate to a country that predominantly speak a foreign language.  However whilst they speak the same language as us there are also many other things that are different in New Zealand to how they are back home.  For example the health system in New Zealand is different to back home as there is primarily no NHS to rely on.  Out here you are going to have to pay for all of your prescriptions, any visits that you or your family make to the doctor and if you ever need to call an ambulance.  The school system is also different over in New Zealand as they study a different curriculum, so if you have school age children it is best to research this before you leave so you are all aware of the changes ahead.  Another big difference in regards to the schooling system in New Zealand is that their school year starts in January not in September.

However it is worth noting that 15 year olds in New Zealand score higher than those in the UK in science, reading and maths, according to the United Nation’s Human Development Report of 2013.  Also a lot of the top primary and secondary school in New Zealand are free to attend, whilst in the UK the top schools are predominantly private and fee paying.

If your child is of university age then you will be pleased to learn that all eight of the universities in New Zealand scored within the top 500 QS World University Rankings of 2013 and 2014, half of them were in the top 250.

Overall New Zealand is a great place for a child to attend school as the schools are safe and they all have great access to the outdoors.

The climate in New Zealand will also be different to what you experience back home.  New Zealand is a very long and thin country and the North experiences a subtropical climate that is wet during the colder months of the year whilst the South experiences temperatures that are a lot colder due to it being closer to the Arctic.  Consider these factors when deciding where in New Zealand you want to relocate.  On a more positive note New Zealand experiences warm and dry summers and even though they do experience grey days it is still sunnier than back home in the UK.  Southern England, the sunniest place in the UK, experiences around 1,750 hours of sunshine a year but the three main cities of New Zealand experience over 2,000 hours, whilst Nelson has over 2,400 hours a year.

The working environment in New Zealand is also different to the UK; out there they are a lot more laid back about work than we are.  The working structure is a lot less hierarchical and the pressure to perform is greatly reduced.  This equates to a much more relaxed way of life for those British expats who take the plunge and relocate to New Zealand.  

Cost of Living in New Zealand

What a lot of British expats notice when they first move to New Zealand is the cost of living.  New Zealand is an island nation and so if things cannot be sourced within the country they have to be imported and items that are imported are a lot more expensive.  New Zealanders also have a mentality to recycle and reuse.

People who have lived in New Zealand for a length of time have become street smart in terms of prices and what you should really be paying for things.  Often knowledge comes with time but here we will give you invaluable advice about buying items in New Zealand, which could save you thousands because it has been gathered from British expats who have relocated here in the past.

Shop Around:  The key to getting the best deal on things in New Zealand is to do your research and shop around before you commit to buy.  For example in New Zealand your car has to have a statutory safety check every six months, known as a Warrant of Fitness (WoF).  Do not go to the main dealership as they charge an extortionate amount; instead go to the VTNZ in Wellington.  They are a company that carries out the government mandated WoF and is the largest company of its kind in New Zealand and they will be much cheaper.  Some British expats have stated that they have saved around 2,000 dollars using the VTNZ instead of a car dealership, bear this in mind when you move to New Zealand because the WoF has to be carried out every six months.

Wait for the sales:  In New Zealand there tends to be sales quite often, not seasonally like we have in the UK.  When you go to places such as the warehouses and department stores you will see prices for goods that will make your eyes water.  Very few people in New Zealand buy these goods when they are full price, instead they wait until the sale comes around, usually within a matter of weeks, where the same goods are available at half of the price.  Goods such as coffee machines, linens and even toys are all available at 50% off.

Also whilst one store may have goods at full price you can guarantee that other similar stores will have their sale on at the same time so shop around to get the best deal.

Haggling:  In New Zealand it is OK to haggle, even if you are in a posh store.  On items that have a price tag of 100 dollars or more it is customary in New Zealand to simply ask “Is this your best price?” most New Zealanders do this so don’t feel embarrassed to do so.  Paying full price for all sorts of things from furniture to appliances to even mortgages is not common practice out here.

The Utilities:  Ensure that you are getting the best possible deal in terms of power in New Zealand by simply logging onto www.powerswitch.co.nz and you will be able to see which companies offer the best deals.

The Hairdressers:  Even going to the hairdressers should not cost you full price in New Zealand.  Instead people either get special offers from the website http://www.grabone.co.nz/auckland/view-all or they join the email list of the hairdressers for all of their special offers.  Grab One is not only for offers for hairdressers but all manner of things from food to days out with the family.

Working in New Zealand

The economy in New Zealand faired well during the recession and although they are not experiencing any boom Pinoy rebuilders of New Zealand Christchurch stricken by  2011 earthquake are exploited; working No PAY-757073times at present it is still a great place to relocate to for work.  Industries such as IT, engineering and healthcare are popular with British expats and most professional and technical qualifications are recognised here.  If you work in construction then your skills are needed, especially in Christchurch, which is still trying to rebuild itself after the awful earthquake of 2011.  There is a skilled shortage list that you can check before you leave, http://skillshortages.immigration.govt.nz/?utm_source=newzealandnow.govt.nz

You will need to obtain a work visa to work in New Zealand.  If you are between the ages of 18-30 you can apply for the working holiday visa, which lasts for 23 months.  This visa is nearly twice as long as what other countries offer and so is a great way for you to experience working in the country whilst you are still of a young age.  Otherwise you can apply for a temporary work visa that allows you to work and live in New Zealand for a certain amount of time.  There are also skilled migrant visas available that allow you to live and work here for an indefinite period, as long as you qualify.

Moving to New Zealand could be a great new start for you and your family.  Simply for the reasons stated above you could enjoy a much better quality of life than you do at present and we have only skimmed the surface.  Most British expats who relocate here never look back and wish that they had made the move much earlier.  Fox Moving and Storage can help you begin the process of moving to New Zealand, as previously mentioned preparation is key so enlist our help to make the move much easier for you.

With over forty years of knowledge and insight to fall back on you be rest assured that your move is in the safest of hands.  Any aspect of the move can be easily planned and carried out, from removals, shipping through to storage.  Call on the experts in regards to removals to New Zealand, call on Fox Moving and Storage.

For even more information on moving to New Zealand take look at the blog – https://movetonewzealand.net/shipping-to-new-zealand/ -written by a British couple who have made the move to New Zealand themselves.