New Zealand is located southeast of Australia and consists of two major islands (North Island and South Island) and a number of smaller islands. It is about the size of Japan with a population just over 4 million. It is a land of natural beauty and is also often known as Aotearoa. More than a third of New Zealand’s population live in Auckland.
Moving to a new country can be an adventure, and just like any adventure carries some risk. It is better to be prepared for the challenges ahead, just like you would prepare for an adventure. The kind of challenges you might face depend on the country you’re moving to.
If the planned move is to an English speaking country like New Zealand, you do not speak English it is best that you learn at least some basics of the language before you depart. If you plan to work in New Zealand then you will need to speak to an advanced level. If English is your native language you only need to prepare for the lifestyle changes and local variations of the language and culture. New Zealand lies on the Southern Hemisphere and so the hottest months are December-February and the coldest ones are June-August. New Zealand is a beautiful country, and has the unique distinction of being the only place on earth where you can enjoy snow-capped mountains in the mornings and a sunny day at the beach in the afternoon. The long and narrow dimensions of New Zealand make it possible for visitors to experience Alpine weather and summer heat on the same day.
The native Maori culture is famed for its reverent attitude to the flora and fauna, and even today, New Zealanders are fond of their country’s natural beauty and unique gifts. Auckland, the largest city is called the ‘City of Sails’ and is the only city to have harbours on both the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea and also has the highest numbers of boats in the world, per capita. You will never be far from the water in New Zealand. The lifestyle is laidback and casual, most of the time.
Auckland is the cultural and cosmopolitan centre of the country and has been voted as the second safest city in the Asia-Pacific region. It is also ranked highly in the Quality of Life index among the world cities, quite consistently.
New Zealand enjoys a temperate or maritime climate (it is after all an island of small land mass). With the seasons being the opposite of the Northern Hemisphere, the warmest months are December through to March (20-30 degrees Celsius) and the coldest are June to August (10-15 degrees Celsius).
Major cities: Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.
Official Languages: English, Maori, Sign Language
Government: Parliamentary system, Constitutional monarchy, Unitary state
Monetary unit: 1 New Zealand dollar ($NZ)
Main exports: Wool, food and dairy products, wood and paper products
International dialling code: +64
Cost of Living in New Zealand
Mercer’s 2012 Cost of Living Survey ranks cities worldwide – 1st place being the most expensive place to live. The survey lists Auckland (56) and Wellington (74)
See here for more information
Compare the cost of living between two countries here