Photo by Gustavo Acero

So, you’ve spent months researching and preparing your move to New Zealand and the day has finally come. You’ve decided to live in New Zealand. Here you are, with your luggage by your side, sitting in an airport in this small country in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Where do you go from here?

Your first move is getting from the airport to the city centre. There are several options you can pursue: buses and shuttles, which are the cheaper alternative, or taxis and rental cars, which, although a bit pricier, can get you to your destination a lot faster. Click here for Auckland airport – city centre transportation.

Presumably, you have already secured a room at a local hotel or B&B, but if you haven’t, don’t panic. There are numerous places where you could spend several nights, and you’re bound to find a vacant room in one of them. Your options include hostels, boutiques or lodges, holiday homes, motels, serviced apartments, Farmstays, and Homestays. Visit this website for more options.

Checking in for the first night is crucial, as it will give you the chance to catch your breath, enjoy a relaxing night’s sleep, and plan your next move.

Important Information to Have On Hand

In case of an emergency, dial 111, which will connect you to the ambulance, fire service, and the police. In case of a medical emergency, you can rely on New Zealand’s well structured and proficient health care system, but keep in mind that foreigners are usually required to pay for medical care.

If you’re injured during your stay in New Zealand, you can contact the Accident Compensation Corporation, which may help you pay for the cost of your treatment. However, keep in mind that once you contact the ACC, you are no longer permitted to sue for the injuries you have suffered. Click here to find out more about the ACC.

If you’re looking for a place with Internet access, search for internet cafes, as these are quite common, especially in the larger cities. For phone calls, you can use the public phones, which usually work with a value card of at least NZ$5. These can be bought in a variety of shops. Some public phones will accept a credit card, but very few accept coins.


Fast Facts

  • Any goods or services you purchase in New Zealand include a 15% GST (Goods and Services Tax).
  • New Zealand’s country code is 64.
  • Calls made to numbers that begin with 0800 and 0508 are free of charge. Calls made to 111 are also free.
  • Working hours for the New Zealand Post: Monday to Friday, from 9 am to 5 pm.
  • Stamps can be purchased at a supermarket or a dairy.
  • Incoming mail is delivered directly to your home address.

Quick Tips to Getting you Started

  • Ideally, you should have already sorted out your visa and work permit prior to your arrival. In case you haven’t, make sure you contact New Zealand’s Immigration office as soon as possible.
  • If you haven’t already secured employment, it is best you start looking for a job. All people planning on working in New Zealand need an IRD (Inland Revenue Department) number, so make sure you look into this as well. A great place to start looking for jobs is Seek or TradeMe.
  • Look for permanent lodging options that suit both your budget and your needs. TradeMe can also help you with this. Make sure you have all your papers in order, including an income proof, and visit a local rental agency. In general, you will be required to pay a bond, or the equivalent of 3 week’s rent, and a down payment for the first month.
  • If you have children, it is also the right time to start looking for a school to enrol them in. Find out more about the education system in New Zealand here.
  • A good idea would be to invest in a used car that will make running your errands a lot easier. Used cars can be found through newspapers, websites, or at local car yards. Pay attention: New Zealanders drive on the left side of the road. For more info on road rules click here. For information on how to obtain your driver’s license see here.
  • Go to a local bank an open an account. For this, you will be required to provide them with a permanent address, as no bank accepts hotel addresses.

These are the most important things you will have to take care of after landing in New Zealand. In addition, you might also consider joining a local expat community, which will help ease your transition.

Relocating to New Zealand, provided that you can secure employment, is a relatively easy endeavour. The locals are known for their hospitality towards foreigners, and you’ll fit in right away. Auckland, the nation’s most cosmopolitan city, is filled with people of all ethnic backgrounds and from all corners of the world.



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