Expat guide to New Zealand, relocating and living in the country

New Zealand

New Zealand

New Zealand is one of the prominent migration destinations in the world. And it’s no wonder; the natural landscape, beautiful geographical features, coupled with comfortable living conditions, sound healthcare facilities and schools. If you’re migrating over to New Zealand, here are some relevant info.

New Zealand Auckland

Expat Clubs

American Club Inc – Auckland

The American Club was established in Auckland in 1966. Since then it has continuously provided a social venue for persons sharing an interest in America. The club holds regular monthly meetings, including activities and events that mark Memorial Day, Independence Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, as well as local activities and sporting occasions. Through its 'Friendship Award' program it seeks to support friendship and understanding between the peoples of the United States and New Zealand.

Address: P.O. Box 589, Shortland St., Auckland 1140

Tel: 021 213 0731

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.americanclub.org.nz


American Womens Club Auckland

Our purpose is to make your life a little easier and perhaps happier while you live here. Members in the club can offer you a wealth of information. Many of our members have been here for years; some are war brides who married American GI's, others have married Kiwis and decided to move here.

Address: Richmond Yacht Club

Westhaven Dr, Auckland, 1010

Website: www.awcauckland.com


Ionian Club of Auckland - Making newcomers welcome

If you are new to Auckland, meet women who are, or have been, in the same situation by joining the Ionian Club, devoted to friendship and support. Members are from both New Zealand and overseas. There are regular outings and activities such as movies, restaurants, galleries, walks, book groups, card games, craft activities and much more.

Email: [email protected]

Website: https://ionians.net/newcastle

Kiwi Expat Association

KEA is a non-profit association, networking between expat New Zealanders in the Netherlands, and helping them build relationships and contacts in the Netherlands and back in New Zealand. Membership is currently FREE. KEA is also open to Dutch persons with a proven commercial, business or cultural interest in New Zealand.

Tel: +64 9 373 4057

Website: www.keanewzealand.com

International Schools 

Kristin School

Kristin is an independent, co-educational school of approximately 1550 students from Kindergarten through to Year 13, located in Albany on Auckland's North Shore.

The Junior, Middle and Senior Schools are all situated on the same campus, on 50 acres of park-like grounds with state-of-the-art and award winning facilities. Each school follows the philosophy of Kristin while creating their own distinctive character relative to the age group of the students. Kristin is non-denominational and welcomes students from all cultures and backgrounds.

Curriculum: International Baccalaureate

Address: 360 Albany Highway


Auckland 0632

Tel: +64 9 415 9566

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.kristin.school.nz


Auckland International College

Auckland International College is a NZ independent day and boarding school which offers a specialized 3-year senior secondary school education.

Curriculum: International Baccalaureate

Address: 37 Heaphy Street, Blockhouse Bay, Auckland 0600, New Zealand

Tel: +64 9 309 4480

Fax: +64 9 627 9103

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.aic.ac.nz

Local News in English


Clickable map of NZ with links to newspapers throughout the country

Website: www.stuff.co.nz/newspapers.html?source=nav


NZ Herald

Latest breaking news articles, photos, video, blogs, reviews, analysis.

Website: www.nzherald.co.nz

Country Information 

Location: Pacific

Capital City: Wellington

Other Important Cities: Auckland, Christchurch, Queenstown, Rotorua

Currency: New Zealand Dollar

Language: English, Maori

Calling Code: 64

Internet TLD: .nz

Electricity: New Zealand runs on 230V 50Hz.

Emergency Numbers: 111


Country Information


Embassy Information

Are you looking for your local embassy in New Zealand? We found this handy guide to all the embassies in he country...


Residents Visa and Work Permit information

Nationals from the North, Central and most of South America, including the EU may enter and stay in the country for up to 3 months visa free. UK citizens may stay for up to 6 months. Australians, under a mutual agreement, has the right of abode. New Zealand Immigration department site has a list of countries and their respective visa exemptions and regulations: glossary.immigration.govt.nz/visafreecountries.htm

Other nationals will have to secure a visa from a New Zealand embassy or consulate. There are four options available for expats: Visit, Study, Work and Live, describing the purpose and duration of stay in the country.

The general documents required are valid passport, proof of funds and accommodation. Expats will have to go through their immigration portal online to check for their validity: visaoptions.immigration.govt.nz/Home/Landing.aspx

The most common visa applied for by expats is a working visa under Skilled Migrant Category. General eligibility is as follows:

  • Under 55 years of age
  • Passed health and criminal record check
  • Fluency in English

Eligibility is by point system where applicants are assigned points based on their age, experience, qualifications and employability. An Expression of interest is first sent; this document describes in brief the applicant and their skills and experience.


Finding a place to live in New Zealand is a fairly easy process. Expats however should be weary that property descriptions can be ‘inflated’ by the landlord or the agent, so viewing the unit itself before making a decision is essential. Rental agencies are normally tapped to make accommodation arrangements especially if the expat is in the process of moving. However the service can get expensive.

A different approach will be to look through classified ads and newspaper listings; but these are quick to get taken so once a rental is found, it’s important to contact the agent immediately.

Tenancy contracts vary in duration, but normally it is up to 1 year, renewable. Bond or deposit is required which is within 3 to 4 weeks rent. Tenants must give 21 days notice when terminating the contract; landlords are required to give 90 days. Rent is paid twice a month.

Rental prices in both Auckland and Wellington are steep. A 1 bedroom apartment can range between $1,094 to $1,340 per month. Most New Zealanders prefer purchasing a house instead of renting, especially if staying permanently or for long extended period. 

Driving License

Expats may use their domestic license (English) and an international license to drive in New Zealand for up to a year. After, they will need to acquire a New Zealand License. The New Zealand Transport Authority issues driving license.

There are three stages to acquiring a license: Learners license, Restricted license, and Full license. A road rules theory test is required before obtaining a learner’s license. Under this, applicants may only drive with a supervisor in the car, and may or may not bring passengers, depending on the supervisor. A restricted license allows the bearer driving privileges between 5am and 10pm. They may not carry passengers. A full license can be acquired by anyone above 18 and have completed an approved advanced driving skill course.

For more information plese visit: www.nzta.govt.nz/licence/getting/cars/car-licence.html


Public healthcare is available in New Zealand and is open for expats bearing a residence and work permit. These permits should’ve been issued a minimum of 24 months before the expat qualifies for free to subsidized healthcare. Meanwhile private healthcare is also available. The standard of services, facilities in New Zealand are high; both public and private facilities are well above standard.

Insurance Companies

nib Insurance

As the second largest health insurer in New Zealand, nib provide a range of health insurance options for Kiwis and their families, as well as for New Zealand companies who want health insurance for their employees.

Address: PO Box 91 630

Victoria Street West

Auckland 1142

Tel: 0800 123 642, +64 9 973 4541

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.nib.co.nz


Southern Cross Healthcare Group

Website: www.southerncross.co.nz/Society.aspx




Southern Cross Hospitals – New Zealand

New Zealand's only national private surgical hospital network. 14 hospitals - Auckland to Invercargill - providing service to more than 60000 patients a year.

Address (Auckland): 9, St Marks Road, Remuera, Auckland, 1050

Tel: +64 9 925-4700

Fax: +64 9 925-4701


Address (Wellington): 90 Hanson Street, Newtown, Wellington, 6021

Tel: +64 4 910 2160

Fax: +64 4 910 2162

Website: hospitals.southerncross.co.nz


Auckland City Hospital

Auckland City Hospital is New Zealand's largest public hospital and clinical research facility.  As one of the leading public healthcare providers in the country, Auckland City Hospital is committed to excellence in patient care, research, training, and community service.

Address: 2 Park Road, Grafton, Auckland 1023

Tel: +64 9 367 0000

Website: www.adhb.govt.nz


Starship Children’s Hospital

Starship Children's Health is a dedicated paediatric healthcare service and major teaching centre, providing family centred care to children and young people throughout New Zealand and the South Pacific.

Address: Park Road, Grafton, Auckland 1023, New Zealand

Tel: +64 9 307 4949

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.starship.org.nz