GUIDE TO LIFE IN NEW ZEALAND

Successful International Moves

Relocating to a new country is not a small decision whether it is for a short 6 month
sabbatical or a more long-term permanent move REGENT PERSONNEL; aims to
provide you with the most up-to-date and reliable information on important aspects of
life in the country you’re interested in moving to.

People for whom travelling and working in another country is to be a new experience,
will acclimatise successfully if they have a sense of adventure. Even though English
is the main language in New Zealand it has its own distinctive accent and vocabulary.
Nuances of language are different. You need a sense of humour for the times
miscommunications occur. This is part of the excitement of moving to New Zealand.


Polynesian settlers arrived in New Zealand/Aotearoa around AD900 – AD990, and by
the twelfth century settlements were scattered over most of the country. Aotearoa
was sighted by Dutch navigator Abel Tasman in 1642, but it was a further 127 years,
in 1769, before British naval Captain James Cook and his crew became the first
Europeans to set foot on New Zealand soil. In 1840 Maori entered into an agreement
with the Crown under the Treaty of Waitangi and New Zealand became a British
colony with Maori retaining full rights of self-governance.


A temperate climate allows a diverse range of plant life to flourish. You can see much
of this flora and fauna in the many national parks across the country. Plants from
throughout the world flourish in New Zealand.

In the Southern Hemisphere our seasons are in reverse from the Northern

Spring:       September – November
Summer:       December – February
Autumn:       March – May
Winter:       June - August

Winters tend to be relatively short in New Zealand, with signs of spring showing up
well before the official winter is over.

The mean average rainfall varies widely – from less than 400mm in Central Otago to
over 12,000mm in the Southern Alps. For most of the North Island and the northern
South Island the driest season is summer. However, for the West Coast and much of
inland Canterbury, Otago and Southland, winter is the driest season.

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New Zealand is located in the southern Pacific Ocean, approximately 1600 km east
of Australia. It is made up of the North and South Islands and a number of smaller
islands, with a total land area of 270,500 sq km.

Mountain ranges and hill country dominate New Zealand’s landscape; one of the
most striking physical features is the Southern Alps. These, along with fjords, glaciers
and lakes, and the coastal plains of Canterbury and Southland, add to the variety of
the South Island scenery. In the North Island, the volcanic interior contains New
Zealand’s largest lake, Lake Taupo, and most of the country’s active volcanoes –
Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe and Tongariro, all usually quiet. Hot springs, geysers and mud
pools also form part of the volcanic system centred around Rotorua.

Highest mountain Mt Cook (2754 m)
Deepest lake Lake Hauroko (462 m)
Longest river Waikato River (425 km)
Largest glacier Tasman Glacier (29 km long)

New Zealand is about the size of the British Isles – yet it boasts geographic diversity.
Within two days drive you’ll see endless white beaches, jagged mountain peaks,
fertile farmland, native forest, geysers, lakes and ice-cold fjords.

Plants and animals, isolated from the rest of the world for thousands of years, have
developed along unique lines.


Recent estimates (2006) give the total population of New Zealand as 4,131,775
(*source Statistics New Zealand).

Main Regions of population are:        Auckland Region ………….          1,158,891
(* source 2001 NZ Census)              Wellington Region …………         423,765
                                       Canterbury Region ………..        481,431
                                       Otago Region ……………...          181,539
                                       Southland Region ………….         91,002

See also the Statistics New Zealand website:

Maori were the first settlers in New Zealand, a Polynesian people who emigrated
from near the Cook Islands in open double-hulled canoes. They named their new
home Aotearoa (Ao-tea roa) – Land of the Long White Cloud.

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The majority of the nineteenth and twentieth century settlers were people from Britain
but since the Second World War immigrants have been accepted from many parts of
the world and the major cities, in particular, are now cosmopolitan. Other ethnic
groups comprise of Pacific Island Polynesians, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indian
and Arabs.

Religion/Places of Worship

There is complete freedom of worship, covering virtually all denominations, the main
religion being Christian. In Invercargill, the two principal religions are Anglican
(Church of England) and Roman Catholic and they both have a Cathedral. The other
religions represented are Baptist, Presbyterian, New Life, Church of Scientology,
Korean Presbyterian, Elim, Latter Day Saints, Lutheran Jewish, Quakers Religious
Society of Friends, Jehovah’s Witness and Mormons.

Customs and Ceremonies

Social Customs

New Zealanders tend towards informality and first names (often shortened) are used
from the start of the acquaintance. This informality extends to the social sphere with
a casual, drop-in approach. The most common greeting is "How are you?” to which
the reply should be "Good, thanks".

One common custom frequently causes much confusion for new migrants – a
request to attend a social gathering and for ladies to "bring a plate" and gents "a
bottle". This means bring some food on a plate to share and some beverage (your
preference) to drink.

New Zealanders can be offended by body odour and often avoid people rather than
tell them they find the body odour offensive. It is therefore suggested that migrants
use deodorant products which are readily available for purchase from supermarkets
or pharmacies.

Multiculturalism is being encouraged by the Government, the idea being that new
blood is good for the country and leads to new ideas. Immigrants are not required to
assimilate, but rather to keep their own cultural identity. Radio is broadcast in
European and Maori. There are minority radio programmes for other language
groups and ethnic publications are available for purchase or through the public

New Zealanders are an outdoor people, with barbecues and spectator sports
occupying a large part of leisure time, along with (for the younger set) pub-going and

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Employed persons in New Zealand do not depend upon tips and gratuities for their
income. Service charges are not normally added to hotel and restaurant bills. It is, of
course, perfectly in order to tip for services of outstanding quality or in circumstances
you think are important.


English and Maori are the official languages, although many common words and
expressions have acquired different meanings and "idiomatic New Zealand English"
may need some interpretation for English speakers from other parts of the world.
Minorities of foreign-born citizens speak their own language at home.

For a light hearted insight into some common expressions, have a look at the below


Clothing tends to be practical, comfortable and casual. Gentlemen usually wear a
jacket and/or tie if attending a restaurant or theatre. Blue jeans are not generally
worn in the workplace.


New Zealand is the first country to see each new day. New Zealand is exactly twelve
hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time. In summer, early October to late March, we
enjoy an extra hour of daylight saving, to extend the warm summer evenings.

The Economy

New Zealand's small economy is heavily dependent on overseas trade. Traditionally,
a large proportion of New Zealand's exports, mainly agricultural products, went to the
United Kingdom. In the past 20 years, however, New Zealand has adapted to a
changing world so that Pacific Rim countries are more dominant. Our largest
merchandise export markets are Australia, USA and Japan. New Zealand has
developed its agriculture and manufacturing industries to suit the needs of niche
markets. Dairy and meat exports continue to make a large contribution to New
Zealand's economy. Forestry and manufacturing exports have become increasingly
important, while wool has declined. Tourism is also an increasingly important sector
of the economy.

The majority of the electricity supplied in New Zealand is water-generated, by hydro
power stations, with a smaller percentage being supplied by coal, gas, and to a
lesser extent, oil. The country has a non-nuclear policy and hence is not planning to
generate power by nuclear means.
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Standard of Living

New Zealand proudly boasts one of the highest home ownership rates in the world.
Housing in New Zealand is very affordable compared to numerous other countries
however, the amount you should expect to pay for a house depends where in New
Zealand you choose to settle. The average cost of a residential property in is
NZ$134,000 but costs vary depending on which suburb you choose.

The New Zealand housing lifestyle is diverse ranging from urban old style villa homes
to new suburban townhouses and there is an increasing trend of inner city apartment
living. The most common type of accommodation is a detached house (normally
single storey) or bungalow with three or four bedrooms, (master with ensuite
bathroom) a sitting room, dining room, kitchen, bathroom, WC and laundry; many
also have a "rumpus" room for children to play in and attached internal access
garages. All bungalows are set in their own grounds. Most houses have built-in
cupboards in the kitchen, wardrobes in the bedrooms and vanity units in the
bathrooms. Floor coverings and window drapes are included as chattels of the home.
Most households have the use of at least one car and the majority of people have
colour television, radio, and a wide range of consumer durables such as washing
machines and refrigerators, microwaves, etc. New Zealanders have very high per-
capita access to cellphones, e-mail, the internet and other new technologies. Many
city-dwellers also have a second home or a piece of land in the country for weekend
and holiday use, called a "bach" or in the very south, a "crib". These consumer
goods, added to New Zealand’s sunshine, congenial surroundings and leisure
opportunities, all combine to give the average New Zealander a good standard of


Currency Units

New Zealand operates a decimal currency system based on dollar and cent
denominations as follows:

Notes ($)             Coins (¢)
5 dollars             5 cents
10 dollars            10 cents
20 dollars            20 cents
50 dollars            50 cents
100 dollars           1 dollar
                      2 dollars

The New Zealand dollar (NZD) is known as the "Kiwi dollar" and is listed on all
currency exchanges.

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Credit Cards

Master Card, Visa, American Express, and Diners Club are widely accepted in New
Zealand; migrants are advised to join the New Zealand "Bankcard" system which is
widely accepted throughout the country. New Zealanders are the highest users of

EFTPOS (Electronic Funds Transfer at Point of Sale) in the world. It is common for
New Zealanders to carry little cash and use debit or credit cards for the majority of

Exchange Rates

Banks should be able to tell you what the current exchange rate is with the New
Zealand dollar. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand ( provides a
monthly on-line summary of the New Zealand Dollar's average value against the US
Dollar, the Pound, the Australian Dollar, the Yen and the Euro.


New Zealand employs the Westminster system of Government whereby Members
are elected to a House of Representatives referred as Parliament. There is just one
House. New Zealand does not have a written constitution although there is a Human
Rights Act. There is a General Election every three years with two dominant political
parties (Labour and National). In 1996 the electoral system changed to MMP (Mixed
Member Proportional Representation). MMP allows each voter one vote for a party
and one vote for a Member of Parliament.

Each region or province within New Zealand has its own local body government.

Law, Order and Security

Security and Insurance

Security is not really a problem in New Zealand provided the usual precautions of
locking one’s car and house are taken. As in most cities, there are some areas best
avoided at night and migrants should get local knowledge of these after they arrive at
their destination.

Most of the major Insurance companies will insure migrants and their household
overseas against all risks, and there are plenty of local insurance companies
operating in this country.

NZ Police recommend that valuables are not left within sight in vehicles when the
vehicle is left parked.

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Your Status as a Foreign Visitor


All travellers require a valid passport or other valid documents. If a passport is due to
expire within three months it is advisable to obtain a new one before departure.

A person seeking entry to New Zealand who cannot satisfactorily identify himself will
be refused entry.

Application should be made to the nearest New Zealand diplomatic mission or to
British Consulates acting for New Zealand in those countries where New Zealand
has no representation of its own.


New Zealand’s Immigration Policy controls entitlement to be in New Zealand on
either a temporary or permanent basis. For further information see the NZ
Immigration Service website:

Certain aspects of the policy are briefly outlined as follows:

Short-Stay (visitor) Visas

A visitor’s visa is valid for periods of less than six months. Applications should be
made to the nearest New Zealand consulate. Persons travelling on business should
provide copies of correspondence regarding the nature of their visit.

Long Stay Visas

Visas for longer term stays, including employment, lay down special requirements
and cannot be applied for without proof of the purpose of the visit/sponsorship by the

Regulations for obtaining visas are becoming increasingly complex and a number of
specialised agencies now undertake the task. Thomas Cook offers this service
through its Business Travel Division and American Express has a similar facility. Both
organisations will waive fees for corporate clients. Most large travel agents offer a
visa service.

Temporary Residence for working visitors

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Foreign nationals (excluding Australian citizens or residents) who wish to undertake
employment in New Zealand must have both a work visa and a work permit.General
Work Policy

You may be eligible for a Work Visa or Permit under the General Work Policy if you
have an offer of employment for which you are suitably qualified and experienced,
and in an occupation that is included on the current Occupational Shortages List OSL
issued by the NZIS.

Occupational Shortage List (OSL)

This is a list of identified occupations for which there is a shortage of skilled workers
in New Zealand. It is centrally maintained and reviewed bi-annually by the NZIS. In
compiling the list the NZIS uses a range of information sources and takes into
account regional variations where appropriate. If an applicant produces an offer of
employment in an occupation that is included on the OSL the NZIS will accept that no
suitably qualified New Zealand citizens or residents are available. Most health
professional occupations are included on this list.

The standard maximum period for a work visa is three years but an application for an
extension beyond the three years may be made in certain cases.

Spouses and children of working visitors must also apply for the relevant visas
(visitor, student or work).

Dependants of people on work permits, attending state schools (for the duration of
the work permits) are exempt from course fees. This exemption is however not
applicable to those attending universities or polytechnics.

Those in New Zealand with temporary visas (i.e. non-residents) who wish to leave
temporarily should obtain multiple entry or re-entry visas before departure. Advice
about visas is available from the Department of Immigration, or if time does not
permit, from an overseas visa issuing authority, e.g. Consulate or High Commission).

Permanent Residence

Resident status in New Zealand entitles you to live, study and work indefinitely in
New Zealand.

Residence Visa

A Residence Visa is normally valid for one year and is for a single entry. You must
use this visa before its expiry in order to activate your resident status. This visa
allows you to travel to New Zealand and be granted a Residence Permit on arrival.

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Residence Permit

A Residence Permit allows you to reside in New Zealand for an indefinite period.
However, this expires once you leave New Zealand. You should make sure you have
an "Authority to Return" endorsement in your passport unless exempt from visa
requirements. This will enable you to return to New Zealand within three years of
your last departure without further documentation.

Those in New Zealand with temporary visas (i.e. non-residents) who wish to leave
temporarily should obtain multiple entry or re-entry visas before departure. Advice
about visas is available from the Department of Immigration, or if time does not
permit, from an overseas visa issuing authority, e.g. Consulate or High Commission).
The following is a brief outline of the categories under foreign nationals (excluding
Australian citizens or permanent residents) which you can apply for residence in New
Zealand. For more detailed information see the NZ Immigration Service website:

General Skills Category

There is a "Points" system for qualifications, work experience, age and settlement
factors. English language skill is a requirement and there is an age bar of 55 years.

Business Category

The objective of the business immigration policy is to attract migrants who will
contribute to economic growth through:

   increasing New Zealand's level of human capital; and
   encouraging enterprise and innovation; and
   Fostering external links.

The objective of Family Category Policy is to strengthen families and communities,
while reinforcing the Government's overall objectives in immigration policy.

Family Category

This category is available to you if you:

   Are in a genuine and stable marriage or de facto relationship (whether
    heterosexual or same sex) with a New Zealand citizen or resident who sponsors
    their application; or
   Have immediate family members who are New Zealand citizens or residents and
    who live permanently in New Zealand, and
   Are the dependent children of New Zealand citizens or residents?
   Work to Residence Policy

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   Work to Residence policy has four options that provide a pathway to gaining
    residence in New Zealand. The four options providing pathways to residence
   Talent policy - employment with accredited employers
   Talent policy - for people with exceptional talent in a field of art, culture, or sport
   Priority Occupation List policy - employment in an occupation on the Priority
    Occupations List
   Business policy - Long-term business visa/permit category

Priority Occupational Shortage List

This is a list produced by the Immigration Service which lists those occupations
where there is a shortage. Its purpose is to enhance and streamline the processing of
work permits and visas and approvals in principle for work permits or visas where
there is a known regional labour market skills shortage. Most health professional
occupations are included on this list.



Post Offices are open between the hours of 9.00am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday.
Postage stamps can be bought at the reception desks of hotels and motels and at
some supermarkets, bookshops and service stations.


Electricity is supplied throughout New Zealand at 230/240 volts (50 hertz), although
many places provide 110 volt AC sockets (rated at 20 watts) for electric razors only.
For all other equipment, an adapter/converter is necessary, unless the item has a
multi-voltage option. Note that power outlets only accept flat three or two-pin plugs,
depending on whether an earth connection is fitted. Electrical converters are

Other Fuels

In the South Island and lower part of the North Island, most houses have a fireplace
in addition to electrical heating, whereas in the more temperate climate of the Upper
North Island people use mainly electrical heating, with some fireplaces.

In the cities and most country areas electricity and gas are used for heating and
cooking. In the South Island gas is mainly transported in containers which range from
5-100kg. In the North Island gas is piped.

Few houses are centrally heated or air-conditioned but increasingly newer dwellings
erected over the last five years are double-glazed and have heat pumps or under
floor heating.

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New Zealand uses the VHS Pal format. Modern Television sets come multi-standard
in New Zealand and so can show both NTSC and PAL formats. It is recommended
that you purchase your television and DVD player in New Zealand if you are coming
from the United States as generally video or DVD’s from America are not compatible
with NZ’s PAL Format.

Local Communications


New Zealanders have vigorously embraced both the internet and email. This link
gives you an interactive price guide for services provided.


Fax facilities are very widely used in business and by individuals, and in addition to
commercial fax bureaux, fax equipment is installed in most hotels. This is usually
available for the use of guests.


In New Zealand, both national and international calls are automatic. A full IDD
service is available and the country code for New Zealand is +64. There are two
providers of Telecommunication services, Telecom New Zealand and Telstra Clear.
There are public telephone boxes (green and black) in streets and stores. Telephone
boxes accept either coins or credit cards, and this is marked on the outside of the
telephone box. Some overseas cellphones can be used in New Zealand, most
notably Iridium and Vodafone (formerly Bell).

Most New Zealand homes use the option of paying a flat monthly line rental fee and
have unlimited free calling within the local calling area. Calls from businesses within
the local area are charged for each minute (or part minute) at a peak and off peak


The TV network is operated by the NZ Broadcasting Corporation (TVNZ) and one
privately owned company. Most large cities have six channels, with four channels
running 24 hours a day. Sport features largely on all the networks and news and
current affairs programmes are also popular, although international coverage tends
to be limited. There are few ethnic or multicultural broadcasts. There are dozens of
radio stations run by the NZ Broadcasting Corporation, commercial companies as
well as community and university based stations. Subscriber UHF and Satellite TV is

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available through the Sky TV Network. It is not a cabled service but based on a
decoder which is provided by Sky TV in conjunction with a magnetic card.


Four major national daily newspapers circulate in different parts of New Zealand and
the New Zealand Business Review is widely read in business circles. There are daily
morning and evening newspapers in most cities, with a wide range of local
newspapers. There is a good range of Sunday newspapers and national magazines.
Newspapers and magazines published in other parts of the world are available in all
the main cities or by subscription, although the travel time involved means that they
are often well past their date of publication.

The Sunday Star Times is published every Sunday.

Getting Settled

Temporary Accommodation


The leading modern hotels in the major cities offer a high standard of comfort.


In the main cities and throughout the regions, there are numerous modern motel
units. In cities there are centrally situated but slightly cheaper than hotels. All have
private shower or bath facilities included in the charge for the room. Many have
restaurant facilities and some can also provide facilities for meetings and receptions.

Choosing your New Home

Those intending to buy a house or land should not make any arrangements before
arrival in New Zealand. The majority of NZ property is purchased/sold through real
estate agents who work for the vendor (person who is selling property). The agent
charges the vendor a fee based on a proportion of the selling price of the property. It
is customary for the Real Estate Agent to prepare the contract, which is either
executed by the parties immediately or referred to a solicitor or legal advice bureau.

Most people who buy or build their own home borrow some money from their bank -
this is referred to as a mortgage. Some New Zealand banks may let you borrow up to
95% of the valuation price of a property, however this depends on the individual
banks’ criteria, your credit history, amount you can afford for mortgage repayments
and how much deposit you have.
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It is recommended that you rent a home until you decide exactly where you would
like to settle. Where you choose to buy a home may depend on factors such as
schooling, locality, what type of neighbourhood environment you enjoy and also the
varying cost of houses for sale in different suburbs. Currently the average purchase
price of a house is NZ$134,000.

New residents should be prepared to spend quality time looking for a house to rent in
New Zealand as prices and quality can vary dramatically. To recognise the better
socio-economic areas, look at the schools in the area and find out their decile rating
(see under Education).

Renting a Property

The benefits of initially renting a house far out-weigh any long term financial benefits
of owning a home when first shifting to New Zealand. People who have obtained
permanent residency to New Zealand usually arrive with little understanding of the
good (and not so good) areas to reside in, or which suburb will offer the best
education opportunities for their children. For these reasons short or medium term
rental allows a new migrant the freedom to move to different parts of a suburb, town,
city or even the country without being committed to a mortgage or owning a home
that is no longer meets their family requirements.

You can pretty much rent any type of property your heart and wallet desire in New
Zealand, from stylish inner city apartments, little bedsits, spacious old homes with
large outdoor living areas or a 10 acre lifestyle block on the outskirts of town.

Rental Costs

The majority of rental properties in New Zealand are unfurnished but with an oven,
laundry tub, curtains and carpet. If an advertisement for a rental property states it
includes whiteware this normally refers to such items as a fridge, freezer, washing
machine, dryer or a dishwasher.

The approximate average rental price for a standard unfurnished 3 bedroom house
ranges between NZ$150 to $250 per week.

There are also additional costs that are incurred when renting a property. It is the
tenant’s responsibility to organise and pay for electricity, telephone, gas or water
charges and home contents insurance.

Most rental properties are advertised in newspapers in the “To Let” column or with
real estate agents. If you rent a property through a real estate agent they will charge
you a fee, which is usually the equivalent of one weeks rent + GST. For example if
you rent a property at the cost of $200 per week, then the real estate agent may
charge you a one off fee of $200 + GST (12.5%).

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Setting up the rental of a property can be expensive. The landlord usually asks you to
pay a bond of up to four weeks rent (which can be refunded to you when you leave
the property). The bond is retained at The Bond Centre, which is part of a
government department called the Ministry of Housing. When your landlord lodges
your bond, The Bond Centre will post to you a receipt for the bond amount received
and relevant information. When you leave the property both you and the landlord
must sign the bond form for you to obtain your money back. However, if you have
missed rent payments or the property is left in a dirty state or requires repairs, the
landlord may apply to The Tenancy Tribunal to have some or all of your Bond money
issued to them to cover these costs. For further information see the Ministry of
Housing website:

Rent is usually paid fortnightly in advance by automatic payment (organised through
your bank), and the landlord usually requests two weeks rent in advance before you
shift into the property. Therefore if have agreed to rent a property for $200 per week
you will be expected to pay the equivalent of four weeks rent for your bond ($800.00)
plus two weeks rent in advance ($400.00). This means you are paying $1200.00 plus
additional costs for any agent fees, connecting of power, telephone, etc. For this
reason we strongly suggest that you choose carefully when deciding on a rental

The following link gives rental properties currently available within the Southland
region (be sure to select “Residential Rentals” in the Search Type).

Furniture and Household Equipment

As most accommodation is let unfurnished, migrants have the choice of importing
their own, buying, or renting furniture. One migrant calculated that it would cost
approx. NZ$20,000 to furnish an average home modestly. Secondhand furniture in
good condition is also available. Renting furniture is likely to cost around NZ$600 per
month for average quality items, up to NZ$1,000 for better quality. The most
expensive items to hire are sofas and whiteware, such as refrigerators, freezers,
microwaves, etc.

Domestic Help

Cleaners and gardeners are readily available and can be contracted on an hourly
basis. Located through domestic agencies or via the local newspaper.

Food and Marketing

For the approximate costing of what you may pay for various items see:
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Weights and Measures

The metric system is in operation in New Zealand, using the International system of
Units (SI), although some non-SI units will be maintained for measuring time and
angles, and for navigation.

Transportation within New Zealand

By Air

The main domestic airlines are Air New Zealand or Qantas, both of which operate
regular scheduled services between major cities and regional centres.

In view of the distances involved, it is advisable unless you have a generous time
schedule, to travel by air between main cities. Regular flights connect Auckland,
Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin as well as other regional towns/cities, e.g.
Hamilton, Invercargill, Palmerston North and Queenstown.

To see flight schedules and routes within New Zealand, please look at the following

The free baggage allowance for overseas visitors is 30 kilos first class and 20 kilos
economy class. Both involve no more than two pieces of luggage with restrictions on

By Sea

Except between Wellington and Picton across the Cook Strait between the North and
South Islands or between Bluff and Stewart Island, there are no local passenger
ships serving the New Zealand coast.

By Rail

Air-conditioned diesel-electric trains operate between the main cities. There are very
few suburban rail services in New Zealand and no underground system operates.

By Road

With New Zealand's relatively low population and wide open spaces, cars are the
most popular form of transport. Petrol averages around NZ$1.50 per litre. Motorists
drive on the left-hand side of the road. Wearing of seatbelts is compulsory for front
and backseat passengers and drivers and all children under five years old must be
properly restrained in an approved child restraint when travelling in cars or vans.
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Motorcyclists must wear crash helmets and cyclists cycle helmets. Maximum legal
speed on highways and motorways is 100 kilometres per hour (61 miles per hour). In
cities, towns and built-up areas the limit is 50 kilometres per hour (30 miles per hour).

One of the most important rules for you to know if you intend driving yourself is the
Left Turn Rule. If you are turning left, you must give way to ALL traffic approaching
from your right, and all traffic opposite you that is intending to turn to their right. The
only exception is an intersection that is controlled by lights, where a green arrow
indicates you can turn left.

You should also note that a traffic light showing red means you should physically
come to a full stop and you cannot continue until the light turns green.

New Zealand Road Rules

The NZ Road Code is available on the web:

Driving Distances

New Zealand has an excellent network of roads covering most of the islands. The
only way to cross the Cook Strait separating the North and South Islands is by
car/passenger ferry, or air.

New Zealand may look to be a small country, but looks can be deceiving. In the
South Island particularly, it may take you longer than you imagine to get from one
place to the next. This website has maps of the North and South Islands and a good

"Driving Times and Distances Chart & Calculator". (The times allowed are fairly

Motoring Organisations

The Automobile Association which has offices in all towns/centres, plus Information
Centres on main highways, will assist drivers, provides an emergency assistance
service and information on car running costs.

See their website:


Taxi services are very good and reasonably priced. Generally taxi drivers have
excellent local knowledge, speak good English and can be relied upon. The charge is
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normally calculated at a "flag fall" rate plus a rate per kilometre. Rates very slightly
from city to city. Additional charges are made for phone bookings, and there is
sometimes a small charge for luggage carried outside the passenger compartment.

Car Hire

Every city has a private care hire service, which is generally more expensive than
taxis. Drivers must be over 21 years. A collision damage waiver applies to drivers
under 25.

There are also firms which operate a self-drive system including:

NZ Rent A Car ……………………      
Rent-a-Dent ………………………       
Budget Car Rental ……………….   
Pegasus Rental Cars ……………   
Riverside Rentals ………………..  
Avis ………………………………..         
Thrifty ……………………………...      
Hertz ……………………………….         

Driving in New Zealand

You can legally drive in New Zealand for up to 12 months if you have either a current
driver's licence from your home country or an International Driving Permit (IDP).

The law requires all drivers, including visitors from other countries, must carry their
licence or permit at all times when driving. You will only be able to drive the same
types of vehicles you are licensed to drive in your home country. The common legal
age to rent a car in New Zealand is 25 years.

Make sure your driver's licence is current. If your licence is not in English, you should
bring an English translation with you, or obtain an IDP. Contact your local automobile
club for further details about obtaining a translation or an IDP.

The minimum age for driving in New Zealand is 15, when a restricted licence can be
obtained. A New Zealand licence must be obtained upon commencement of
permanent residence in New Zealand.

Note that the drink/driving limits for those over 20 are 80mg alcohol per 100ml blood
or 400mcg of alcohol per litre of breath. As a very rough guide, and taking into
consideration body weight and whether a meal is eaten at the same time, for men
this means no more than four standard drinks in the first hour and thereafter one
drink at hourly intervals and for women no more than three standard drinks per hour
and thereafter one drink at hourly intervals. A standard drink is a half-pint of beer at
4% alcohol content, one nip of spirits, or one small glass of table wine.

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Car Insurance

There are a number of insurance companies who provide both third party (where the
other party’s in the accident is covered but your car is not) or comprehensive cover.
You will be required to make certain disclosures about anything likely to affect the
amount of risk the insurer carries on your behalf. This may include the names of the
drivers, how long they have held a Driver’s licence, if there have been any recent
claims for motor vehicle accidents. It is important that any disclosure is accurate
because your insurance can be cancelled or a claim refused if these "material facts"
have been omitted or are not true.

Most policies have an "excess" this is usually around $200-$300 and is the amount
paid by the insured person towards the cost of repairs to his or the other person’s
vehicle resulting from the accident caused by him/her. The excess is usually waived
if the accident was not caused by you.

Insurance cover is available directly with an insurance company, e.g. State
Insurance, AMI Insurance, SIMU, NZ Insurance, or you can arrange insurance cover
through most banks.

Taking out home and contents insurance along with the car cover and you can get a
package discount of 10 percent or 20 percent from many companies, and up to 30
percent with The National Bank of New Zealand. Not all companies offer all
discounts. But it is worth asking if you get a discount for keeping your car in a locked
garage, and for always using a professionally installed alarm or engine immobiliser.

Finally, making one annual premium payment could save you around 10 percent.
Only a handful of insurers allow monthly payments at no extra cost.

For further information see:,2108,83263-172-178,00.html

Business and Legal Matters

Business Practices

Professional staff or business executives wear mainly business suits or a jacket and
tie in the work environment. Appointments should be made in advance and New
Zealanders favour a straight-forward say-what-you-mean approach. First names are
normally used immediately and should be given over the telephone when answering.

Hours of Business

The most common business hours are 40 hours per week, Monday to Friday,
between the hours of 8.00am and 5.00pm with some also being open on Saturday
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mornings between 9.00am and 1.00pm. Many service organisations also provide
after hours service.

Government/Public Service

9.00am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday.


Mainly 9.00am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday. Main branches of banks are located on
Kelvin Street, in Invercargill. Most banks operate from 9.00am to 5:00pm. ATM
machines are available at most shopping mall complexes, some service stations or at
bank branches out of hours. EFTPOS facilities are extensively available.

The central bank is the Reserve Bank of New Zealand. Leading commercial banks

Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) ………………………….               
National Bank of New Zealand ……………................  
Westpac Trust …………………………………………..                    
Australia & New Zealand Bank (ANZ) ……………….          
Auckland Savings Bank (ASB) ………………………..             

All these banks have overseas branches in major cities. In addition, many of the
world’s international banks have branches or representative offices in New Zealand’s
major cities.

It should be noted that personal cheques are not used a great deal and it can be
difficult to get credit without references or identification, so migrants should approach
their companies for assistance.

Shops and Retail Facilities

9.00am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday. Most shopping centres have late night
shopping (often a Thursday and/or Friday) when they will be open from 9.00am to
9.00pm and on Saturdays/Sundays from 10.00am to 5.00pm. Supermarkets are
open for extended hours and all weekend. At most holiday resorts, trading hours are
extended during the holiday seasons.

Shops in New Zealand cater for every taste and those in the cities have a wide range
of goods. There are numerous supermarkets with the widest possible range of
goods. There are many large department stores and shopping malls where specialty
foods are available.

If you're looking for shoes or clothes, sizing in New Zealand is based on the major
European/American trends. Most women’s shops cater for sizes 8 to 16 and mens
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shops from 85cm waist to 120cm waist. There are specialty stores for larger size

Employment in New Zealand

Unless you hold NZ or Australian Citizenship, or have been granted permanent
resident status you must have a Work Permit from the NZ Immigration Service to
work in New Zealand. Employment in New Zealand is covered by the Employment
Relations Act 2000. Any offer of employment should be in writing and should specify

the hours/days of work, salary and any other terms and conditions of employment
and contact details of any Union which has negotiated with the employer a Collective
Agreement covering the work you will be doing.

If there is a Collective Agreement negotiated between the employer and a Union
covering the work you will be doing you will be employed on the first 30 days on an
individual employment agreement based upon the terms and conditions contained in
that Collective Agreement. If you join the Union, you will automatically fall under
coverage of the Collective. If you do not join the Union you will remain on an
Individual Employment Agreement and can choose to vary the terms and conditions
of employment by mutual agreement with the employer. Where there are no
Collective Agreements, you will be employed on an Individual Employment
Agreement and may negotiate your own terms and conditions with the Employer.
During the term of a Collective Agreement strike action is generally not able to be
taken by employees. However, strike action can be taken during the bargaining
period for a new Collective Agreement.

Holiday entitlements are specified in the Holidays Act and its amendments. The
Holidays Act gives all employees rights to paid annual leave, whether they are full-
time, part-time, fixed-term, temporary or casual employees, adults or young
employees. Employees are not lawfully able to agree to give up these rights.
Employers and unions or employees can agree to better annual leave rights than
those in the Holidays Act, but not to less and the SDHB employment agreements
offer more generous leave entitlements than required by the Holidays Act. The
minimum entitlement to annual leave under the Holidays Act is at least three weeks
paid leave after they have worked continuously for the same employer for 12 months.

The Holidays Act also states the minimum requirements for leave for sickness or
bereavement is five days per annum after the employees have worked continuously
for six months. Like annual holidays, the Employer and a Union can negotiate better
terms and conditions and the SDHB Employment Agreements contain much
improved terms.

For further information on Employment related issues see the Department of Labour
Employment Relations Service website:
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Public Holidays

By law, every employee is entitled to not less than 11 public holidays each year,
which should be paid holidays for the employee when they fall on days of the week
on which the employee would normally work. Public holidays are in addition to paid
annual leave days.

New Year’s Day …………………………...                   1 January
Day after New Year’s Day ………………..              2 January
Waitangi (New Zealand) Day …………….              6 February
Good Friday ………………………………..                     March/April
Easter Sunday ……………………………..                    March/April
Easter Monday …………………………….                     March/April
Southland Anniversary Day ………………               March/April
Anzac Day ………………………………….                       25 April
Queen’s Birthday ………………………….                   Monday of the 1st weekend in June
Labour Day ………………………………...                     Last Monday of October
Christmas Day ……………………………..                    25 December
Boxing Day …………………………………                       26 December

An employee does not have to work on public holidays unless the employment
agreement provides for this or they agree to do so.

If an employee works on a public holiday (except Anzac Day and Waitangi Day), they
are entitled to another paid day off in lieu, as well as to whatever pay has been
agreed for working on the public holiday.

There are special rules for Waitangi Day and Anzac Day. Employers have to provide
a day off in lieu only if an employee works for ordinary pay on these days. If an
employee works for more than ordinary pay, the employer does not have to give a
day off in lieu.

If Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Years Day or the Day after New Year fall on a
Saturday or Sunday; the Monday/Tuesday is normally observed as the holiday.

The main holiday periods occur over the school holidays. Many businesses close
down over the Christmas Holiday period not re-opening until the second week of

Work Related Accident Compensation

An employee who is injured doing his or her work and is unable to work is entitled to
be paid compensation by his or her employer for loss of earnings in the first week
following the injury. This is 80% of the earnings lost as a result of not being able to
work. After the first week, ACC pays the compensation and will provide other

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assistance to get an employee back to work as soon as possible such as

An employee who is injured outside work is not entitled to loss-of-earnings
compensation from his or her employer for the first week, but is paid 80% of the
earnings lost until able to return to work.

Ask the nearest ACC Office (see their website for more information
about what you are eligible for after an injury.


Good & Services Tax

This is a consumer or retail tax on the sale of all goods and services supplied within
New Zealand. The current rate is 12.5%. The only significant exemptions are the
purchase of a home, long term residential accommodation and provision of financial
services. GST is usually included in the ticketed price of the item.

Income Tax

Generally payable by all residents of New Zealand on income earned in New
Zealand. Permanent residents are liable for New Zealand tax on their world-wide
income, with credit being given for taxes paid in overseas countries (with some
limits). Persons earning income in New Zealand, but not resident here may be
subject to special taxation regimes, e.g. entertainers, visiting experts, etc.

Expenses incurred in producing taxable income are deductible from the income in
determining the taxpayer’s liability, but salary and wage earners are specifically
excluded from this allowance.

Salary and wage earners have an amount of tax (PAYE – Pay as you earn) deducted
from their wage and salary by their employer. The employer is required to forward
this to the Inland Revenue Department on a regular basis. A similar system exists for
those organisations paying interest to depositers, i.e. the bank deducts Resident
Withholding Tax (RWT) from any interest earned. The tax year ends as at 31 st March
each year.

If you are going to work in New Zealand, you will need to organise an IRD Tax
Individual Identification Number. This can take up to two weeks and requires a New
Zealand address.

See the Inland Revenue Department website for further information on taxation and
downloading the forms to get a tax code number:

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Re-entry to New Zealand

Residents of New Zealand should make sure they have an "Authority to Return"
endorsement in their passports unless they are exempt from visa requirements. This
will enable them to return to New Zealand within three years of their last departure
without further documentation.

Those in New Zealand with temporary visas (i.e. non-residents) who wish to leave
temporarily should obtain multiple entry or re-entry visas before departure. Advice
about visas is available from the Department of Immigration, or if time does not
permit, from an overseas visa issuing authority, e.g. Consulate or High Commission).
See the NZ Immigration Service website:

Health Regulations

All persons must be of sound health – free from contagious and infectious diseases
and having no illness or disability likely to interfere with the person’s capacity to work
and to maintain themselves and their family.

All persons arriving within six days from infected areas or a place in the former yellow
fever endemic zones (Central and South America) between 10 N and 15S and Africa
between 15 N and 16 S) must provide a valid international certificate of vaccination
against yellow fever, as New Zealand considers the countries and territories which
are in the former endemic zones to be infected areas.

Passengers arriving without medical inoculation certificate, if required, are subject to
isolation in the quarantine station. Intending visitors to New Zealand are advised to
check on current health requirements with their airline, travel agents or nearest New
Zealand Government office.

Applicants for permanent residence aged over 15 and children under 15 who have
undergone a blood transfusion, show symptoms of HIV infection or who are to be
adopted by New Zealand residents are required to have an HIV antibody test.


See the Ministry of Health website:

People travelling to New Zealand need to be aware that they may be screened at the
airport of origin. They will be asked if they have had any Severe Acute Respiratory
Syndrome symptoms or been in contact with SARS cases on check-in at the point of
departure. This is in line with World Health Organization recommendations.
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Further information on SARS is being provided to all visitors to New Zealand during
flights and further questions may be asked. On arrival at a New Zealand airport, any
in-coming passenger exhibiting SARS-like symptoms or having had contact with a
person with SARS should also be prepared for a possible medical examination and
for possible restrictions on their onward travel.

Those people who do develop the symptoms of SARS are asked to seek medical
advice. Those people will receive appropriate treatment and may not be able to travel
until they have fully recovered.

The Ministry of Health is advising that all hospital workers who have come from a
Level 1 or Level 2 SARS-affected country should stand down from work in hospital
settings for the 10 days after leaving the affected country. This advice specifically
applies to hospital workers given the specific problems associated with the spread of
SARS in hospital settings (eg, in Toronto, Canada and Hong Kong). It does not apply
to any other health care workers.

Health Matters/Medical Facilities

General Standards of Health

No special health precautions are necessary, apart from the regulations which must
be observed upon entry to New Zealand. However, increasing concern has been
expressed about the high incidence of skin cancer (the highest in the world with
Australia) and it is essential to cover up when in the sun during the middle of the day,
to wear sunglasses, a sun hat and a good sun block cream. This applies to
everybody, but particularly to children and those with fair and sensitive skin. The sun
is particularly fierce in the South Island and burn time can be as little as 10 minutes.

All travellers are recommended to have TB and tetanus vaccinations and to ensure
that their protection against poliomyelitis is adequate. In addition, children should
have received the usual protection against diphtheria, measles etc. and BCG
vaccination is also advisable.

Medical Facilities

The medical services in New Zealand are good, but public hospital waiting lists for
elective surgery are commonplace and can be long. It is estimated that almost 50%
of the population is now covered by private health insurance to some extent, enabling
any type of treatment to be obtained rapidly.

Generally, non-residents of New Zealand are not eligible for free Public Health
treatment and thus are billed for health services they receive. There are several
exceptions to this rule, including NZ citizens living abroad, Australian residents,
Royal Navy Personnel, and Cook, Nuie and Tokelau Islanders; people with official
refugee status and residents of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

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The hospital is responsible for finding out a customer’s residential status before
admission and there are specific policies and procedures for charging non-New
Zealand residents.

Medical Insurance

A number of Medical Insurance companies operate in New Zealand. Non-resident
migrants are advised to take out private medical insurance to cover them for their
outward and return journey and for their stay in New Zealand, first ensuring that the
insurance company is accepted by the New Zealand authorities.

Customs Formalities

Importing your Vehicle

It is a complex and very costly exercise to import a vehicle into New Zealand. The
majority of migrants purchase a car locally. The most popular makes of car driven by
New Zealanders are Subaru’s or Toyotas. Other makes of vehicle, Japanese,
Korean, and Australian are easily available.

Concessionary Entry

Your vehicle will be admitted free of duty and GST providing you are able to satisfy
the NZ Customs Service that:

a. You have the intention of forthwith taking up permanent residence in New
   Zealand for the first time, and
b. You have personally owned and used the vehicle overseas for one year prior to
   your departure for New Zealand, and
c. The vehicle is for your personal use in New Zealand and is not for sale, gift or
   disposal in any other way.

You will be required to complete a legal agreement called a Deed of Covenant which
stipulates that if you sell or otherwise dispose of the vehicle within two years of
importing it, you must pay the Duty which would have been charged if the vehicle
was not imported under the concession.

The term "permanent residence" is interpreted as residence lasting indefinitely.

Left Hand Drive Vehicles

Prior to importing this type of vehicle, which is normally prohibited under the Customs
Import Regulations, you must obtain an Import Permit from the:

Ministry of Transport
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Land Transport Division
P O Box 27549
Phone (04) 382 8300

It is advisable to have any vehicle steam-cleaned prior to exportation to remove all
traces of soil, etc. Quarantine officials will examine all vehicles in order to prevent the
entry of diseases, noxious weeds and insect pests into the country.

For further information see the Land Transport website:

Importing Your Pet

There are no poisonous creatures and New Zealanders enjoy a safe outdoor life at
the beach and in the bush. Because of our economic dependence on agricultural and
fruit exports, the New Zealand Government is very careful with issues relating to both
animal welfare and the importation of animals to keep it continually free from pests
and disease. The regulatory body governing the importation of animals into New
Zealand is the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF). Birds are totally prohibited
imports. The process of importing a pet can be both complex and expensive and
requires an import permit. Any enquiries that you have may be directed to:

Import Management
Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries
P O Box 2526
New Zealand
Telephone +64 4 498 9624

The MAF website is:

Quarantine requirements differ depending on which country the pet is being imported
from e.g. from South Africa requires 120 days quarantine in NZ, from Europe/USA
requires 30 days quarantine. There is no quarantine period in NZ for pets from the
UK but they need to be quarantined in the UK for 30 days prior to their shipment.

A recommended agent (who also be able to give advice on blood testing, import
requirements and import licence) close to Heathrow Airport, U.K. is

Airpets Oceanic
Spout Lane North
Stanwell Moor
TW19 6BW
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Telephone (01753) 685571
Fax (01753) 681655

A MAF officer will give written approval for your pet to be released on completion of
the quarantine period. Under no circumstances will any pet be allowed to leave the
quarantine premises without written authorisation from MAF.

In addition any MAF or vet fees are charged in addition to these fees as required.
Minimum MAF charges are NZ$36.15 for airport inspection and NZ$25 per week for
visits (total of 5 visits = $125 per pet) plus the cost of additional blood tests or
veterinary procedures if necessary. Quarantine and MAF charges will be compulsory.
All dogs coming into New Zealand must either have a blood test for Leptospira
canicola or a course of antibiotics within 30 days of shipment. If your dog has been
vaccinated against Leptospirosis then the blood test will show a positive result and a
course of antibiotics must be administered. We suggest you discuss this with your
own vet and/or MAF New Zealand which is the best action to take.

Duty Free Allowances

Each passenger aged 18 and over is entitled to bring into New Zealand the following
items duty free:

200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250gm of tobacco products
1125 ml of spirits (usually 3 bottles)
Non-commercial quantities of duty-free perfume for personal use
Gifts, which are dutiable, must not exceed $700. These items must be brought in by
the passenger on the same aircraft.

Personal effects/Household Goods

Used personal effects and articles for personal use, such as CD player, Camera,
laptop computer, etc. are admitted free of duty. Furniture and household effects
which have been owned and used overseas for at least twelve months before
entering New Zealand will be admitted free of duty.

Any weapons such as sporting rifles and any medicinal drugs must be declared to
Customs on entry. Possession of guns in New Zealand requires a Firearm Licence
which can be obtained from the NZ Police once they have checked on an individual’s
suitability for firearm ownership. When not in use, firearms must always be stored in
gun lockers.

To avoid costly bonded storage charges, owners or household goods should be in
the country for Customs clearance of their goods.

If you are not able to be in New Zealand prior to the arrival of your goods, it will be
necessary for a friend, relative, or your agent to apply to Customs at the port where

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the goods arrive, to arrange Customs clearance. The representative will need to

a. Documentary evidence of authority to act for the owner
b. Documentary evidence that the owner will be arriving in NZ to take up permanent
   residence for the first time
c. Confirmation that the goods have been personally owned and used by the said
   owner, prior to their shipment to New Zealand
d. A complete list and description of the goods.
e. The representative will then be required to:
f. Complete a Customs "Sight Entry" and lodge with the Collector of Customs
g. Pay the Collector of Customs a cash deposit equal to the full amount of duty and
   GST. This will be determined by Customs.

Upon arrival in New Zealand of the owner, the deposit will be refunded providing al
the conditions governing concessionary entry can be fulfilled at the time.

Prohibited/Restricted Imports

General Items

Animal remedies
Animals, live                                          Except with required certification
Biological Cultures and Organisms                      Unless with approval
Camping equipment
Clam shells and Coral                                  Except with certification
Clothing, equipment and Footwear used on farms
or where animals present
Feathers, Bones, Horns, Tusks
Furs, skins and hunting trophies
Ivory                                                  Except with certification
Saddles & Riding Equipment including clothing
and footwear
Soil and water
Stuffed animals (taxidermy) and Reptiles
Turtle and Tortoise Shells                             Except with certification
Wool (unprocessed) and Animal Hair


Dairy Products                                         Subject to examination on arrival
Eggs and egg products
Fish (saltwater)
Fish (freshwater)                                      Subject to examination on arrival
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Herbs and spices
Meat and meat products                                  Subject to examination on arrival
Noodles and rice                                        Subject to examination on arrival
Popcorn (unpopped)
Vegetables                                              Subject to examination on arrival

Plants and Plant Matter

Bamboo, cane, rattan, basketware and mats               Subject to treatment upon arrival
Bulbs, corms, rhizomes and tubers
Cut flowers, dried flowers and leaves
Leis and Lei materials
Plants                                                  Except with correct certification
Pine cones and Pot Pourri
Straw packaging
Straw handcrafts                                        Allowed after examination and


New Zealanders are a sports-loving people, which is not surprising when they are
endowed with such an abundance of sunshine, space and good sports facilities. With
the exception of team games, there is no need to join a club to play, as there are
many public courses and courts available on payment of a fee.

There is no type of sport which is not actively pursued in New Zealand, either as a
spectator or as a participant. The most popular sports are rugby, cricket, tennis,
netball, soccer, touch rugby, swimming, surfing, riding, bushwalking (called
tramping), snow and water ski-ing, and yachting. For water sports enthusiasts, there
are fine sandy beaches within easy distance of most major towns. Tennis is played
all year around, on asphalt, grass or indoor courts. Snow-ski-ing is very popular and
the ski-ing season generally starts towards the end of June.

Cinemas are a popular form of entertainment.

There are national parks within easy reach and access to the coast and rivers for
fishing and to national parks and reserves is the right of all New Zealanders.

Fishing & Hunting

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Permits are required for fishing and hunting. They can be purchased from most
Sporting Goods shops and are around $90 per annum for an adult. See also


Numerous courses are spread throughout the Country and welcome visitors,
although it is important that you telephone a few days ahead of your planned round
to avoid disappointment.

For details of Golf Clubs see:


The New Zealand School System

Education is compulsory for all New Zealand children regardless of origin, from age
six to sixteen years. Almost without exception, most children start school as soon as
they are five years old and leave when they reach 17-18 years.

The school year begins in late January each year, is divided into four terms and
finishes late November for Secondary schools and mid December for Primary
Schools. The school terms run as follows:

Term 1 Late January to Late March
Term 2 Mid April to End of June
Term 3 Mid July to Mid September
Term 4 Late September to Mid December

For exact dates for each year see the Ministry of Education Website:

New Zealand has two systems of schooling. State or Government funded (free
education) and Independent or Private (fee paying) schools. Foreign students have
to pay school tuition fees whichever type of school they elect. However, if the family
has a "Principal Applicant" who has a work visa and paid employment (therefore
taxable income) or NZ Permanent Residency status, then they would only pay tuition
fees if they elect to send their children to an independent school.
Education consists for four stages:

Early Childhood Education

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                     GUIDE TO LIFE IN NEW ZEALAND

Early Childhood Education is from two-five years (prior to this children may attend
nurseries or child-care centres). This stage is not compulsory, but most New Zealand
children begin at this level in preparation for primary school. The main providers of
Early Childhood Education are free kindergartens, play centres, child-care centres,
home-based networks, correspondence school, Early Childhood Development Unit
funded play groups and Te Kohanga Reo (Maori language nests).

Primary School
A child’s education commences at age five (Year One) in the junior classes and
progresses to year Seven by age 11. The majority then move to Intermediate level
for years Seven/Eight and onto secondary education at age 13 for year

Secondary School or College

Secondary schools in New Zealand may be called either a high school or a college.
Students commence at year Nine (13 years) and progress through to year 13, a
period of five years. At year 13 level students take the University Bursary
examination (UBE) for entry into a University/other Tertiary institution of their choice.


Tertiary education is provided by the Universities, Polytechnic, Colleges of Education
(Teachers Training College), Community College and Private Training
Establishments (e.g. Language, computer or business schools). Some state
secondary schools throughout the country (sometimes referred to as Community
Learning Centres) provide a range of courses for adult students. During the day they
share classes with adolescent students but in the evening (Night School Classes) the
students are all adults.

For more detailed information and Glossary of Terms see the Ministry of
Education’s website, and Under the Schools menu of
select School Management and Administration, then School Statistics.

What type of schooling?

In New Zealand parents have a choice as to which type of primary and secondary
school they send their children to. There are Government or State schools where
education is provided free, and a few independent schools where parents pay for the
tuition. The basic system of education (i.e. the subjects or curriculum) taught in both
types of schools is the same. Some schools may offer a wider range of subjects than
others, depending on the size of the school.

Some schools have enrolment schemes as a means of limiting the roll to prevent
overcrowding at the school and enabling the Ministry of Education to make best use
of the current accommodation at schools in the surrounding area. This is referred to
as "zoning" and students (particular for secondary schools) must live within the
"zone" specified by the school.

                                   Regent Personnel Limited
                                   Tel: +44 (0)208 238 5533
                                  Fax: +44 (0)208 238 5534
                    GUIDE TO LIFE IN NEW ZEALAND


Year One to Seven students at state schools are generally not required to wear
uniforms, however some schools have adopted affordable and practicable shorts,
pinafores and sweatshirts. Most secondary and private schools require their uniform
to be worn.


The National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA) are the new national
secondary schools' qualifications, An NCEA is a standards-based qualification that
will attest to a broad range of New Zealand Curriculum related education outcomes.
There will be three National Certificates of Educational Achievement: Level 1 NCEA,
Level 2 NCEA, and Level 3 NCEA. A student will be awarded a National Certificate
when she/he has accumulated sufficient credits by being successfully assessed
against NQF standards.

Level 1 equates to Year 11 (5th form)
Level 2 equates to Year 12 (6th form)
Level 3 equates to Year 13 (7th form)

External examinations will be an important part of the assessment that contributes
towards all levels of the NCEA. Examiners will set questions and tasks to test
whether students have achieved the requirements for individual standards and
markers will need to decide whether students have shown enough evidence for a
credit, merit or excellence grade in each standard.

For further information about NCEA see the Ministry of Education’s website under
Schools/Curriculum, Teaching and NCEA – select qualifications.

Your Future and Regent Personnel

We hope that you will find this document useful and whilst it contains much of the
information you will need to help you with your move it is important to note that this
has been produced as a guide only and is not by any means the only document you
will need.

Our role is to support you and your family with the help and support of your new
employer to ensure that your move goes smoothly. You will be working with one of
our senior consultants whom you will know by now is available for you at anytime.

We will need to gain as much information from you as possible not just about your
requirements professionally but also your needs personally.

Most moves take 3 to 6 months from offer of a role and in some cases we have
worked with people for up to 12 months in advance of their commencement of a new

                                 Regent Personnel Limited
                                 Tel: +44 (0)208 238 5533
                                Fax: +44 (0)208 238 5534
                  GUIDE TO LIFE IN NEW ZEALAND

We hope that you will continue to work with us and look forward to a long and
successful relationship with you.

                              Regent Personnel Limited
                              Tel: +44 (0)208 238 5533
                             Fax: +44 (0)208 238 5534

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