It feels as if the spotlight has turned on New Zealand in recent years, and for good reason. The country is notoriously safe, has one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world, and is home to the infamous All Blacks rugby team.
But marveling their sportsmanship is a far cry from actually moving across the world to pursue a Kiwi-lifestyle. So what else should you consider before taking the plunge?
Frankly, it’s expensive.
New Zealand is an island nation, which means a lot of produce needs to be imported. From clothes, to alcohol, you’ll be in for a shock when you’re used to American prices. If you’re earning a New Zealand living wage, it’s a little more proportionate to the cost of living. However, be aware of the exchange rate if you’re earning USD.
To give you a helping hand the New Zealand Immigration website has a cost of living calculator, so you can figure out your finances in advance.
The chances are, you’ll be looking into moving to New Zealand because of their relaxed work/life balance. When sheep outnumber people, you know you’re in for a very green lifestyle.
One of the best aspects of New Zealand, is that even big cities are surrounded in natural beauty. You can catch a bus, train, or drive to surrounding mountains, waterfalls, beaches and lakes within minutes. The size of New Zealand also means the average commute time is nowhere near that of America – but if you’re looking at snow-topped mountains and reflective lakes… does it really matter anyway?
If you’re a temporary resident, or citizen of New Zealand, the healthcare system is comparable to that of much of Western Europe, being either subsidized or free.
If you’re moving long-term to New Zealand, you should be on a valid visa which entitles you to healthcare. However, if you’re unsure, it’s always best to check the Ministry of Health website, and those with real doubt should always invest in private healthcare.
Unique to New Zealand, is the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC). Regardless of whether you were at fault or not, any injury caused by an accident is covered by the ACC.
A move to the other side of the world, means hopefully you’ll have a job offer lined up over there. As with most countries, you’re unable to work on a tourist visa in New Zealand, so it’s imperative your visa allows you to work.
Working Holiday Visas are available to commonwealth citizens for up to 23 months, and anyone who is looking for long-term residency must complete a medical health test. Without the health test, you will not be granted a long-term visa, so we recommend organizing an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible.
As with the cost of living, New Zealand house prices are extremely high, which is why it’s recommended to rent before committing to buying.
Unlike much of the Western world, many New Zealand rent payments are weekly or every two weeks. Which is something to bear in mind when deciding to rent. Tenancy lengths vary, however, this is the most common payment timeline. Meanwhile, bills will be paid at a monthly rate.
One of the questions you will need to ask yourself, is what are you bringing with you to New Zealand? If you’d like a slice of home to come with you without breaking the bank, look into self-packing movers.
With the expense of moving to the other side of the world, shipping rather than flying your belongings is another way to save you a lot of money. If you’re organized, you can arrange for your shipment to be collected before your own scheduled flight, and you can board safe in the knowledge you’ll have a piece of home waiting for you on arrival.