You are here! What to do next?

I guess the first few things to sort out are your living arrangement, job and bank. Well, at least I thought those were the most important thing for me to sort out when I first got here.

Living Arrangement

This will be much easier if you already know which city you want to live in New Zealand. If not, I strongly suggest you to arrange a temporary accommodation until you know where you want to live more permanently. There are lots of options but I would suggest you to start looking at Trade Me Property for temporary rental, buying and even finding a shared accommodation.

You can check out the average current rental prices of different cities at market rent. Some renting information or buying information from Immigration NZ website. And make sure you read through this “Renting and you – a guide to the law about renting” before you start renting.

If you are into buying, remember to check out the market value at QV Current Home Price.


Opening a bank account in New Zealand is relatively easy. Hassle-free, I should say. You can choose a number of bank to join. But I highly recommend you to walk around and shop for the bank of your choice. All banks offer different packages that might suit your needs differently.

The main banks in NZ are:

What you will need when you open an account, banks will usually ask you for three forms of identification, one of which should have a photo on it such as a passport or overseas driver’s licence.

You will also be asked for your personal IRD (Inland Revenue Department) number (see below), which will ensure you are charged the right amount of tax on any interest from your savings.


If you haven’t got a job when you arrived, your best bet to look for it online are via the 2 (of my favourite) job search websites as below:

Get accustom to your New Zealand Employment Right and make sure you have applied for your IRD number. Even if you are coming to New Zealand  short term but if you are working or on a working holiday, you will have to pay tax.

P.S. Before you start work, your potential employer will have to give you with an employment agreement. This agreement will entail details such as how much you will be paid as well as holiday pay, sick leave, and any bonuses and commissions. Remember, it is illegal for your employer to pay you less than the minimum wage. More on this can be found at the Department of Labour’s minimum wage page.

The minimum wage rates are reviewed every year. The current adult minimum wage rates (before tax) that apply for employees aged 16 or over are:

  • $13.75 an hour, which is
  • $110.00 for an 8-hour day or
  • $550.00 for a 40-hour week.

The minimum rates that apply to starting-out workers, and employees on the training minimum wage (before tax), are:

  • $11.00 an hour, which is
  • $88.00 for an 8-hour day or
  • $440.00 for a 40-hour week.

While finding a job, it’s probably a good idea for you to do some volunteering. Not only you can build contacts but also gain some local experience. Check out volunteering or register yourself with your regional volunteering group.

Next Post: More things to know about living in New Zealand

Quick Reference:

  • Department of Labour for more information when starting your first or new job
  • Inland Revenue to find out all about tax related stuff
  • TradeMe offers a wide range of listing from general items, motors: cars, motorbikes and boats, property, jobs search, rental property, flatmates wanted, antiques & collectables, pets and the list goes on
  • SEEK the biggest (I assumed so) employment site for New Zealand

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