To better prepare you for your move to New Zealand we have compiled important information for you to help settle in, from opening bank accounts to where to look for accommodation and helpful websites.
OPENING A BANK ACCOUNT
The process of opening your account should be simple enough. However, it's worth noting the documents you'll need to get started.
For starters, you will need some form of identification – a driver's license, a passport or birth certificate. New Zealand banks will also require you to provide a statement of address. If you’re staying in temporary housing, such as a hotel or hostel, you will need to go to the front desk and ask for this document. This will likely be one of the easiest types of statement of address to secure, however, any of the following documents are accepted by most major banks:
· Anything from a government agency that includes your name, address and a unique reference ID (such as Client File Number or Tenancy Bond reference number)
· Property Sale and Purchase Agreement
· Unexpired Rental or Tenancy Agreement
· Letter confirming your address from your NZ employer
All banks in NZ are open weekdays, with some available limited hours on the weekend. Below are the links to the main banks in NZ:
OBTAINING AN IRD NUMBER
To be taxed appropriately you will require an IRD number from the Inland Revenue department. The IRD can be contacted by calling the free phone number: 0800 775 247 (from within NZ) OR using the following link. http://www.ird.govt.nz/how-to/irdnumbers
Your IRD number is very important because all of your taxes, entitlements and personal details are linked to it. According to New Zealand Inland Revenue Department, there are four steps to obtaining your IRD number:
1. Open a New Zealand bank account
2. Complete the IRD number application form
3. Collect the relevant document to hand in with your applications (passport, statement of address, work visa, bank account details)
4. Send in your application
Income tax rates are applied to your combined income at the end of the tax year to work out your tax obligation.
WHAT ABOUT HEALTHCARE? DO I NEED HEALTH INSURANCE?
There are a number of Health Insurance providers in NZ however we also encourage you to get medical insurance from your home country. In addition to this New Zealand has a public health system that is low cost and, in some instances, free. Some work visa holders’ benefit from New Zealand government subsidies for example if you hold an approved temporary work visas for 24 months or more you are eligible for publicly funded health services.
Further information can be found at https://www.newzealandnow.govt.nz/living-in-nz/healthcare
HOUSING IN NEW ZEALAND
Having a place to call home is a big part of feeling settled in a new country, and it can take time to find the one that’s right for you and your family. Even if you plan to buy eventually, it’s best to start off by renting. That way you can take time seeing what’s available and where you’d like to live before you make a commitment.
Where to look
You can find rental properties through letting agents such as real estate agents, or alternatively a popular privately operated website where you’ll find lots of rental properties advertised is TradeMe Property https://www.trademe.co.nz/a/property/residential/sale
Browsing around this website will give you an idea of rents and the types of property available in the area you’re considering.
Make a profile on: https://www.tpsportal.co.nz/auth/login - this allows for your application form to be created and associable by all agencies. You are only allowed to view a rental property once you have done an application form online in this portal – then you can start booking appointments.
If that’s not what you are looking for, we have a many other sites and options for you to browse:
If you want a more personal Kiwi experience there are a variety of homestay options, where you can enjoy living with a Kiwi family while working. The following websites will help you find your Kiwi family:
Helpful Temporary Accommodation website links below:
CARS AND DRIVERS LICENCING
It is highly recommended you have your own vehicle for work – if you don’t it can impact the work we have available for you. If you don’t want to buy a brand new a car straight from the sales yard, check out the auction website Trademe. You can find everything you’ll need, including new and used vehicles for sale. It’s a good idea to have a look at it as it will provide a good comparison guide on the prices of vehicles. http://www.trademe.co.nz
A Warrant of Fitness (WOF) is the equivalent of a UK MOT & costs around NZD $50, but the frequency depends on the age of the car. You have to get a warrant of fitness check every: 12 months if your vehicle was first registered anywhere in the world on or after 1 January 2000; or 6 months if your vehicle was first registered anywhere in the world before 1 January 2000.
The road tax in NZ is called vehicle licensing, although it is often referred to as `rego’. This can be renewed every 3, 6 or 12 months or stipulated at a number of months of your own choosing, but the cost benefits are made by choosing 12 months. The costs vary on age of the vehicle, fuel type & safety rating, but again it is cheaper when compared to other countries.
You can typically legally drive in New Zealand with your current overseas driver’s licence for 12 months. After that time, you must convert your licence to a New Zealand driving licence which you can do at any time before the 12 months is up. To do this you will need to visit a specialist overseas conversion site.
For further information please visit: https://www.nzta.govt.nz/driver-licences/
If you have children, then obviously, you want the best available education for them. All children aged 6 to 16 years in New Zealand must either attend school or be educated at home. Most children start school when they turn 5. https://www.newzealandnow.govt.nz/live-in-new-zealand/education-and-schooling/the-school-system has information on New Zealand’s school system.
Supermarkets in NZ are typically open 7 days a week from early morning with late closing.
Supermarket options in New Zealand include:
International foods can be found in most supermarkets, and there are also a number of specialist shops that sell international goods. They can sometimes come at a premium, but there is often a wide selection on offer. There are regularly special offers available in each supermarket, so look out for the mailers that get posted out each week.