New Zealand Lifestyle

New rules for overseas people buying or building a house in New Zealand

The rules for overseas people buying or building residential property in New Zealand have changed. In general, only residents and citizens can buy homes to live in, but other investment opportunities are available.

The below article was written by Tom Appleton for Christchurch-based Lawyers Harmans.co.nz

“The Overseas Investment Amendment Bill recently passed its third reading of the house, and will bring into law amendments to the Overseas Investment Act 2005. The amendments will take effect in late October 2018. The main intention is to restrict the ability of overseas buyers, not ordinarily resident in New Zealand, from purchasing residential land in New Zealand.

One of the key amendments is the addition of residential land to the definition of “Sensitive Land” contained in Schedule 1 to the Act. Consequently a person who does not satisfy the “ordinarily resident in New Zealand” test contained in section 6 of the Act, will have to apply to the Overseas Investment Office for consent to purchase residential land in New Zealand.

New Zealand citizens living overseas retain the ability to purchase sensitive land. However in order to satisfy the “ordinarily resident in New Zealand” test, an overseas buyer must:

  1. Hold a resident class visa; and

  2. Have been residing in New Zealand for at least the immediately preceding 12 months; and

  3. Be tax resident in New Zealand; and

  4. Have been present in New Zealand for 183 days or more in total in the immediately preceding 12 months.

Due to existing free trade agreements, overseas buyers from Australia and Singapore will enjoy the same rights as New Zealand citizens when purchasing residential land.

Developers will be able to apply for an exemption in relation to large multi storey apartment buildings of 20 or more units. Large scale developments often rely on pre-sales to raise capital and satisfy lenders that a project is feasible. At the select committee stage, it was submitted that restricting overseas buyers as a source of pre-sales would stymie this type of development. Developers will be able to apply for an exemption to sell a percentage of the units to overseas buyers “off the plans”, without the need for Overseas Investment Office consent. There will be no requirement for overseas buyers to on-sell the unit once it has been completed, however they will not be able to occupy it themselves.”

If you have any questions regarding the purchasing or building of New Zealand houses, please contact your immigration adviser, or contact Harmans directly on legal@harmans.co.nz.

25 reasons to move to New Zealand

Thinking of living and working abroad? Here are 25 reasons why New Zealand may be the best country for you…

1. If you work in Construction, Healthcare, Accounting, Education, or many other sectors, your skills are in high demand in the country, which means you can apply for a visa under the Skilled Migrant Category – and this visa type has the opportunity for full residency.

2. New Zealand is real life ‘Middle Earth’ with all the breath-taking scenes from Lord of the Rings around every corner…

The scenery view of Hobbiton hole in Matamata town of North Island, New Zealand.

3. It’s got a rich history dating back over 700 years where the Māori culture was developed.

Maori meeting house - Marae
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4. Because of its remote location and tectonic evolution, It has no poisonous spiders, no snakes, no killer jellyfish or other deadly insects/animals.

5. It does have these though…

small kiwi toy bird

6. And these…

dolphin underwater on reef close coming to you

7. And these!

ready to dive 2

8. It has all the seasons – lots of variety in the weather can break up the monotony, and means you can have beautiful hot summers, and still ski in the winter.

9. Dubbed the eighth wonder of the world by Rudyard Kipling, and voted the world’s top travel destination in an international TripAdvisor Survey, Milford Sounds is one of the most incredible places on earth.

Milford Sound - II

10. You don’t need to tip – it’s not custom to tip in restaurants or in taxis, so the bill is what it is!

11. It has some fantastic ski resorts, including Craigieburn Valley, Treble Cone, The Remarkables and Coronet Peak. Plus some of the best Apre-Ski in Queenstown.

Queenstown1.jpg

12. You can holiday in Australia, or Fiji, or Tonga. Or South East Asia. All are just a short flight away so you can fit them into 2 weeks with no jet lag.

13. Auckland and Wellington regularly appear in the top ten cities for quality of live (https://mercer.com/newsroom/2018-quality-of-living-survey.html)

14. Only 5% of New Zealand’s population are human (the rest are animals)!

sheep-50914_1280.jpg

15. You get to support the All Blacks and learn the Haka...

16.   It’s the home of skydiving, bungy jumping, white-water rafting; anything adrenaline fuelled

17.   There are no nuclear power plants in New Zealand, it depends mainly on hydro-electric power for its electricity.

18.   New Zealand was one of the first countries to give women the right to vote.

19.   Gisborne, situated on the east coast of New Zealand’s North island, is the first place in the world to watch the sun rise.

20.   Geographically speaking, New Zealand is on a continent all by itself – the last fragment of a submerged continent called Zealandia.

21.   New Zealand is a multi-ethnic society and home to many different national origins, of which they’re very proud.

22.   It’s got a brilliant education system...

Montessori/Pre-School Class Listening to Teacher on Carpet

23.   ...And healthcare system too

Healthcare And Medicine. Doctor using a digital tablet

24.   They have a fantastic work-life balance. It’s very normal to get outside, or do a hobby after work, and make the most of the outside on the weekends.

25. Did we mention this is what it looks like…?

New Zealand remains at the top of the Legatum Prosperity Index

New Zealand was recently cited as the world’s most prosperous country outside of Europe, in the annual Legatum Prosperity Index. 

Currently sitting at no.4 in the rankings, New Zealand has secured a place in the top 5 since 2009. The index, which ranks 149 nations (96% of the global population) according to wealth and wellbeing, offers an insight into how people flourish, why some nations are more prosperous than others and how poorer communities transition from poverty to increasing prosperity.

Among the various sub-indexes, New Zealand was ranked first in the world in Social Capital and particularly high in Governance, Education and Personal Freedom. Another result of note was New Zealand's second place for the most tolerant country in the world to immigrants - highlighting the country's welcoming nature to immigration.

You can read the full article about New Zealand's 4th place in the prosperity rankings here

Learn more about the Legatum Prosperity Index here.  

NZ FAQ Series Part 4 - The NZ Property Market

When migrating to New Zealand, one of the biggest you may face is where to live. Whether to rent or buy, how to buy, and where to buy - these are some of the biggest questions asked. We've teamed up with property experts Ray White who answer our questions in this month's FAQ series:

1. When I first arrive, should I rent or look to buy straight away?

New Zealand is a popular place to live, access to outdoor activities, skiing, hunting, watersports, hiking and kayaking and remote unspoiled environments make it attractive. Because it's so popular, the housing market is booming and the cost of property is on the rise, so it's a good idea to buy as soon as you can. 

That said, renting first lets you get to feel of a city, and a chance to explore the particulars of each suburb, parks, schools and social makeup. If you look to rent first, there are some important facts to know.  

  • The amount advertised or the cost of renting is usually per week not monthly. i.e $400 per week is $1600 per month.

  • Your rent normally covers rates and insurance of the home but not insurance for household contents.

  • Some locations may be charged for water usage, or if excess is used.

  • A 4 week bond is normal, character references and credit checks are also required before being accepted as a tenant.

  • Each city may vary greatly in charges for similar homes.

  • Power and phone is normally the tenants cost along with the maintenance of the garden unless noted on the tenancy agreement.

  • The home will be advertised furnished or unfurnished.

2. What is the property like in New Zealand? 

If you go for an older home in New Zealand (pre-1984) you may find they don't have much insulation, perhaps single glazed with insulation only in the walls. New building codes in place mean that all new builds have much better insulation including underfloor and an R rating in the roof space. Landlords are now also required to ensure that they improve these conditions in older homes. Most houses tend to be timber-framed, brick houses are much less common in NZ.  

In terms of location, you have the same rural vs suburb choices to make as in any country. A typical rural commute is around 1/2 hour travel time for properties outside a town.

3. When buying a property, what are the differences to the UK?

A big difference you may find is that in some areas around 50% of the homes are sold at Auction. The owner provides information packs to all interested parties prior to anyone bidding or making an offer, which includes the Title, Land Information Memorandum and any known issues that may affect the price. Disclosure is a big part of the real estate agents job so buying privately can come with more risk. You should always have your own building inspection prior to the auction, or in the body of the offer you make to the owner.

With the auction the highest bidder wins if it has met reserve, and most homes are advertised with a reserve. Occasionally there's no price on a property so you should talk to a real estate sales person or valuer to give you access to data on sales. Ray White can provide market information for each city suburb and email you all new listings

4. Do I need to have a mortgage arranged before I make an offer on a property?

Finance and Mortgages need to be pre-approved before making an offer and bidding, the biggest lender with more options is the 'Loan Market'. It's a no cost service  - contact Brent or Colin on 03 386 0311.

We recommend to our clients that they speak to a solicitor prior to signing a contract, and also ensure they've read a guide book on Sale and Purchase agreements.

5. Anything else that's different to the UK when buying a property? 

In NZ there's no gazumping. The difference here in NZ is once you have a contract you have secured the property (subject to certain aspects you would like to check within certain periods of time specified in the contract). But do be aware that if you buy through an auction, the fall of the hammer means you own the house - so doing your homework prior to bidding is essential. 

NZ FAQ Series Part 3 – What’s it like to live in New Zealand?

This broad question has many answers. Many people who have already taken the journey will tell you that New Zealand is like a home from home, similar to the UK, but different. We highlight some of the key differences that people tend to ask us about.

 

1.       What’s the difference between the North and the South Island?

There are a few fundamental differences between the two islands. In terms of climate the North Island, closer to the equator, boasts great weather with a subtropical climate in the Summer months. The South is home to the Southern Alps and has a smaller landmass, so has a cooler climate. The North Island has a much denser population, with three times the number of people compared to the South. Many of them live in Auckland - 33% of NZ’s total population. The North Island is generally more cosmopolitan with both Auckland and Wellington, that said Christchurch is fast becoming NZ’s city of culture with a population growing at around 2% per year. If you like the bright lights of the city, the North Island may be for you. If mountain views and whale-watching is more your scene, the South Island may suit.

2.       What is food shopping like?

This is one of the biggest differences we hear about. As per the UK there are big supermarkets, smaller convenience stores and markets, but you won’t find any of the big names you see in the UK. Supermarkets tend to be huge warehouses stocking vast quantities of groceries, to offer low prices. Fruit and Veg grows well in New Zealand, but you don’t get exports quite like in the UK so varieties on offer are mainly seasonal, which means prices can inflate when out of season. New Zealanders tend to own huge freezer chests where they can store lots of meat that they’ll get from local butchers, or fresh fish which bountiful and a core component of the NZ palette.

3.       What are the people like?

New Zealanders are in general, incredibly down to earth, with a relaxed attitude and a great outlook on life. Because of this they are very welcoming to migrants from all nations. They have a very liberal approach to life, are leaders in many environmental policies and a positive approach LGBT – they were one of the first countries in the world to legalise gay marriage in 2013. The current political party in power is the National Party which is slightly right-wing. They have a varied ethnic background from Maori to Pan-Asian, to European of all nationality types. This hot pot of culture is what makes New Zealand's diverse population so welcoming.

4.       What’s the language in New Zealand?

English is the dominant language in New Zealand, Maori is also an official language, and there are languages spoken by ethnic minorities. Kiwis do have their own lingo, for instance a ‘dag’ is a joker/comedian, ‘bro’ is a common friendly phrase for addressing people, similar to mate - as is ‘bugalug’.  A ‘chook’ is a chicken, a ‘dunny’ is a toilet, ‘fagged out’ means to be tired out, ‘hard yakka’ is hard work, ‘racked off’ is being angry or annoyed, and ‘strewth’ exists in NZ too – meaning, wow/I agree! There’s loads more Kiwi lingo here.

5.       How do people spend their time?

Because of the weather, people tend to spend a lot more time outdoors. Kids carry out sports after school and often take up outdoor hobbies. As part of Children’s schooling they are encouraged to explore the fauna and fauna and tend to develop a good environmental connection. The diverse landscape means that there’s something for everyone – beaches for relaxing, mountains for climbing or skiing, lakes for water-based activities, oceans for fishing, forests for hiking trails, rivers for rafting, and the sky for falling! There’s also many cities to visit with strong art and music cultures as well as bars and cinemas and theatres (so similar activities to the UK is possible.)

6.       Are there any other noticeable differences when you first arrive?

Many people note that the pace of life is very different, especially if you’re used to living in a city. This much more relaxed attitude is actually something you’ll need to adapt to, but it’s also what makes NZ life so enviable. If you’re moving from a city, then you’ll also notice how much space there seems to be everywhere. With a smaller population cities are built less densely, and a passion for the natural world means that everything is just that bit more spread out. The other thing you’ll notice immediately is how friendly everyone is. There tends to be a strong community feeling and the neighbours are very likely to pop over and say hello! 

Work in Construction? Why now is your time to move to New Zealand

Work in Construction? Why now is your time to move to New Zealand

1.       You may or may not have heard that there is currently a high demand for skilled construction workers in New Zealand. Partly driven from the regeneration of Christchurch after the 2011 earthquakes, partly driven by a migration and economic boom. More people and more money means more infrastructure is needed and being created, and this inevitably means that New Zealand needs to draw on the talent pool outside of their country to help make this happen.

 

2.       Because construction workers are in such high demand, the New Zealand government have implemented various strategies to make this easier for both employer and employee.      

 

3.       To gain a working Visa in New Zealand you don’t need a skills assessment or English test, as you do to gain a visa for Australia. So if your ultimate goal is to live and work in Australia, but cannot get because the difficulties of the visa process in Australia, you can perhaps consider New Zealand as the visa process is much more simplified – however you will in all likelihood require a job offer before applying for a visa, which is a positive thing as you need to have a job offer in place to make the move.

 

4.       You have flexibility in Visa choice. If you’re between 18-31 then you may be able to travel on a NZ Working Holiday Visa for up to 24months, giving you a chance to ‘try before you buy’. The Essential Skills Work Visa is for those filling a temporary skills gap, or the Skilled Migrant Category for those want to obtain permanent residency. There are many other visa types which gives people flexibility depending on their circumstances and preferences.

 

5.       New Zealand’s economy is booming. It’s recovered strongly from the global financial crisis and has enjoyed steady economic growth in recent years with a GDP Annual Growth Rate this quarter of 2.3%. With the Construction industry a large contributor to this overall growth, the country is attracting investors and giving skilled, capable workers a lot of opportunities for personal growth.

 

6.       New Zealand is an untouched beauty, full of breathtaking landscapes, rolling mountains, stunning beaches and vibrant cities. It receives many accolades in wealth reports, quality of life indexes, and human development indexes. It is also renowned for offering a very good life-work balance, instilled by its residents whose first love is the outdoors. For many construction workers who are physically skilled, it’s an opportunity for finally getting a workshop, starting a personal project, or just a chance to get outdoors after work and enjoy the world.

 

7.       You have all the support you need to help you on the journey. There’s New Zealand Skills in Demand who are actively looking to place people in roles, Bank of New Zealand who are well-versed in setting up new Migrants in New Zealand, MoneyCorp who help NZ migrants make the most of their money, Migration Cover which specialise in insuring people moving to New Zealand against all those things you might worry about, and of course Migration Associates who have over 99% success rate on New Zealand Visa applications.

 

8.       There are plenty of people who have done it before and are loving their new life – Quantity Surveyors, Carpenters, Electricians, Construction Project Managers, Engineers, Heavy Vehicle Fitters, and loads more. Read what they had to say about the NZ Visa Process, and some of our case studies here to see how they got on.

 

If you work in the Construction Industry, there never has been a better time to live and work in New Zealand. Start your journey today. Fill in our free initial Evaluation Form, and sign up to attend a Seminar/Webinar.

Living in New Zealand could mean adventures on your doorstep

An exclusive by Travel blogger Lydia Walker.

If you’re considering working and living in New Zealand then you are potentially only a step away from having access to a whole treasure trove of wonderments at your doorstep. New Zealand truly is a beautiful country with every type of landscape you could want, and if you know where to seek, there are adventures hiding in every corner. This is the beauty of living in New Zealand, being able to access these adventures on your holidays and on weekends. Here, I’m going to share 4 adventures I stumbled upon when visiting the North Island, ready for you to discover.

 

1. Fishing, Sandduning & Emus.

90 Mile Beach sounds like something so large, that you may wonder how I could possibly have ‘stumbled upon it’. When I considered visiting the beach I had intentions of behaving just like every other tourist really, driving to the car park (we were told that non 4×4 vehicles shouldn’t be taken on the beach due to the sinking sand), taking some photos and perhaps a walk along it. However on the way to the beach we saw a hand-made sign on the side of the road offering ‘Fishing, Sandboarding & Emus’. We couldn’t resist a sign that so casually mentioned Emus, so we took the winding road up through an Emu farm and on towards a small tin house, where as it turned out, two PHD’s lived (one was busy inventing a jet-lag reducing device, incredible). The men casually offered to take us up the beach to a secret fishing spot and show us the secrets of the beach, to which of course we agreed. We grabbed some gear and made our way, past the tourist buses and onwards along possibly the most beautiful beach in the world.  When we finally came to the end (it’s not actually 90 miles long, FYI) we were taken up a hidden hike trail for about an hour, past disturbingly large insects, until we came to a rocky headland. Here we were guided down the cliffs, and shown how to sea fish. Within minutes I had caught such a large Travelli I could hardly reel it in, and a day of big fish catching began.

Taking home only what we planned to eat, we got ourselves together and began the hike home. We sped back down the beach when the man stopped and suggested we might want to take the body boards out to use on the sand dunes. Like kids we eagerly ran to the highest point of the dunes and flew head first down the sand, repeatedly. Eventually we drove home as the other tourists looked on, back to the farm where we sat around a camp fire with the two PHDs and 3 farmers from the south island on their holidays, sharing tales of exactly how big the fish was that got away. Nothing tastes more incredible than a freshly caught sea fish, barbequed with a bit of ketchup! We slept in the van that night and bid the men and their Emu’s farewell the following day. An unforgettable experience that we shared with real Kiwis enjoying their country on their vacation.

2. Finding Fairies

Near the Bay of Islands above Auckland there are a number of national forests full of incredible little secret hikes and pools. We were driving between landmarks when we accidentally got on the wrong route and found ourselves on small ‘B’ roads right in this area. Having a vehicle made all the difference as we were able to stop and jump out when we thought we found something interesting, and we most definitely did… There were a number of official signs for ‘fairy pools’ for which we regularly stopped at and hiked up small trails to see. On the journey though, one particular hand-written sign got our attention, and we decided to follow an overgrown trail for half an hour through tropical forest, full of huge and beautiful butterflies. If there was ever a place that fairies were likely to live, it was here. It genuinely felt magical, we were lost in another world. There were no other people there, the path was barely visible as we carefully made sure not to leave our own mark. We continued as the forest got denser and denser until suddenly, the canopy opened up and before us lay a waterfall, with a rocky river leading to a pool. We’d already seen a number of waterfalls at this point but nothing compared to this wonder. It was glistening in the sun, thousands of tiny sparkles that looked like fairies dancing in the waters. Complete peace fell and instead of jumping into the pool or putting our heads under the waterfall, we just sat by the pool and grinned at each other, taking in this small piece of paradise. As the sun fell in the sky it was time to creep back to the car, and leave the fairies to their night time festivities. Beauty is around every corner in New Zealand, and to think this was only 3 hours’ drive from Auckland, the biggest city in the country.

3. Coromandel hot sands

Often when people take a tour of New Zealand, say in about 3 weeks, they visit the major cities and attractions – Cape ReingaAucklandTaupoRotoruaWaitomoWellington in the North – but some parts of the islands just can’t be accessed unless more time is given to exploration. The Coromandel is one of those places.

The peninsular sticks out like a big toe, tempting but slightly too far off the main straight to visit if on a whistle-stop tour. On our travels we had the luxury of time (in fact, it was in New Zealand that we had decided to do away with watches all-together) so we ensured we made the Coromandel, and in particular Mercury Bay, part of the journey. And thank goodness we did. After taking a small train to the peak of the Coromandel forest so we could walk swing bridges, and take in the view of the whole bay, we followed the coastline along, staying in a different place every night.  This area benefits from naturally heated springs under the ground, so that nearly all the camping grounds and parks we visited had a naturally heated hot tub. We couldn’t get enough of the warm water, and eventually made our way down to hot water beach. Casually wavering any health and safety concerns locals encouraged us to take a spade, make a hole in the sandy beach deep enough for boiling hot water to rise up, and then wait for the cold tidal water to fill the hole, giving us our very own natural hot pool. We amused ourselves with this for hours – along with many other holidayers from the area. Admittedly this was a few years ago now, and it has perhaps become a more commercial activity, but at the time I remember feeling delighted that this was how Aucklanders would spend their weekends, again – just enjoying the natural wonder of their active island.

4. The Bay of Sunsets

Back on the tourist trail, the Bay of Plenty is an easy detour from Rotorua, and so definitely attracts a few more visitors. It is beautiful, no doubt, and in particular the Rangitaiki River and its bridges will take your breath away. But it was here that we managed to find a little place off the beaten track – hidden away on the outskirts of Te Urewera national park we found a tiny piece of heaven. A short walk from our camp site (which in itself was incredible – wooden huts, communal BBQ grills, and a piano, strangely, surrounded by trees) was a small hill that we climbed up, and sat upon to watch a sunset. The burnt orange sun slowly sunk into the ground turning the sky purple, and we sat in awe. A Maori lady out for a walk came upon us and stopped to offer us some of her ham sandwiches and apples, it was such a perfect moment of friendship and communal spirit. Plus we were really hungry. She was really interested in us, as we were in her, and we talked through the evening munching on the best ham sandwich that I can remember, watching the most incredible sunset on the planet.

New Zealand is a land of opportunity, full of awe and adventures, if you have the time and inclination. Living and working in New Zealand would give you an opportunity to discover these secret escapes in your free time, and claim a little piece of heaven for your own.

Watch out for part 2 where I’ll talk about 4 adventures on the South Island!

By Lydia Walker

What can you expect from a New Zealand life?

If you've ever visited New Zealand you’ll know that whilst you were there the idea of staying forever and never coming back crossed your mind more than once. If you haven’t visited then you’ll hear stories of stunning landscapes, laid back attitudes and an unbeatable climate, and probably think it sounds like the kind of place you’d love to live.

It’s not just a pipe dream for hundreds of people we speak to every year, they are taking that dream and turning it into reality by finding a job, applying for a visa and moving themselves and their families to the land of the long white cloud.  If you’re considering a change of lifestyle, or a change of work and New Zealand has crossed your mind, then here’s some ideas of what you can expect from a New Zealand life.

1. 5-9, not 9-5

Helped along by more daylight hours than the UK, and a sunnier, warmer climate, after work hours open up and you’ll find yourself actually doing things after work. Your job won’t be the only thing you achieve in a day, you’ll find that there’s actually time to enjoy your hard earned cash. Walking in the Coromandelwatersports on Lake Taupo, or perhaps visiting the beach.  For families this is especially true as when school ends around 3, children tend to go and carry out activities for a few hours. It’s the fundamental part of the lifestyle change, literally turning the 9-5 routine on its head and becoming all about the 5pm-9am.

2. Experiencing the seasons

One of the common drawbacks cited by people who migrate to hot climates is that they miss the UK seasons – our UK bodies just seem to need a bit of variety in weather. Depending on where you are in New Zealand, you will experience seasonal weathers, including snow in the south. Generally speaking you’ll have sunny summers, cooler autumns which turn cold at night, rain and cold in the winter months and frost in the spring. In the winter, there’s plenty of activities to do, especially in the South Island.

3. Spending time outdoors

Whilst there’s thriving city life in New Zealand, the outdoors will play a big part in your lifestyle. There’s so much variety, and so much beauty, you’ll find that this is a major part of your weekend and evening activities. If you’re in the North Island you’ll find that within a few hours’ drive you can access beautiful, jaw-dropping coast linesforestsfairy poolscaves, hills and lakes. In the south you’ll see more rugged coastlines, breath-taking mountainous landscapesforestsfarmlands, rivers and coastal walks that’ll make you think you’ve just woken up in heaven.

4. Tasting incredible food and drink

You will have likely tasted New Zealand lamb and their Sauvignon Blanc wines, but when you get a little closer you’ll find that all types of food and drink is exceptionally good. The cuisine has a European and native Maori influence, and in cities there’s a huge Asian influence. There’s also fresh seafood which is likely to come from sustainable sources, and the climate means a bountiful of fresh vegetables grow eagerly.  New Zealand also have their own Marmite – a bit sweeter than the UK version. (Eat at your own peril).

5.  Finding a more laid-back approach to life

If you’re coming from London you will especially feel the difference in cultures, as New Zealanders are naturally more laid back. Don’t misinterpret their casual approach as aloofness or laziness, they are super-friendly and motivated when you dig a little deeper. They embody a sense of calm and enjoyment that can only come from incredible weather, a stunningly beautiful surrounding, and a knowing that life is there to be enjoyed and celebrated. Given time, you too will become this mellow.

6. Your cost of living won’t change significantly

The New Zealand economy has been consistently strong for years, which means that the exchange rate, once extremely favourable against the UK pound, have lately been averaging around $1 for approx. £0.50p. Whilst the English pound will still go further in New Zealand, cost of living will differ – and will fluctuate depending on which part of the country you live in. Some foods are more expensive (milk, for instance, is approx. $3.75 vs £1.29 for 2L), and some foods are cheaper (NZ lamb is unsurprisingly half the price). Generally speaking, petrol is cheaper, renting is cheaper, but buying a house is about the same.

7. Shopping in a big red Warehouse.

The Warehouse. The Warehouse. Where everyone gets a bargain. This national network of bright red buildings contains a wonderful assortment of items at incredible value. There’s not a shop quite like it in the UK, a bit like a supermarket without the emphasis on food, or a TK max without the emphasis on clothes. If Argos had shops, it might come close. It will contain everything from household items to toys to music & books, to electronic, and everything in between. You’ll go in and come out 2 days later wondering what the hell happened.

To find out more about a New Zealand lifestyle, and whether you could qualify to live and work in New Zealand, take our free online evaluation form, attend an emigration seminar, or give us a call on 01483 550920.