Overseas Candidates - What you need to know about working in NZ

31 August 2016 Posted in Tips & Hints
We receive hundreds of CVs each month from candidates wanting to work and live in our fabulous country. But as we're a recruitment company, we can’t give you advice on how to get a visa but we can give you an overview of what you need to know about working in New Zealand.

The rules that apply to working in New Zealand are available on They cover whether you want to come for a working holiday, or if you're considering emigrating. There are a number of a categories you could be eligible for, so we stress the importance of understanding your eligibility and obtaining the appropriate visas before you arrive.

As we're not an immigration consultancy we can't provide immigration advice or recommend any company, but we can tell you to make sure you work with an Immigration consultancy that is reputable. New Zealand law requires Immigration Consultants to be licensed so check out their legitimacy through this link

NZ’s population has now grown to over 4.5 million. Auckland is the largest city with over 1.5 million people. Wellington is the capital and known as a Government city with the highest average earnings per employee. Christchurch, known as the "garden city", is successfully being rebuilt post 2011 earthquake and has a growing IT sector. Dunedin is the most southern city, with an excellent reputation as a University city. To get an idea of living costs in each location check out Comparison of Living costs in New Zealand.

Salary levels in New Zealand depend on the type of role and location, and you can get an idea of what salaries you can earn from the many job boards/job sites. The most common sites are or

Every person working in NZ has to have an IRD number which is obtained from the Inland Revenue Department. This is a simple online process you can complete when arriving in NZ. We have legislated minimum rates of pay and our taxation system is based on "pay as you earn" (PAYE) with employers being responsible for paying your deductions to the Inland Revenue Department. You can check our taxation rates at this site NZ Tax Rates.

Since New Zealand was discovered in 1769, we have grown from a small English colonial outpost to a truly multi-cultural country, now home to over 200 nationalities. We're part of the Asia Pacific region so we look quite different to what we did 100 years ago when our population was bicultural, based on our indigenous Maori people and mostly English immigrants.

Our cultural diversity now is a reflection of our maturity, realising our isolated location required new thinking and ideas to enable our country to be part of the world markets. So while working in NZ you will meet people from many different nationalities and ethnicities.

Our food is of the highest quality and due to our multicultural diversity, the menus are vast. We produce some of the best meat and wines in the world and we've had organic farmers for decades.

New Zealander's human rights legislation is world renown - we were the first country to give women the right to vote and we're proud that women achieve at the highest level in NZ and internationally. Sexism and racism are not tolerated.

Because of our location in the world many New Zealander's have what we call a "No 8 wire" mentality. This term derives from our early rural settlers who had limited access to resources. It means to think creatively and practically about solving problems. In our work places still, employees are encouraged to use their No 8 wire mentality to think outside the square to offer solutions to problems.

We are an egalitarian society and all New Zealanders have equal access to health, education and welfare. We believe we are a fair country who care about our citizens.

Our workplace legislation covers health, safety and well–being and most employers are mindful of a good work and life balance, so healthy workplace practices in partnership with employees and employers are encouraged.

We love sport - rugby is our national game, and there is easy access to every sporting activity. A lot of employers encourage participation in sports as part of their employee social activities.

We drive on the right side of the road and it is essential to have a valid driver’s license to drive or rent a car.

Politically, we currently have a conservative government. We are encouraged to be active in local and national politics. Our most recent referendum involving the decision not to change our country's flag brought out a high percentage of eligible voters. The majority voted to keep our current flag which has the Union Jack and the four stars depicting the Southern Cross star.

We consider honesty a virtue and bribery is unacceptable in our country.

Our moderate climate, easy access to the sea and the mountains along with our outdoor lifestyle make New Zealand a sought after location. We are perceived as a safe, politically stable country with an independent judiciary and sound financial markets.

Working and living in New Zealand offers a quality of lifestyle at a cost that is prohibitive in most other places around the world.