Specialists in Migration, Visas, and Overseas Recruitment

Posts tagged ‘moving’

“I’m skilled and want to move country – what next?”

Plane flying over green grass against a blue backgroundHere, Caren, one of Working In’s migration consultants, recounts a real-life story as experienced by a colleague in the office as they planned their journey from the UK to New Zealand. See if you can use any of their helpful hints in planning your own move:

“We knew we wanted to move from the UK, but where to was the big question! So we decided to buy a round-the-world ticket and took ourselves off to Australia and New Zealand on a six-week ‘look-see’ holiday. This ticket allowed us to fly to several cities in both countries. We very quickly came to decide on New Zealand as we loved both the lifestyle it could offer us and the culture of the people. In fact, it felt very similar to what we were used to.

The first sign that we were really serious about this was when I walked into WH Smith and bought a book on New Zealand. After reading it cover to cover, we targeted a few areas that looked interesting.

Having done extensive homework prior to getting on the plane, we knew exactly what we wanted to see and check out for ourselves. We had shortlisted a few cities in New Zealand, and even done our homework with regards to the best schools and suburbs in those cities. This allowed us to drive past these schools and drive around these suburbs during our fleeting visit. We picked up as many real estate magazines as we could and soon the Property Press became the most read magazine in our house! We even went through a few open homes to get an understanding of what we could and couldn’t afford. When we visited a town/city on our shortlist, we made sure that we stayed for a few days, interacted with the locals and spent many hours picnicking at the local parks and beaches. This gave us a small taste of the culture and types of people in the town.

We were lucky enough to have friends in New Zealand who were able to give us their feelings and experiences about life in New Zealand. They also gave us an up to date household budget so that we could effectively compare it to how we lived at home. This gave us a good indication that our quality of life would significantly improve in New Zealand, as we would be in a position to afford a bigger home, live near good schools and have the means to enjoy life.

When we got back home, we had a renewed desire and determination to get our relocation underway. We put our house on the market, told our friends and family and started our immigration application process. We were lucky enough to have an occupation on the Long Term Skills Shortage List and could apply for residence without a job offer. Many friends thought that moving to a strange country on the other side of the world without a job offer was completely mad! But we never waivered from our plans and pushed on regardless.

We also spent a day in London at an expo called Opportunities New Zealand [what our early Opportunities Overseas Expos were called]. We were surprised by how many other people (like us) were on the same mission! This was an amazing experience as we managed to find a lot of information all under one roof.

I bought a book called ‘Where to Live in Auckland’ at the expo, which turned out to be one of the best buys regarding New Zealand. It became like my ‘New Zealand bible’ as it describes everything there is to know about each suburb, including who lives there, what schools are in the suburb, what the median price is for houses, what streets you want to avoid, etc. – invaluable if you are thinking of living in Auckland! If anything, the most we got out of our trip to London was that we were not alone on this quest to find a better life.”

The top 10 things you need to know about moving to New Zealand

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Nassim, one of Working In’s migration consultants, was born in the USA, raised in Australia and moved to New Zealand in 2009. Here she shares her top tips for making the move overseas. 

Moving country can be a daunting exercise and sometimes you don’t know where to start with your plans. I may have only moved across the Tasman, but as a migrant myself coming to New Zealand, the 10 things that we needed to organise and wished we had done some further research on before the relocation were:

  1. Shipping of goods – there are tax implications based on your visa status. If you aren’t a permanent resident or have a work visa for longer than 12 months you’ll be liable to pay customs tax and duty.
  2. Where to live if you have a child attending school – ERO reports, zoning, deciles… Once you’ve decided where a good school is, you’ll normally have to live within certain boundaries making housing rentals in certain areas hard to come by.
  3. Brush up on your Te Reo – lots of signs and words used in everyday life are in Te Reo Maori. Knowing a few basics will make life much easier!
  4. Driving licence requirements – you need a current and valid driver’s license to drive in New Zealand. If your license isn’t in English you may also need an international driving permit or translation. You can do this for 12 months from the date you arrive. After this time you’re required to apply for a New Zealand driver’s license.
  5. Have your bank accounts set up before you arrive – CBA/ASB can help you sort this out and help with transfer of funds that you’ll have easy access to once you land, meaning there’s no need to worry about how you are going to access cash or EFTPOS. However, not all New Zealand outlets accept credit cards. More information on this can be found here.
  6. Bring your original documents with you – this will make applying for certain things possible and it’s much easier than asking someone back home to forward you your documents!
  7. A furry friend – if you’re planning on bringing a domestic pet with you, then you need to start planning this well in advance of leaving. There’s more information about this at MAF Biosecurity.
  8. Set up a New Zealand post box or a private bag for your mail – you can do this online at New Zealand Post‘s website. Many organisations, including banks, will accept a post box or private bag as your official address until you find somewhere to live.
  9. Brush up on your lingo – even though they speak English, you need to review commonly used terms (such as “sweet as”, “hard case”, “biff” and “trundler”) if you want to follow a conversation with a Kiwi!
  10. Obtain insurance for the move over – not everyone realises that travel insurance doesn’t cover you when you’re moving. Read more about MigrateSafe.

Above all, adopt the Kiwi attitude of “no worries”; expect that you won’t be able to control everything; and that it will all fall into place!

Note: All of this is based on Nassim’s personal experiences, she doesn’t endorse any of the products listed above (or get paid to mention them!).

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: