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New Zealand

(81 Posts)
sievebrains Fri 16-Mar-18 23:22:10

I have a work visa for New Zealand, I travel in the next few months. Any tips/ advice? Sorry it's not in the travel section, I guessed I would get more responses here.

How do I go about IRD numbers? I will be insured, but as I am going to be travelling the country, where do I go if I have minor illness? (Ear infection for example) I wouldn't have thought registering with a doctor would be suitable as I don't know where I will be for how long etc,

Any info or advice on anything practical would be greatly appreciated 🙂thanks

NualaCassia Sat 17-Mar-18 02:54:22

For IRD number you can get the forms from the Post Shop and take them back there once completed. Or you can phone IRD direct and they’ll talk you through it.

There are minor injuries centres dotted around everywhere. Most are 8am-8pm but there’s 24/7 ones too and obviously the bigger hospitals too.

When we got here, we landed in the morning, it was easier to get through the day with a small nap after lunch than try to sleep when your body clock is in daytime mode. Much easier for jet lag too.

Have you opened a bank account? I know you can open one with Westpac before you get here.

Remember, we’re the country of 4 seasons in one day, so pack accordingly, having a small folding rain coat even on the nicest of days is a good idea. Sounds like you’ll be heading over end of winter/beginning of spring? It doesn’t get particularly cold where I am during the day but the temp can really drop in the evenings and there isn’t central heating here. Some places have heatpumps/fires but they only heat the room they’re in.

We love it here, you’ll have a great time.

Montypontypine Sat 17-Mar-18 03:06:26

You'll need a bank account both asb and Westpac allow you to open one before you arrive.

What part of NZ will you be in to start with? Northlake is still pretty warm at this time of year but can be wet. The far south is already getting a bit cold though. The trick in cold weather is to wear lots of thin layers and have a good quality waterproof.

Books are expensive, marmite (the proper English stuff) is called Our Mate, wine is reasonably priced and coffee is good and cheap.

Montypontypine Sat 17-Mar-18 03:07:02

Northlake = Northland

feldz131 Sat 17-Mar-18 03:44:28

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

MrsPotatoHeadIsMyIdol Tue 20-Mar-18 22:58:53

@NualaCassia sorry, i have name changed! Yes will be end of winter, I tried to apply for westpac and another 2.. -all told me they no longer accept applications unless you're currently in NZ. This is what threw me off! I had read countless websites which all said that was the best thing to do.

@Montypontypine I'm flying into Auckland. Have two weeks accommodation booked then who knows! I'm from UK so I'm used to seasonal shite weather. Although still feel weird having a summery Christmas grin

Sorry for the delay guys. I appreciate any info, it's all helpful! smile

AuntieVenom Wed 21-Mar-18 03:27:43

ANZ will let you open a bank account from overseas

Placebogirl Wed 21-Mar-18 03:57:42

My advice would be that if you want to experience something that is uniquely New Zealand getting the heck out of Auckland ASAP would be a good start. Are you planning a studenty working holiday or is this more of a serious job type thing? Fruit picking etc can be done (nearly) anywhere, as can working as waitstaff or whatever. For more corporate jobs you will be confined to the major centres, but I would recommend Wellington over Auckland as a place for that--Auckland is just a large city that could be nearly anywhere in the world, only with worse public transport. Clothing is more casual in New Zealand than in large cities in the UK, and try not to look shocked the first time someone says "bugger" in front of you--it doesn't mean the same in NZ as it does elsewhere. As a guide "I'm buggered"=I'm very tired, "Bugger off"--Piss off, "Bugger me!"--that's a bit surprising, "bugger it" =I'm annoyed, "it's buggered"--it's broken.

LuubyLuu Wed 21-Mar-18 04:08:32

Bring all the clothes and shoes you think you might need, especially work clothes if you're heading to a corporate environment - they're really expensive and not great choice. Unless you're spending time on the South Island over winter you're not likely to need cold weather clothing, I live in Welly and haven't worn much of the cold weather gear we brought over.
Some things are pricey and some things not so, my visitors from the U.K. are always shocked at how expensive the supermarkets are, whereas public transport is relatively cheap.
Auckland has more job opportunities, but balanced out by really high housing costs, so would recommend going elsewhere. As a pp said, you'll see more of the real nz outside of Auckland anyway.
Practically, it's really easy to get things done, bureaucracy like IRD, driving license, bank accounts, doctors so much easier to set up than in the U.K. Pharmacies here are really good, and can use as your first point of call if you have medical issues. You can always see a doctor if you're not registered, you just pay more to see them.
Post if you have any specific questions. And good luck!

MrsPotatoHeadIsMyIdol Thu 22-Mar-18 23:17:02

@AuntieVenom thankyou! I've applied and been asked to send various forms etc back so fingers crossed!

@Placebogirl Auckland was the quickest route from Manchester for me - I don't plan on staying as I have been advised it is expensive! I have a lot of coffee experience, and have been told Wellington is good for job ops in that industry, is that true?
Also regarding the bugger... I have also read about this on an expat thread a few days ago, it actually surprised me as we don't see it as a swear word - although my nan who was born in the 50's used to get belted across the legs for saying it! grin

@LuubyLuu I'll be on my own for three months which I hope to work so I can save, then my friend is coming over for 3 months (summer) and he drives, so we are planning to do our travelling both islands via car. Do you think this is practical?

I also read about Wooofing - basic pay in return for accommodation and food - do you think this would be a good idea? I would sort of prefer to be settled for the three months I'm alone, although I'm not opposed to working full time for a full wage while renting / house sharing. I'm just unsure how to go about finding somewhere to live for a small amount of time. I don't want to have to buy furniture ( I've read that a lot of places are unfurnished - that may be long time renters so forgive me if I'm wrong!) and I certainly don't want to live in a hostel for 3 months!

Thankyou all so muchsmile

Placebogirl Thu 22-Mar-18 23:22:55

Yes, Wellington is great for the coffee scene. Another slightly odd recommendation is New Plymouth. Small town (50k people) on the west coast of the north island with a larger coffee scene than you would expect, because the oil industry has been there since the 80s. Cheaper than any of the major centres, and spectacularly pretty. Hamilton, about 90 minutes south of Auckland has lots of cafe scene but it is ugly and boring.

MrsPotatoHeadIsMyIdol Thu 22-Mar-18 23:40:04

@Placebogirl brilliant thankyou, I will definitely look into New Plymouth! How is rent there?

Placebogirl Thu 22-Mar-18 23:47:16

If you want to rent on your own a place near the city centre is around $300/$350 a week. Further out would be cheaper but it would mean owning a car. Bear in mind you would also have to furnish the house--houses typically are not furnished in NZ. If you're prepared to share, $150-$180 a week seems standard near the city centre. If you are looking for housing prices anywhere go to and click on property, you can go a quick search to see what things are like.

MrsPotatoHeadIsMyIdol Thu 22-Mar-18 23:58:42

@Placebogirl you're very helpful, I appreciate it! Can I ask, are you originally from NZ? Or is your experience through emigrating?

I think sharing would be the best, do you know if most shared places include bills?

Placebogirl Fri 23-Mar-18 00:00:34

I am from New Zealand, but have lived away for ten years. I've lived all over the world--Finland, Canada, Australia....never the UK, but my partner has! smile

Placebogirl Fri 23-Mar-18 00:01:48

Oh, and bills will be on a case by case basis, but it seems they typically do these days...when I was a grotty student it used to be advertised separately smile

Slapdasherie Fri 23-Mar-18 00:28:11

it doesn't mean the same in NZ as it does elsewhere. As a guide "I'm buggered"=I'm very tired, "Bugger off"--Piss off, "Bugger me!"--that's a bit surprising, "bugger it" =I'm annoyed, "it's buggered"--it's broken.

I miss NZ.

TheDropBear Fri 23-Mar-18 00:31:50

I've just spent the last year living in New Zealand on a working holiday visa and currently doing a "farewell tour" of the country before going home. It's a stunning country and you'll have an amazing time grin

You can apply for an IRD number online once you arrive. You need a NZ bank account when you apply but most banks set one up really quickly. My IRD number came through after a week but it can take longer, you can still work while you're waiting but they'll tax you at about 50%.

Definitely agree with a previous poster about not staying in Auckland. I couldn't warm to the place, it does just feel like it could be any other city. I lived in Nelson and Queenstown, both on the South Island. Nelson is ok, not much there and didn't seem to be that many jobs outside of the port. Queenstown is beautiful, it's expensive to live and full of tourists but I loved it. It's a good option if you decided you wanted to stay in New Zealand longer term as it's quite easy to get sponsored there because places are desperate for staff.

Car is definitely the best way to travel the islands, I'm doing it on a hop on hop off bus at the minute. Having a great time but know there must be so many hidden amazing spots I'm missing.

I haven't woofed myself though friends have. I get the impression it's a good option while you look for work so you're not burning through money but not something you want to do long term as you often earn the equivalent of less than minimum wage. It's technically not legal here to do direct work for accommodation either. The hostels get around it by paying a real wage but then making you pay more to stay in the hostel than the regular guests.

MrsPotatoHeadIsMyIdol Fri 23-Mar-18 00:43:14

Can I ask what made you move away? I've travelled quite a bit, but never lived in another country other than England. Nz was the first choice for me - for several reasons. I know I will never know how I feel about it until I go, but im so excited! It's so beautiful!

Placebogirl Fri 23-Mar-18 00:48:16

I moved because I work in a specialist academic area and couldn't find a job. I have a fit of pique at least three or four times a year and try to figure out a way to move home. This thread has made me quite homesick, and it is really lovely to see people excited to move to the place I'm from. I'm happy where I am now, good lifestyle and fantastic rewarding work, but I do miss home sometimes.

MrsPotatoHeadIsMyIdol Fri 23-Mar-18 00:52:33

@TheDropBear ah thankyou, I want to visit everywhere! grin have read about queenstown, apparently the bulk of jobs go up in time for winter (May)? I arrive at the start of July so I think I'd have missed my 'employment window'. I have read extensively into wooofing, although never knew it wasn't technically 'legal' shock I know it's very shit wages, it was the thought of being settled and although not earning much, I wouldn't be spending money I take with me (rent and food) that appealed!

MrsPotatoHeadIsMyIdol Fri 23-Mar-18 00:56:53

@Placebogirl I see what you mean, and without sounding a bit odd, it's reassuring to hear from someone who misses home (not just because you're 'homesick' but that you moved away for a very good reason (better job). I haven't lived away from the Uk, but I can't see myself missing it, Ive been very unhappy here And with my life here for a few years. But i obviously won't know for sure until I have to live with it! Although being at least a whole day away from my loved ones will be hard, I know.

Placebogirl Fri 23-Mar-18 00:58:41

Yeah, not selling you a lemon I promise!! There are things that aren't great about New Zealand, but there are lots of things that are fabulous too.

Belphegor Fri 23-Mar-18 00:59:19

I would go for Wellington, loads going on and always jobs available. I think it's the coolest city in NZ. You could try joining some local FB groups and asking about short term accommodation etc.

I live in a smaller place (smaller than Wellington but still a city) and it's lovely, but come winter and it is so quiet. Everyone just hibernates.

There's also Workaway for accommodation/work, have you looked there?

ShamelesslyPlacemarking Fri 23-Mar-18 01:04:42

Sorry, just going to have to jump in and add a counterpoint on Auckland!

Auckland is not like "any other city in the world", I defy you to find me a city where you can be on a glorious beachy island or a wild black-sand beach, or trekking up a bush-clad volcano all within 30 minutes drive or ferry journey from the central city.

Auckland has transformed MASSIVELY in the last 10 years and is frequently voted one of the most livable cities in the world. If you like good food and wine, it is world-class, there are beautiful parks, galleries, markets, lots of cultural events. It's the most multi-cultural city in NZ and the best-serviced (apart from the public transport which genuinely is pretty shit unless you happen to be right on a train or ferry route.)

If you plan to work through the winter and travel through the summer, Auckland's is going to be a lot more pleasant to 'winter-over' in than most places further south. It's expensive for sure, though you could find a well-priced flatshare on aforementioned beachy island (Waiheke) and commute to the cafe-heavy central city across the harbour every day - or do some WWOOFing on a Waiheke farm. At the weekends Auckland is a jumping-off point for lots of amazing short trips - up to Goat Island Marine Reserve, Tutakaka, the West Coast beaches, or down to Raglan, the Coromandel, Waitomo, or the Bay of Plenty. If you take off early on a Friday, you can spend a weekend down in the Central Plateau skiing on Mt Ruapehu and be comfortably back in time for work on Monday.

This idea that Auckland is not "really New Zealand" is silly. No, it doesn't look like Hobbiton (though Hobbiton is literally only two hours' drive away), no, it's not Queenstown with it's incredible lakes and mountains, but there's are good reasons that more than a third of the population chooses to live in Auckland.

The people who live here are just as much New Zealanders as people from anywhere else in the country, much as the rest of the country seems to find it fun to be rude and disparaging about us. hmm Of course, Auckland may not be your cup of tea, nobody says you have to like it, but I really don't think you should write it off before you arrive!

/descends soapbox

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