Moving to New Zealand – 20 Things You Should Know
8th March 2024

Moving to New Zealand – 20 Things You Should Know

If you are thinking of moving to New Zealand, you may be aware of this stunning country’s allure.

Moving to New Zealand has become synonymous with spectacular countryside, magnificent mountains and a temperature climate which is much more manageable than neighbouring Australia.

Life in New Zealand is very different to the UK.

‘Kiwis’ are generally much more in touch with nature and take great pride in celebrating their heritage and culture.

A relatively small population allows residents to be far more in tune with their surroundings and ensure a more tranquil way of life.

Boasting this great change in lifestyle, it is no surprise that thousands of UK citizens make the move every year!

There is certainly a lot to know before you start moving to New Zealand.

It is therefore imperative that you are absolutely sure that relocating to New Zealand is the correct decision to make!

To best assist you with your big move, GoodMove have put together the top 20 tips to life in New Zealand!

Entry to New Zealand

New Zealand Landscape
There are some strict regulations to follow when it comes to moving to New Zealand. Image credit: Pixabay

Travel to New Zealand is notoriously strict.

There are currently several essential criteria you must reach before visiting.

Make sure to contact the New Zealand Immigration Department to see if you meet their requirements.

Any restrictions, or lack thereof, are subject to change.

Being patient is key!

As mentioned, travel to New Zealand is particularly strict and can take some time.

If you are planning on bringing a large number of household items, you need to be sure to adhere to government rules and regulations.

Being prepared well in advance will ensure you remain on top of your move.


Securing a visa is crucial for those planning to move to New Zealand, particularly for employment or extended stays.

Typically, visas are granted to individuals with confirmed job placements.

For UK citizens aged 18 to 30, the United Kingdom Working Holiday Visa is a popular choice, requiring proof of sufficient funds.

This visa suits young professionals eager to experience New Zealand.

Other visas demand a job offer or investment proof, with limited availability and specific application periods.

It’s vital to research the most appropriate visa and secure it ahead of your move.

Healthcare in New Zealand

Healthcare New Zealand
Healthcare in New Zealand will feel rather different to the UK. Image credit: Pexels

New Zealand provides residents and visa holders with both public and private healthcare services.

Be aware that moving from the UK and the familiar NHS healthcare system may seem very different at first.

If your visa is valid for more than 2 years you may be entitled to subsidised healthcare.

In this case, part of your healthcare costs will be covered by the government but you will still be expected to pay.

If you are considering moving to New Zealand it is important to inspect the healthcare coverage you are entitled to with your visa.

This will help to prevent the shock of a hefty bill!

Much like in the UK, citizens who are eligible for free public healthcare may be expected to pay for prescriptions and certain doctors’ appointments as well as for any dental needs.

Ensure you are fully aware of your healthcare coverage before moving to New Zealand.


If you are moving to New Zealand from the UK expect far fewer people!

Whilst New Zealand is 20,000 square km larger than the UK, the county has a substantially smaller population.

In fact, there are an astounding 67.8 million fewer people living here!

Of New Zealand’s 5.2 million population 1.6 million live in Auckland.

In total, over 85% of the country’s population live in large towns or cities, meaning there is an astonishing amount of open countryside to explore.

If you are looking for a complete change of lifestyle New Zealand is certainly the place for you!


Homes in Auckland, New Zealand
Homes in Auckland, New Zealand. Image credit: Unsplash

Finding a house in New Zealand is a particularly quick and easy process.

Those moving to New Zealand will find that the housing market it particularly well structured.

Buying a new home and moving in will be far quicker than in the UK!

Considering New Zealand’s small population, housing options vary massively.

Properties can be found in busy cities such as Auckland, countryside towns like Whakatane or even more remote locations.

The options are limitless!

Average house prices in New Zealand have fallen by 0.69% in the last 12 months according to Opes Partners.

Whilst there is a small decrease, it represents a reasonable level of stability considering the uncertainty of the period!

The average cost of a property in New Zealand in October 2021 is NZ$924,489 (£445,857).

The current average in the UK sits at £263,600.

However, with a far smaller population and more space, properties in New Zealand tend to offer a lot more for your money.

Renting in New Zealand

If you are thinking of moving to New Zealand renting could be a great option for you.

The cost of renting a property will vary massively depending on where you live and the size of property that you require.

Bigger cities like Auckland will understandably require renters to part with more money compared to more remote locations.

The cost of renting a one-bedroom property in the city centre is around NZ$2,241.00 (£1,080.23) a month.

Average rent costs in Auckland offer fantastic value when compared to the cost of living in London.

Renting is 45.5% cheaper than in England’s capital!

If you are considering renting be aware that most properties are unfurnished!

Ensure you are well prepared to move into a property with little to no furnishings.

This may mean either shipping your belongings or purchasing new items upon arrival.

Renting is a fantastic way to test the waters.

It will allow you to get a great understanding of a particular area and could solidify your choice to eventually buy a property!


If you are considering moving to New Zealand it is a good idea to get as much insight into the job market as possible.

Many visas require you to have work lined up before you arrive, so you may already have a basic understanding.

However, certain industries and professions will require you to complete an occupational registration.

Be sure to follow the link above to see if this is required for your industry.

New Zealand’s relatively small population also means that the working environment is somewhat different to the UK.

You may notice that working is more relaxed in New Zealand.

Centred around small businesses, employees have great opportunities to learn on the job and climb up the business ladder much faster than is possible in the UK.

This does not mean everything will be given to you!

Kiwis are very hardworking and selfless so you will need to arrive with a can-do attitude to succeed!

Weather in New Zealand

New Zealand Weather
New Zealand is know for its varying weather. Image credit: Pexels

If you have lived in the UK, you will certainly be accustomed to varying weather.

This is no different for those moving to New Zealand!

Whilst neighbouring Australia is renowned for its scorching summers, Kiwi’s are very used to unpredictable weather.

Be prepared for any weather conditions at any time of the day!

New Zealand’s island locations mean that the weather can change in the blink of an eye.

Whilst we can suggest checking the weather forecast it is always a good idea to be prepared for anything!

If you are moving from the UK, you may find this transition effortless.

Stunning Landscape

New Zealand is a truly unique location.

Until fairly recently the county’s islands remained in relative isolation from the rest of the world.

This has resulted in some truly staggering untouched natural beauty.

It is almost impossible to not find a beautiful location when travelling across the country.

New Zealand’s stunning landscape is well protected, with practically a third of the country consisting of national parks and reserves!

In the south, you can explore vast mountain ranges, sparkling lakes, and wild ancient forests.

The northern island offers visitors volcanic mud baths and dark sandy beaches.

Breath-taking farmland with mountainous backdrops dominates much of the county and makes for some spectacular views.

New Zealand is beautiful.

But don’t just take it from us.

If you are moving to New Zealand get out an explore some of the special landscape it has to offer.

Sheep Outnumber People!

New Zealand Sheep
New Zealand is know for its sheep. Image credit: Unsplash

There are a lot of sheep in New Zealand.

No seriously, a lot!

For every person living in New Zealand, there are around 6 sheep.

This means there are almost 30 million sheep living in New Zealand!

If you enjoy a pub quiz this may be old news.

Sheep play an important role in the industry in the country but if you aren’t a lover of these walking clouds New Zealand is not the place for you!


When moving to New Zealand you will certainly be exposed to lots of new wildlife.

Whilst you may be familiar with sheep, the county also boasts a range of other fascinating wildlife.

New Zealand is home to various native marine and bat species that cannot be found anywhere else!

New Zealand’s relative isolation from the rest of the world has resulted in a unique ecosystem.

Known across the world as the home of the Kiwi bird, the country is home to a range of different flying creatures.

One new encounter you are sure to face when moving to New Zealand from the UK are possums!

Whilst they may seem adorable to outsiders, they are not popular with locals.

Originally imported from Australia, possums now run rampant.

These furry creatures cause havoc, spreading disease and eating crops!

It may come as a bit of a shock so be prepared for some possum haters.


New Zealand beaches
New Zealand is home to some stunning beaches. Image credit: Pixabay

In New Zealand, you’re always close to the coastline, with no spot more than 128km from the sea, making it a haven for beach enthusiasts with its 600+ breathtaking beaches.

These shores tend to be secluded, offering natural beauty over commercial attractions.

While New Zealand waters do host sharks, incidents are extremely rare, with only a small number of unprovoked attacks recorded since the 19th century, ensuring the coastal experience remains a safe and appealing aspect of life in New Zealand.


New Zealand’s education system is reflective of the country’s inclusive and diverse society, embracing all religions, abilities, and ethnicities.

Education in New Zealand is compulsory from the age of 5 to 16, much like the UK.

Unlike in the UK, children can start school on the day they turn 5, not having to wait for the new school year, although this option is also available.

School years work similarly to UK schools, with students starting in year 1 and finishing secondary school in year 13.

Most students attend local schools that are close to the area they live in.

Parents have the option to send their children to private schools where tuition varys.

New Zealand’s education system is very highly regarded.

New Zealand ranked third in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Worldwide Educating for the Future Index 2018, behind only Finland and Switzerland.

If you are moving to New Zealand with a family they will be extremely well catered for at school.

Currency and Exchange Rate

The currency in New Zealand is the New Zealand Dollar.

The exchange rate in March 2024 is NZ$1 to 48p.

This is a relatively easy exchange rate to remember and should make costs easy to calculate when moving to New Zealand.


Opening a bank account is a crucial step when relocating to a new country, and for those moving to New Zealand, the process is notably straightforward.

It’s possible to initiate the account setup before your arrival.

Upon reaching New Zealand, a bank visit may be needed to verify your identity.

This straightforward banking procedure significantly eases the transition. It’s advisable to explore the top 10 banks in New Zealand to choose the best fit for your needs.


Taxes in New Zealand are very different to the UK.

When moving to New Zealand your tax will be centred around your income as well as Goods and Services Tax (GST).

It may come as a shock when moving that New Zealand has no inheritance, social security, capital gains, payroll, or healthcare taxes!

Whilst this may mean paying out for healthcare and other services it also means you will take home far more money.

If you are moving to New Zealand it is certainly a good idea to speak to an accountant about what taxes you are expected to pay.

They can assist you and ensure you pay all the correct fees at the end of the tax year, which comes on the 31st of March.

Bringing Pets

Bringing pet to New Zealand
There are some strict regulations when bringing pets to New Zealand. Image credit: Pexels

New Zealand has a very delicate ecosystem, meaning that the arrival of pets is strictly governed.

If you are moving to New Zealand with a pet, there are several steps you must take.

Cats and Dogs arriving in the country are required to have a rabies shot 6 months before admission to the county.

Subsequent to arrival your pet will need to be quarantined for a 10 day period.

Whilst it is not ideal to be separated from your furry friends for this long, it is required by law.

Be sure to stay on top of the paperwork.

New residents are required to complete all applications and book a quarantine spot themselves.

Being well-prepared for your move will help to make the process run seamlessly.

Further information can be found on the government website.

Driving in New Zealand

If you are moving to New Zealand from the UK, you will be happy to know they also drive on the left-hand side of the road.

This will make driving in your new home uncomplicated!

In fact, you may find driving in New Zealand a much more enjoyable experience.

There are far fewer cars on the road in New Zealand thanks to a much smaller population.

Furthermore, roads in New Zealand tend to be well-kept and much wider than in the UK.

The UK’s vast motorway network ensures that all regions of the country are well connected.

Whilst New Zealand does not have as many motorways, major cities and towns are very well connected.

For more tips on driving in New Zealand be sure to check out this great article.

Public Transport in New Zealand

Transport Links in New Zealand
There are some great transport links in New Zealand. Image credit: Unsplash

In New Zealand’s major urban areas, public transportation serves as the primary means of travel, with buses leading as the most common mode, complemented by trains, ferries, and trams in select regions.

This network is celebrated for its affordability, efficiency, cleanliness, and punctuality.

Although rail services aren’t as extensive as in the UK, due to the considerable distances between urban centres, they offer scenic journeys at reasonable fares.

The country’s main international hubs are Auckland Airport and Christchurch International Airport, catering to tourists and professionals alike.

Language in New Zealand

When moving to New Zealand you will notice that the main language is English.

Whilst you should have no problems talking to the locals, it is important to respect New Zealand’s second official language, Māori.

Whilst you do not necessarily have to learn the language, be aware that it is an important part of the country’s culture and identity.

You may also be aware that accents in New Zealand are a little different from the UK.

Kiwi’s accents may be a little tricky to pinpoint at first!

It is often confused with an Australian, South African, and even American accent.

This should be no problem.

You are sure to pick up on the regional accents and colloquial in no time.

Who knows, maybe you will even start to sound like a Kiwi!

Are you ready to start moving to New Zealand?

Goodmove truck

Moving abroad is never an easy task.

There are stresses that accompany any move, especially when moving overseas.

If you are thinking of moving to New Zealand, it is important to choose a removals company that can ensure you belonging arrive with as little worry as possible.

GoodMove are here to help ensure your move to New Zealand runs as smoothly and effortlessly as possible.

Whether you have found your dream job in beautiful New Zealand or are relocating to be with family, GoodMove Moving & Storage are here to make moving a stress-free process.

We take pleasure in guaranteeing your move is a triumph, helping you to settle in New Zealand from day one.

We cover all areas of Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk, our friendly estimators can call round at a time convenient to you.

To find out more about how we could get your dream move underway do not hesitate to call us

Alternatively, fill out a quick quote form or click on our live bot in the bottom right and a member of our customer services team will be in touch.