Work in New Zealand | (2023)

With its high quality of life, reasonable cost of living and a range of job opportunities, graduates will find that New Zealand can offer the perfect work-life balance

The Kiwis know a thing or two about living life to the full. They work hard and relax often, using their free time to enjoy all that their spectacular country has to offer.

According to HSBC's Expat Explorer Survey 2021, New Zealand ranked third behind Switzerland and Australia as an expat destination and it's not hard to see why.

A number of job sectors are expanding - including consulting, sales, sport, hospitality and tourism - and the New Zealand government are looking to attract workers from other countries to fill the skills gap, meaning good job prospects for international workers.

The country also enjoys a temperate climate, uncrowded communities and a low crime rate. You'll find Auckland, Waikato and Wellington on the North Island, and Canterbury and Otago on the South Island.

No matter where you decide to settle, there's plenty to see and do - from exploring mountain trails and national parks to enjoying the sights and attractions of metropolitan cities and beach towns.

Jobs in New Zealand

If you have the right skills and experience, it's always a good time to look for work in New Zealand. Unemployment is low at 3.2% (February 2022).

There are currently plenty of job openings in industries such as engineering, IT and medicine - however, there are also opportunities to contribute more general skills.

Recent employment growth has been seen in human resources (HR) and recruitment, manufacturing, transport and logistics, trades and services, engineering and community service and development.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) account for a huge number of New Zealand businesses, while even the country's larger businesses are considered small by international standards. Higher education institutions, IBM and Air New Zealand are all popular graduate employers.

Because of competition for jobs, it's not uncommon for international job hunters to accept more junior positions in order to gain experience of working in New Zealand.

(Video) New Zealand Accredited Employer Work Visa - 4 Main Requirements Explained

Don't limit your options by ruling out contract or part-time work - as this can sometimes lead to permanent employment.

Search for jobs in New Zealand at:

Skills shortages

Certain skills are in short supply and to help combat this, both long-term and regional skill shortages are listed at Immigration New Zealand - Skills shortages.

Some of the occupations on the regional skills shortage list include:

  • accountant
  • arborist
  • baker
  • early childhood teacher
  • midwife
  • outdoor adventure guide
  • primary school teacher
  • snow sport instructor
  • specialist physician
  • university lecturer.

Long-term skills shortages occur in the following industries:

  • business
  • construction
  • engineering
  • finance
  • health and social services
  • hospitality and tourism
  • ICT, electronics and telecommunications
  • science
  • trades.

Specific skills are also required in the construction and infrastructure sector. In-demand roles include:

  • building inspector
  • civil engineer
  • construction project manager
  • electrical engineer
  • project builder
  • structural engineer
  • surveyor.
Work in New Zealand | (1)

How to get a job in New Zealand

To obtain a visa to work in New Zealand, you'll need to look for and secure a job before moving to the country. Applications are typically made online with a CV and cover letter. CVs in New Zealand differ in the sense that they rarely list all past jobs, instead they explain the skills you have and provide examples of how you've used them.

If your application passes the first stage, you may be offered a telephone interview. Face-to-face interviews tend to be informal and may be led by up to four people. Make sure you've thoroughly researched the position and the company before your interview.

A number of jobs aren't formally advertised, so making connections, networking and applying speculatively can prove useful.

Summer jobs

Every year, thousands of workers are needed to help harvest the country's fruit crops. Thanks to the budding tourist trade you can also find employment in bars, restaurants, cafes, hotels, and at campsites and holiday parks.

During the winter season you may also be able to find opportunities at ski resorts.

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If you have some childcare experience, you could find work as an au pair.

You can begin your search to find seasonal work at SEEK - Summer jobs.

If you want to give your CV a boost, there are a large number of voluntary agencies located throughout New Zealand. You can search for opportunities by type and location at Volunteering New Zealand.

For gap year and working holiday opportunities, you can sort these out through an operator such as Letz Live or Go Overseas.

Teaching jobs

There's always tough competition for teaching positions in New Zealand, with most teachers coming from countries such as England, Canada and America. Teachers of science, technology and mathematics subjects are in high demand at both primary and secondary level. Supply teachers are also highly sought after.

Gaining a position is dependent on your previous teaching experience and qualifications. To check your eligibility and to discover how to apply to teach in the country, visit the Teaching Council of New Zealand website.

To teach English as a foreign language (TEFL) you will usually require a Bachelors degree, plus a TEFL certificate. English is widely spoken, but you may still find opportunities in private language schools.

Upon arrival in New Zealand, teachers must register with the Teaching Council for your qualifications to be assessed by NZQA.

Popular places in New Zealand for those who want to teach include:

  • Auckland
  • Christchurch
  • Queenstown
  • Wellington.


Work placements and internships have a number of advantages. They obviously help build up your skills and experience and provide you with relevant contacts, who may be in a position to help you get a permanent job.

Good places to start searching for work experience in the country include:

Speaking to companies directly is also a proven way of finding non-advertised opportunities.

(Video) New Zealand Student and Trainee Work Visa | Visa Library

New Zealand visas

There are several visa options available if you want to live and work in New Zealand, either permanently or temporarily, and these are explained in more depth at Immigration New Zealand - Explore via options to work.

To summarise, if you're aged between 18 and 30 (or up to 35 in a select few countries) and want to work on a temporary basis, you can apply for the working holiday visa. The visa lasts between 12 and 23 months for those from the UK or Canada. To be eligible, the primary purpose of your trip must be a holiday, with work a secondary intention.

More permanent options include the:

  • Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) - for those who have the skills, qualifications and experience to meet a New Zealand employer's need.
  • Essential skills work visa - opt for this visa if you possess the necessary qualifications and experience for a particular role and have been offered a full-time job. It's valid for up to five years.
  • Work to Residence Category - if you're qualified in an in-demand occupation such as those on the Long Term Skill Shortage List (LTSSL), or if you have a job offer from an accredited employer, this is the visa for you.

When considering applicants, Immigration New Zealand uses a points system. You get points for age, experience, employability and qualifications.

If you're not from the UK, contact the New Zealand embassy in your country of residence for more information on visas and work permits.

Work in New Zealand | (2)

Language requirements

New Zealand's three official languages are English, Maori and New Zealand Sign Language.

Most business is done in English, and most organisations require competency in spoken and written English.

How to explain your qualifications to employers

Employers usually understand UK qualifications as the New Zealand education system is based on England's framework, but you'll need to clarify that this is the case before submitting your application.

Trade certificates, diplomas, Bachelor degrees and postgraduate qualifications are all acknowledged.

What it's like to work in New Zealand

Average working hours in New Zealand are typically between 37 and 40 hours a week across five days.

The minimum wage for adults aged 16 years or over is currently set at $21.20, which converts to around £11.07 per hour (April 2022).

Holiday entitlement is generous by international standards. Workers are entitled to at least four weeks' annual leave and New Zealand has 11 public holidays. If you work on a public holiday your employer must pay you extra. Public holidays include:

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  • New Year's Day
  • Day after New Year's Day
  • Waitangi Day
  • Good Friday
  • Easter Monday
  • ANZAC Day
  • Queen's Birthday
  • Matariki
  • Labour Day
  • Christmas Day
  • Boxing Day.

Income tax and Goods and Services Tax (GST) is how New Zealand fund services for the benefit of all residents, and your salary in New Zealand is subject to income tax, whether you're considered a resident or are simply in the country on a temporary basis.

Personal income tax is calculated as below (from 1 April 2021):

  • 39% for income over $180,000
  • 33% on income from $70,001 to $180,000
  • 30% on income from $48,001 to $70,000
  • 17.5% on income from $14,001 to $48,000
  • 10.5% on income up to $14,000.

To get more information on taxes for workers in New Zealand visit the New Zealand Inland Revenue.

The standard of living in New Zealand is considered to be very high, while the cost of living is relatively low compared to prices in other countries including Australia and the UK. For more comparisons, see Numbeo - Cost of living in New Zealand.

Find out more

  • Discover what it's like to study in New Zealand.
  • Get the full lowdown on working in New Zealand at New Zealand Now.

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Can I get a job in New Zealand from UK? ›

If you're thinking of relocating to New Zealand for work, or maybe even to settle down you'll need a work visa or resident visa. The exception is if you're eligible for another sort of visa, such as residence, working holiday, or a partner visa.

Is getting a job in New Zealand is easy? ›

Not only is it relatively easy to start a business in New Zealand, but there are also many in-demand jobs that are easy to take up as self-employed. These would be a good guarantee of a place in the job market.

Why do you want to work in New Zealand answer? ›

The thriving economy of New Zealand is one thing that instantly attracts people from all around the world to come and settle here. In addition to this, there are also top companies that are always looking to hire skilled as well as qualified individuals to be a part of their company.

What do I need to work in New Zealand from UK? ›

Working in New Zealand

You will need to apply for an IRD number before you can start work. Some jobs may require a UK criminal records check (known as a DBS check). Depending on your personal circumstances, the New Zealand Qualifications Authority may need to assess your UK qualifications.

Is it worth moving to New Zealand from UK? ›

New Zealand is a great place to do this. On the other side of the world, with plenty of job opportunities available to you, plenty of open space, and an abundance of beaches, mountains and fresh air. Moving to New Zealand from UK is a no-brainer for many.

What jobs in New Zealand are in demand? ›

Work in New Zealand
  • Healthcare. Toggle. Psychiatrist jobs in New Zealand. ...
  • Health technology.
  • Information technology. Toggle. Developer programmer jobs in New Zealand. ...
  • Agriculture & forestry.
  • Construction. Toggle. Construction project manager jobs in New Zealand. ...
  • Education.
  • Engineering. Toggle. ...
  • Science.
22 Jul 2022

How much salary is enough in New Zealand? ›

Of course, NZ wages vary by industry and job type. However, the median income in New Zealand is just under NZ$27 per hour as of mid-2021 (NZD$56,160 per annum based on a 40-hour week). NZ also has a legal minimum wage to protect workers.

What is NZ minimum wage? ›

The minimum wage is going up from $20.00 to $21.20 an hour on 1 April 2022. Here's what you need to do. What: The new minimum wage rates, before tax, are: Adult – $21.20 an hour (up from $20.00)

Is it worth working in New Zealand? ›

If you have the right skills and experience, it's always a good time to look for work in New Zealand. Unemployment is low at 3.2% (February 2022). There are currently plenty of job openings in industries such as engineering, IT and medicine - however, there are also opportunities to contribute more general skills.

Why do you want to work here best answer? ›

Express your personal passion for the employer's product/service/mission. Employers want to know you're passionate about what they do, whether it takes the shape of a product, a service, a mission, or a brand. You can also connect your passion to the company's core values, which can often be found on their website.

What best describes your right to work in New Zealand? ›

People entitled to work in New Zealand are those who: are New Zealand or Australian citizens (including people born in the Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau), or. have a New Zealand residence visa, or. have a New Zealand work visa or a condition on their New Zealand temporary visa showing they are allowed to work here.

Why do you want to work in abroad best answer? ›

“I am willing to move overseas for this job because I believe that it is a great opportunity to learn about new cultures and gain work experience in a different country. Combined with the fact that my work experience is a perfect fit for the scope of work required, makes me the best candidate for the job.”

Can I work in New Zealand if I am over 30? ›

If you are over 30 it may be possible to get work on a work permit. If you have a skill that is in demand it could be possible to apply for a work permit once you get there, on the basis of having a job offer.

How much does New Zealand pay per hour? ›

Hours and wages
Type of minimum wagePer hour8 hour day
1 Apr 2022

Do I qualify to work in NZ? ›

You can apply for a visa to work here temporarily if you: have a job offer from a New Zealand employer. are coming for a specific work-related purpose or event. have a partner here, and you want to join them and work.

Is it cheaper to live in NZ or UK? ›

“Our Results show New Zealand is on average 42.6% more expensive than the UK

Where is better to live UK or NZ? ›

Quality of Life

Based on a survey, 89% of the New Zealanders are satisfied with their water quality which is not the case of the British citizens with only 84%. The quality of life is more improved in New Zealand and can be proved on Kiwi's life expectancy which is longer than the British's.

What is the most demanding job in New Zealand? ›

What Are the Most In-Demand Jobs in New Zealand?
  1. Nurse. Salary Range: NZD 52K to 80K per year. ...
  2. Administrative Assistant. Salary Range: NZD 47K to 71K per year. ...
  3. Child Welfare Worker. Salary Range: NZD 48K to 66K. ...
  4. Psychologist. Salary Range: NZD 72K to 103K per year. ...
  5. Machine Operator. ...
  6. Construction Worker. ...
  7. Plumber. ...
  8. Carpenter.

What is New Zealand skill shortage list? ›

The Regional Skills Shortage List (RSSL) included occupations where skilled workers were required in particular regions of New Zealand and indicated that there were no New Zealand citizens or residents available to take up the position. This enabled faster processing of Essential Skills work visa applications.

Which jobs have shortages? ›

Top 6 U.S. Industries with a Talent Shortage
  • Leisure and hospitality.
  • Trade, transportation, and utilities.
  • Professional and business services.
  • Education.
  • Healthcare.
  • Manufacturing.
  • Information.
11 Apr 2022

What is a good salary 2022 NZ? ›

In the year to the June 2022 quarter, median weekly income: from all sources increased by $78 (10.1 percent) to $848. from wages and salaries increased by $96 (8.8 percent) to $1,189. from government transfers increased by $31 (8.3 percent) to $402.

Why salaries are low in NZ? ›

The main reason wages in NZ are low is simple. In 1991 the then “National Government” introduced the the” Employment contracts act”. This with so called voluntary unionism effectively divided Workers. Wages and conditions in time fell both in real and inflationary terms.

What is the minimum wage in NZ in 2022? ›

1) Adult Minimum Wage – $21.20 Per Hour

This is the wage most commonly used by businesses in New Zealand and applies to employees over 16 years of age.

What is the UK minimum wage? ›

Rates before 1 April 2021
25 and over21 to 24
April 2019 to March 2020£8.21£7.70
April 2018 to March 2019£7.83£7.38
April 2017 to March 2018£7.50£7.05
October 2016 to March 2017£7.20£6.95
2 more rows

How many hours is full-time NZ? ›

For statistical purposes, Statistics New Zealand defines full-time as working 30 hours or more per week. You have exactly the same employment rights and responsibilities if you're a part-time or full-time employee. A full-time permanent employee might be someone working 9am to 5pm, five days a week.

Do you tip waiters in New Zealand? ›

Tips are seen as a small bonus but New Zealanders do not generally tip. In more touristy areas, waiters will receive more but there's no obligation to leave money on the table.

Is New Zealand a good country to settle? ›

New Zealand has been ranked second-worst place in the world to move by immigrants, according to a survey. The expatriate networking organisation InterNations surveyed nearly 12,000 respondents of 177 different nationalities, living in 181 countries.

Is New Zealand a work/life balance? ›

While working hard and getting ahead is important to New Zealanders, finding a balance with family time and seeing friends is essential. A recent survey by Stats NZ found that 76% of Kiwis were satisfied with their work-life balance.

Is it cheaper to live in NZ or Australia? ›

When comparing the cost of living in New Zealand vs Australia, New Zealand is the more affordable country to live in. On average, consumer prices in New Zealand are 3.96% lower than in Australia. Rent and groceries cost 17.70% and 5.92% less. Eating out at a restaurant will also cost less in New Zealand.

Why are you a good fit for this job? ›

For starters, I have all the skills and experience listed in the job description, and I'm confident that I can make an immediate impact on your company. It's not just my background in leading successful projects for Fortune 500 companies, but also my passion for the industry that drives me to succeed.

What can you bring to this company? ›

How to answer “What can you bring to the company?”
  • Research the company website. ...
  • Review social media and professional networking accounts. ...
  • Study the job description. ...
  • Make a list of your core values. ...
  • Practice your communication skills. ...
  • Use the STAR interview response method.

How do you handle stress and pressure? ›

2. Commit to a Positive Attitude
  1. Decide what you can do. Pinpoint which parts of the situation you have the power to change or influence for the better. ...
  2. Get support. Find someone to talk to about your situation. ...
  3. Care for yourself. Take especially good care of yourself when stress in your life is high.

What can I show do you prove my right to work? ›

The following documents show the applicant's right to work in the UK.
  • Passport. ...
  • Permanent resident card. ...
  • National identity card. ...
  • Registration certificate. ...
  • Biometric immigration document. ...
  • Immigration status document. ...
  • Birth or adoption certificate. ...
  • Certificate of registration or naturalisation.
14 Sept 2022

Why did you choose New Zealand? ›

World-famous for its friendly people, spectacular landscape and relaxed lifestyle, New Zealand is an unbeatable place to live and study.

What are employers looking for NZ? ›

This stuff is important as it can make a big difference to your next job hunt.
10 soft skills employers are looking for in NZ
  • Adaptability. ...
  • Growth mindset. ...
  • Communication. ...
  • Problem solving. ...
  • Emotional intelligence. ...
  • Creativity. ...
  • Cultural awareness. ...
  • Leadership.

What made you decide to work in another country? ›

There are plenty of reasons to work abroad. Perhaps you want to develop your professional skills, experience personal growth, or gain insights into other cultures. Maybe you'd like to earn a higher salary, enjoy the opportunity to travel, or even improve future career opportunities.

What are the 5 keys to success in working abroad? ›

Below are 7 tips to make the most of your journey abroad.
  1. Keep an Open Mind. Social media and the internet allows us to connect with people from all over the world. ...
  2. Set Goals. ...
  3. Develop Language Skills. ...
  4. Be Adventurous. ...
  5. Apply New Perspectives. ...
  6. Expand Your Network. ...
  7. Market Yourself and Build Your Career.
8 Oct 2018

What are the 2 major reasons that made you decide to work abroad? ›

Family and peer pressure – The pressure of familial responsibility and peer pressure are among the biggest factors that drive Filipinos to work abroad. Seeing their friends get higher salaries and achieve a better life after only a few months abroad would entice several people to try their luck themselves.

Is it difficult to get a New Zealand work visa? ›

In general, it may be difficult to get a work visa in New Zealand due to limited spots or tight deadlines for application. If your country has a set quota, that means applications will open on a specific day.

Can I work in New Zealand as a UK citizen? ›

The UK and New Zealand governments have announced they'll be expanding the countries' reciprocal working visa scheme. From 2024, any Brit up to the age of 36 will be able to live and work – at any skill level – in NZ for up to three years.

Can you work 3 jobs in NZ? ›

There is no general rule preventing a person from having more than one job at the same time. Having more than one job might mean working for a second employer or working in the employee's own business.

What is the minimum wage 2022 in UK? ›

The UK Minimum & Living Wage Rates in 2022
Previous rateRate from April 2022Increase
National living wage£8.91£9.50
21-22-year-old rate£8.36£9.18
18-20-year-old rate£6.56£6.83
16-17-year-old rate£4.62£4.81
2 more rows
20 Oct 2022

How much is living cost in New Zealand? ›

The cost of living in New Zealand, for one person in a major city, is between $3,000-$4,000 per month. A family of four can expect to need $5,000-$6,000 per month to live on.

Is New Zealand cheap? ›

Travel in New Zealand is expensive! A realistic daily budget for New Zealand is 100 euros per person. This does not include flights and is based on average expenses during a trip through New Zealand per campervan. It can always be cheaper or more expensive.

Can I work in NZ without ielts? ›

If you wish to work in New Zealand, you must meet the minimum standard of English required by the New Zealand Government. The New Zealand Government requests IELTS as evidence of English language proficiency for many visas, including those within the Skilled Migrant, Business, and Residence from Work categories.

Can you work in NZ with a British passport? ›

You can apply for this visa if you are 18 to 30 years old and a citizen of the United Kingdom. This visa allows you to work and study in New Zealand for a short amount of time.

Is it easy to get a job in New Zealand from abroad? ›

Since New Zealand is such an appealing destination, finding work can be challenging. There are various categories of work visas, and not all are available to all applicants or professions. Read on to find out how to get a job in New Zealand.

Can I move to New Zealand without a job? ›

Most individuals looking to migrate long-term will need a NZ job offer. Whether applying for a work visa or a residence visa under the Skilled Migrant Policy, most migrants are required to obtain an offer of skilled employment in New Zealand.

How do you qualify to work in New Zealand? ›

You can apply for a visa to work here temporarily if you:
  1. have a job offer from a New Zealand employer.
  2. are coming for a specific work-related purpose or event.
  3. have a partner here, and you want to join them and work.
  4. are from a country that has a special work scheme, or.
  5. have been studying here and want work here.
19 Oct 2021

How long can a UK citizen stay in NZ? ›

You do not need a visa to enter New Zealand as a visitor for up to 6 months, but you will need to get a New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA) before you travel.

Do I need a visa to work in New Zealand from UK? ›

Eligibility and criteria for working holiday visas

They let you travel and work in New Zealand for up to 12 months, or 23 months if you are from the UK or Canada. If you apply for a 23-month visa, you must provide a General Medical Certificate.

What happens if you lose your job on a work visa NZ? ›

Options if you lose your job while on a work visa

Provided you meet all of the requirements you will then be able to stay in New Zealand for 3 months, however you will not be able to work.

Is New Zealand accepting foreign workers? ›

Skilled migrant workers can apply for a New Zealand work visa in 2021-2022 once borders re-open. We explain what you need to qualify.

What is the age limit to work in New Zealand? ›

The minimum age for hazardous work is 18, although it can be lowered to 16 under strict conditions. In New Zealand there is no general minimum age for employment, but there are rules around the times young people can work and the types of work they can do. Rules vary between states and territories.

Is it hard to get a work visa to New Zealand? ›

In general, it may be difficult to get a work visa in New Zealand due to limited spots or tight deadlines for application. If your country has a set quota, that means applications will open on a specific day.

How much salary do you need in New Zealand? ›

If you are moving to NZ for work or permanently it is useful to understand how NZ salaries compare to elsewhere around the world. Of course, NZ wages vary by industry and job type. However, the median income in New Zealand is just under NZ$27 per hour as of mid-2021 (NZD$56,160 per annum based on a 40-hour week).

What is the minimum salary in New Zealand? ›

The minimum wage is going up from $20.00 to $21.20 an hour on 1 April 2022.


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