Moving to New Zealand? Lucky you. Friendly people, low crime rates, stunning nature and a great quality of life… what’s not to like? For anyone making the leap to Wellington, Auckland or deeper into the countryside, here’s a snapshot of Kiwi life by Dawn who moved there with her partner Isaac in 2014.
Is living in New Zealand expensive?
We are both originally from England so when we compare the cost of living now to our previous cost of living, New Zealand is more expensive.
In general, rent is more expensive and food costs vary heaps depending on the time of year. For example, a courgette can cost up to $6 in the winter and then in the summer just $1 for a bag of five!
The most expensive city is Auckland. I’m not sure where is the cheapest place to live, but I imagine it would be in the smaller, less developed towns on the North Island.
Is it safe in New Zealand?
Absolutely, we have never felt safer living in New Zealand.
Crime is relatively low in comparison to England and other countries. It is great place to bring up children for sure!
If anything, natural disasters are our biggest concern. Before we moved here we never had to think about earthquakes or tsunamis. In 2016 we experienced our first earthquake which was one of the scariest moment of our lives. We had to move out of the city centre and really think hard about our permanent abode.
Is healthcare free in New Zealand?
In most cases you do have to pay to visit and register with your local doctor. However, hospital visits and ambulances are all taken care of by the taxes you pay in your wages.
We haven’t had much experience with the healthcare system in New Zealand to really give an opinion on whether or not it is good (*touches wood).
Before we arrived we heard that private health insurance was popular here. Nevertheless, everyone we spoke to has said they don’t pay for it or need it.
What about family life in New Zealand?
We don’t have children, but we hear good things from our friends who do.
We have friends that moved here with their children from the UK and they’re very happy. Their children have adapted well to kiwi life. The parents are happy to be raising their children in a safer environment.
What are the main pros and cons of living in New Zealand?
In our opinion, the main pro for us living in New Zealand has been the weather. New Zealand has a much more consistent summer than England does. The weather is pretty stable from Christmas to the middle of March and that has made a huge difference to our lives. We live our lives outdoors more and don’t watch as much TV.
The biggest con is the cost of living. We still gulp when we receive the receipt at the supermarket. Rental costs still irritate us.
What is life like for immigrants in New Zealand?
When we first moved to New Zealand we lived in Auckland for 18 months and then in Wellington for 18 months. We found both cities very welcoming towards the expat community.
However in Auckland, we struggled to connect with locals. We found their social groups to be very closed off. Wellington was very different. We joined some groups on Meet Up and now have a great mix of kiwis and friends from England.
Can you move to New Zealand without a job?
It is my understanding that you can move to New Zealand without a job offer, but many people on skilled visas get the job offer before moving to New Zealand.
If you come out here on a Working Holiday Visa you can transfer your visa when you get here and work towards your residency.
Luckily Isaac has citizenship (as his mother is from New Zealand) and I got my residency through him as his partner so we didn’t have to stress about this bit.
All in all, is it worth moving to New Zealand?
We certainly believe it is. We have had so many opportunities here in New Zealand that we just never would have had back in England. We get to enjoy long summers and we feel safer living here.
Dawn & Isaac run the travel and lifestyle blog Going NZ where they write about their travel adventures and what life in New Zealand is really like. Follow their journey and learn more about kiwi life on Facebook and Instagram.