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Coming To New Zealand On A WHV? Here’s What To Know

New Zealand is a place that is simply stunning. An amazing place to travel no doubt and the great thing is that many can obtain a working holiday visa if under 31 years of age. Now, moving to a new country can always seem a bit of a faff on, and you have to go through so many different things until you’re finally settled. I get that, so I’m writing this to help you as much as possible with my experience. Firstly let’s look at things you should about NZ.

First of all see if you’re eligible by visiting the NZ immigration website here

Things To Know About New Zealand

  • It’s literally one of the most beautiful countries in earth. With mountains, lakes, beaches – NZ has everything! An adventurers playground.
  • And one of the cleanest by air. The weather is seasonal but still fresh.
  • Food wise, the lamb in New Zealand is probably the best in the world, as is the seafood!
  • The people are super friendly.
  • You can travel the country in no time. New Zealand is quite small but that’s good because it makes for more frequent road trips away, without having to take a week off to leave a state like in Australia.
  • Air New Zealand are one of the coolest and best in the world. So laid back staff and make you feel awesome!
  • The ozone layer is non existent here. What that means is that you’ll likely to burn easier, there’s a lack of protection from the sun to you skin. Use SPF.
  • New Zealand has a small population of around 4 million people!
  • Right now, New Zealand and especially Auckland is going through a economic boom. Auckland itself is taking in just over 800 new residents per week. Oh and Auckland isn’t the capital of New Zealand, Wellington is!
  • Kiwi employer generally see the British way as the role model with employment. If you’re British, they may favour you!
  • Lots of the New Zealand terrain is of similar nature to the United Kingdom, especially Scotland!

Visa Information

  • A working holiday visa costs around NZD$300. You can choose and download the application form here.
  • You can get a 12 month visa if you’re from Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong SAR, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Slovakia, Sweden, Thailand, Turkey and the USA.
  • You can get a 6 month visa if you’re from Austria, Malaysia and Singapore.
  • You can a 23 month WHV if you’re from the UK and Canada.  If you apply for a two year visa you’ll have to undergo more tests such as blood for other diseases.
  • You do NOT need to do any agricultural work in New Zealand to quality for your second year visa for UK and Canadian residents.
  • If you’ve been travelling in places like Latin America, Caribbean Africa or Asia you may have to undergone a chest X-ray before you arrive. This is to wipe any possibilities of TB disease. Normally it’s 3 months or more for Asia but for the others it varies.
  • You have to have NZD$4,200 unless you’re from Austria, Singapore and Malaysia where you need NZD$2,250 or Thailand and Turkey where you need NZD$7,000 in your bank account as proof you’re in New Zealand for travels too and solely not to work.
  • You can enter and re-enter as much as you want.
  • Once you’ve applied for your NZ visa and it has been granted, you have 1 year to take the visa or it becomes invalid. You can NOT apply for a secondary one, unlike Australia.

Comparisons with Australia

  • New Zealand in comparison to Australia is a different animal completely. Even though they are only ‘across the ditch’ from each other via a 3 hour flight, living and working in NZ is different. Why?
  • The money you earn generally won’t be as high as the money you can earn in Australia, a more popular place for travellers to take a WHV.
  • The weather isn’t as good as NZ is very seasonal. Australia is like a desert in parts  so if you’re wanting hot hot hot then NZ won’t give you that.
  • It’s more expensive than Australia, especially food!
  • The transport system isn’t as good as Australia. Buses and trains are possible but really their regularity are nowhere near as up to date as Australia’s!
  • NZ is generally quieter and lacks edge in comparison to Australia.

When You Arrive You’ll Need

NZ Mobile number

2Degrees are one that many use as well as Spark in NZ but Vodafone is also popular. You can have both PAYG or contract. You can take out a deal for a new phone and contract it you’re on a NZ WHV, you just need proof of your visa and how long you have left. If it’s at the beginning of your visa or close to, things should be fine.

Note: Spark have ‘WIFI spots’ so if you’re registered with them, you’ll pick free WIFI in several areas of the country!

IRD Number

Your IRD no. has to be applied through the Tax office. This means downloading this file from this website, filling it out correctly and sending it off. It can take up to 3 weeks to get it back so make sure you do it quickly.

Note: With a lot of jobs you cannot get paid without a IRD no.

Tip: Go to the post office and they’ll assist you.

Bank Account

Bank account is something you’ll obviously need. A quick easy non-flashy one is Kiwi Bank. You’ll normally get a quick appointment within a few days and you’ll be ready to go. Others such as ANZ can take a while.

Note: You need a proof of address to get a bank account. If you’re in a hostel, many banks won’t take this as proof of address. Also, many hostels may not provide this. Kiwi Bank take any proof of address though.

Proof of Address

A proof of address will be either from your supporting hostel or from your landlord of your apartment. It needs to be signed too.

Other Tips

View from Auckland Skytower, 2016

Tax in New Zealand is typically 19.8% for people on a WHV. Also, tax-backs are possible but not as generous as they can be in Australia.

Auckland is where you can make the most money. Although the city is awkward to get around, has many uphill walks, and is very spaced out. Auckland is also expensive.

Uber is a little bit new to drivers in NZ. A lot of them are beginners, and especially in Auckland don’t know every written road and route.

The South Island is predominately the place you want to travel. It has the best views and places to visit.

One great thing about New Zealand is that if you’re working during the week, you’re probably an hour or two away from somewhere interesting and new in the outdoors. Take advantage of that!

Useful Facebook Groups For New Zealand

Here are some links for backpacking and travelling NZ. However, there are tons of job and roommate groups you can search also!

Brits in New Zealand

Need Travel Insurance Before Coming To New Zealand?

One of the highest ranked travel insurance companies in the UK, Covered2Go provide travel insurance that covers all kinds of activities and situations. Covered2Go are part of Rush Insurance and provide cover to UK residents only. Get a quote today and save 15% online.

If you’re a non-UK resident and need travel insurance, you can get a quote here.

Post Author
Tommy Walker

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