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The vast majority of the people in New Zealand (NZ) are non-indigenous  inhabitants. It’s not surprisingly then, that the land of the Kiwis has always been a popular destinations for expats. In 2010, New Zealand was ranked the eighth happiest country in the world. These far-flung islands were amongst the last habitable land masses to be discovered by European explorers, who were immediately intrigued by the country’s plants and animals. Still today, the country has one of the highest animal-to-human ratios in the world, with only about 5% of its population being human!

The isolated position of New Zealand on the world map means imported goods have to come a long way. People moving to New Zealand may soon realise that prices for groceries are higher than they’re used to. Also, expats who move to NZ from the US and Europe may find that wages in New Zealand are somewhat lower than they’re used to. However, tourism, agriculture and construction are industries that still attract a lot of workers from abroad.

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Moving to New Zealand

Because of a relative housing shortage, not so many expats moving to NZ can afford to buy property there. In the last few years, property value has risen significantly. Average property value ranges between $250,000 and $450,000, although property in Auckland will usually be worth more than that. Due to the occasional seismic activity in the country, houses are often build from more flexible materials such as wood and plasterboard rather than bricks and concrete. Therefore, expats are wise to carefully consider heat insulation when buying a house. When applying for a mortgage, take into account that you will usually need to deposit at least 20% of the property value yourself. A healthy credit history from your country of origins helps a great deal. Also take into account the ‘rates’ (council taxes) that apply in that particular area. Please note that rates are based on the value of the property. When moving with children, the school enrolment zone that the house is in should also be considered. Expats should always gain independent advise from a lawyer that specialises in conveyancing, as the valuation in advertisements often don’t reflect the true market value of the property.

Most expats tend to rent their houses in New Zealand rather than buying. It is a more flexible option for people who are not sure yet about their preferred city and the location of the property.  Although accommodation prices are usually high,  it’s cheaper to rent accommodation in the suburbs than it is to move to Auckland, Christchurch or Wellington.

What surprises most immigrants at first is the fact the rents are often paid every two weeks rather than monthly. Also, in contrast with most other countries, tenants (not landlords) are usually responsible for arranging the amenities for the place they rent. Prevent unpleasant surprises by enquiring about this before signing a lease.

Although rent prices are in New Zealand’s major cities are usually lower than in European capitals, expats who want to move house to NZ should account for significant costs payable upon signing the lease. Just like in Australia, bonds for renting a property are to be posted with the ministry that’s responsible for housing. Bonds are usually two weeks’ rent, but never more than one months’ rent. Be sure to keep the receipt safe! Usually, agency fees also apply and some rent will have to be paid in advance.

Rental contract are either fixed term contracts or period agreements. Unless you have a set-in-stone planning for your removal to NZ (which most people usually don’t), you would be wise to resist the urge to sign cheaper indefinite  term leases and go for a periodic agreements instead. This way, you would be able to leave the property giving no more than three weeks’ notice.

Shipping Furniture to New Zealand

When you’re shipping furniture to New Zealand, most of your goods that are being imported to New Zealand will be subject to inspection by customs. First and foremost: it is very important that every shipping container to New Zealand is accompanied by a complete packing list that describes all of its contents. Also, customs & quarantine declaration, copies of passports and visas need to be deposited. Additional documentation may be required for goods that are restricted or bare a risk of contamination, or if someone else needs to clear the goods on your behalf. Taxes and customs duties apply, unless you’re from NZ and have been abroad for at least 12 months. It is absolutely crucial to obtain the services of international moving companies specialized in shipments to New Zealand. Although there is plenty of information, concerning international removals, available online, international moving companies are those who can provide you with details regarding your specific needs and wants.

Some  goods are prohibited when shipping personal belongings to New Zealand, e.g. articles manufactured from wildlife, medicines/drugs, weapons etc. There’s a number of other things that could be examined in the interest of biosecurity (that is, in order to protect New Zealand’s nature and wildlife from foreign contaminations). These include but are not limited to: food, animal products, outdoor equipment, footwear, vacuum cleaners, plants or seeds and even Christmas decorations. It’s recommended to thoroughly clean any items that have been into contact with nature in your home country, in order to prevent extra costs. International moving companies could also help with that if you obtain their services. We strongly suggest that you take the time to inform yourself further into New Zealand’s custom regulations and contact the right international removal companies with good reviews.

Moving to Auckland

New Zealand’s most prominent city is situated in a heavenly spot right in between the Pacific Ocean and the Tasmanian Sea. Auckland, like most places in New Zealand,  is inhabited by a very diverse mix of people from different origins, especially Polynesians. In fact, there’s some Polynesian nations that have more citizens living in Auckland than in Polynesia itself. Auckland has the highest standards when it comes to quality of life, but this comes at a price; prices in Auckland are considerably higher than in the rest of the country (including Wellington).  Despite that, about one third of New Zealand’s population lives in Auckland. People moving to Auckland will quickly learn why the city is often referred to as ‘the city of sails’; the city is surrounded by water and that no less than one-third of its residents owns a boat.

Moving to Wellington

Despite being on the North Island of New Zealand, the city of Wellington is the world’s southernmost capital. It has less than one-fourth of the inhabitants of Auckland, but  most people agree that Wellington is the political and the cultural centre of New Zealand. The city is slightly cooler than Auckland, both in terms of temperature and reputation. When shipping container to Wellington using international removal companies it might be wise to take cloths and personal belongings appropriate for the weather in the city. It is also possible to receive more information regarding your removal from the international removal companies you work with.

Home to the national museum of New Zealand, Wellington has an exuberant theatre and film industry, and was centre of attention of movie fans worldwide when The Hobbit movies went into premiere.  Wellington is therefore oftentimes nicknamed ‘the Middle of Middle Earth’. Aside from The Hobbit, many people who move to Wellington praise the city for its marvellous botanical garden, unique architecture and golden sand beaches.


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