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Monthly Wrap: Moving to New Zealand

currency-newsMonthly Wrap: Moving to New Zealand
Beautiful rolling vistas, imposing mountains, endless sandy beaches. With its incredible scenery and relaxed way of life, it’s easy to see why so many expats now call New Zealand home. With a shared language and similar culture, Aotearoa, Māori for ‘long white cloud’, shares a lot of similarities with the UK, but with a much better climate and way of life.

The Mercer Quality of Life survey has ranked Auckland as the third best city to live in, for eight years in a row. With New Zealand ranking highly in terms of economy, housing, public transport, healthcare and education.

With a population of just over five million compared to the 67 million of the UK, you’ll find plenty of space in New Zealand.

Whether you are thinking about emigrating to New Zealand for work or retirement, we will look at what visa options are available, the cost-of-living comparison, and the hardest part of the move, where to live.

Cost of Living

One downside of moving to New Zealand can be the higher cost of living compared to the UK, with the biggest jump being groceries, which cost on average 28% more than in the UK. However eating out tends to work out cheaper by being 4% cheaper.

Rent tends to be a little more expensive than the UK too, but on the positive side, salaries are on average 7% higher in New Zealand. But the most important way to measure the cost of living is the quality of life. New Zealand has so much more to offer, that the increase in living cost is a small price to pay.


Being in the southern hemisphere, New Zealand’s winter runs from June to August, and summer occupies December to February. This means Christmas tends to be a much warmer affair than what you might be used to. Depending where you are in the country can really vary on the climate you will be dealing with.

Wherever you are in New Zealand, one rule applies everywhere; expect four seasons in a day. With the relatively small size of New Zealand, and its surrounding oceans with their complex weather systems, weather can change within minutes.

Another note worth mentioning is the sun. Thanks to the huge hole in the ozone layer right above both Australia and New Zealand, the UV rays are much more powerful here. Even on cloudy days, the sun can still pack a punch, sunscreen will become your best friend.

Where to Live

The hardest part of moving to New Zealand is trying to narrow down where to live. With the country split into two; the North and the South Islands, despite the relatively small size of the country, the diversity in climate and landscapes is huge. With 1500km of coastline on offer, you’ll never be far from the ocean.

If a quiet life is what you’re after, there are plenty of options outside of Auckland. Tauranga is barely a three hours’ drive from Auckland and situated in the Bay of Plenty. A stretch of serene coastline spanning from the picturesque Coromandel Peninsula to the most easterly lighthouse in the world in East Cape, Tauranga offers a laidback beach town with plenty of life.

Down on the South Island, Queenstown offers up an entirely different way of life. Sitting on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and nestled in the Southern Alps, Queenstown is renowned for being New Zealand’s adventure sports capital. Plenty of skiing opportunities in the winter and in the summer, bungie jumping. From here, the entire South Island is on your doorstep, with the dramatic Milford Sound only a couple of hours away.

Types of Visas

There are several visa options available to you. Temporary visas are perfect if you want to test the waters first before committing to a life in New Zealand. Working holiday visas are for ages 18-30 and allow up to 23 months of living and working in New Zealand.

Permanent visas are dependant on what skills you possess and if a shortage currently exists in New Zealand. But even if your occupation isn’t currently on the skills shortage list, there are plenty of options available to you for alternate routes. Check the New Zealand’s government website for the latest updates.

Currency Exchange

Moving to New Zealand can be a long and drawn-out process, but one thing we can help with is reducing some of that stress when to comes to transferring funds abroad.

Currencies Direct can offer highly competitive exchange rates rates and fee-free transfers to help your move go as smoothly as possible.

We also offer a range of services which can help maximise your returns when transferring money to New Zealand.

For instance with a Limit Order you can let us know the rate you’re looking for and Currencies Direct will make the exchange as soon as it becomes available.

Get in touch with one of our friendly currency experts to go through all your currency options and start off you need lift in New Zealand on the best foot.
Currencies Direct

Currencies Direct

Currencies Direct is one of Europe's leading non-bank providers of currency exchange and international payment services. Since we were formed in 1996, we've maintained our focus on providing innovative foreign exchange and international currency transfer services to corporations of all sizes, online sellers and private individuals. We have also expanded our services to provide dynamic and pioneering "business to business" solutions to help companies, tier 2/3 banks and other non-bank financial institutions to process their international payments. Our headquarters are in the City of London (United Kingdom) and we have operations in continental Europe, Africa, Asia, and the United States. Currencies Direct is jointly owned by private equity firms Palamon Capital Partners and Corsair Capital.

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