Tips on Moving to New Zealand

Overseas Buyers webMoving country can be a huge ordeal. Here are some tips we have put together that can help you be better prepared and therefore have a less stressful move.

Arrange your visa

You may need to obtain a visa to be able to live and work or study in New Zealand. You can find more information about visa types and requirements here.

Set up your bank account

It is often possible to set up your bank account prior to arriving in New Zealand.

New Zealand has 5 major banks, check their websites to find out the steps involved in setting up an account.

You can also find a full list of registered banks here.


Moving house is always a good time to de-clutter your home. Use this opportunity to throw away things that you no longer need or haven’t used for some time.

Ensure you have appropriate packaging (shipping companies can often advise and supply packaging materials). Alternatively you could hire a moving company to pack your house up for you which can take away some of the hassle of moving.

Plan what you will need immediately when you arrive in New Zealand and take this with you on the plane. This will include clothing, valuables and travel & personal documentation.

Documentation that you may require:

  • Birth certificate
  • Marriage certificate
  • CV/resume
  • References from previous employers
  • Proof of qualifications e.g. University degree
  • Credit references
  • International driver’s licence or permit

Your shipped belongings may arrive after you get to New Zealand, so you need to be organised. It’s also important to label your boxes clearly so you can prioritise your unpacking when you move into your new home.

Shipping your belongings

Finding a good shipping company is the key to making a smooth transition into your new life in New Zealand.

It is important to note that New Zealand is an island nation with a unique ecosystem and a significant reliance on agriculture. As such, there are rigorously maintained agriculture regulations to consider when shipping your personal belongings. 

All containers that land in New Zealand are checked by MAF (the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries) to ensure they don’t contain anything that may affect New Zealand’s flora and fauna, particularly pests and animal diseases (like mad cow disease) that don’t currently exist here.

Make sure your insurance will cover the goods while they are in transport. Accidents do happen so you want to make sure you are protected!

This site has comprehensive information about what you should be aware of before shipping your household goods to New Zealand.

Animal transport

If you have pets that are making the move with you, you will need to arrange their transport. Before you fly, check with your airline about any rules and regulations that will apply to transporting your pet. There may be additional fees and requirements that need to be met before the day of your departure.

Your pet will have to meet the New Zealand import health standards which are in place to prevent unwanted diseases, pests and animals being introduced to New Zealand. For more information, check out the Ministry for Primary Industries website.

Cancel your utilities/contracts

You will need to advise your utility companies in advance that you will be disconnecting the service. This can include:

  • Gas and electricity
  • Water (if applicable)
  • Mobile/landline phone contract
  • Internet provider
  • Pay television (e.g. Sky or Foxtel)

Update your contact details

You will need to update your contact details with various suppliers such as your bank, solicitor, local council and any stores you hold accounts with. It’s recommended you contact your postal service to redirect all of your mail to your new address. You could also provide your address to the new occupiers of your house so they can forward anything on to you if need be.


Research the job market before you arrive, this can help you to hit the ground running when you get here or you may be able to secure a job in advance.

Here are some sites specifically for connecting overseas workers with New Zealand employees:

You can also use our most common job sites:

Tax information

As a migrant to New Zealand, you may be eligible for tax exemptions. It is advisable to get advice from an accountant to ensure you are compliant with all of our tax laws.

Find out more about New Zealand tax requirements here.

Research essentials in your new area

Make sure you investigate the essentials in the suburb you are moving to. This includes looking at new schooling and education options, doctors, dentists, extra-curricular activities/clubs. It will help if you can pre-arrange the transfer of any medical and school records ahead of time.


Once you’re all moved in, you can sit back and enjoy your new home!

Moving to New Zealand resources