New Zealand at a Glance
Living in New ZealandFotolia
Evidence of New Zealand's Maori heritage is prevalent throughout the country.
The dream of living in New Zealand has drawn people from all over the world towards its shores for ages. Auckland and Wellington rank among the top twenty of the world’s most livable cities.
Many young Kiwis are now moving back from abroad to start their family life in their home country. They value the way of life in New Zealand and consider it an ideal place to raise their children. A high standard of living, economic freedom, and high educational standards make New Zealand such an attractive destination for expats.
Since the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy, we are all familiar with the stunning natural beauty of the nation. The population’s love and respect for their environment and the surrounding South Pacific Ocean are important aspects of culture in New Zealand.
Expats who are used to stressful traffic congestions are in for a pleasant change. Traffic jams are rare in New Zealand, generally limited to the biggest cities during rush hours.
If you are considering settling in New Zealand’s rural areas, roads are usually very scenic, although they can be slightly bumpy too. You might also have to share them with pedestrians, cyclists, and the occasional farm animal. Most expats living in New Zealand say they have gotten used to driving on the left fairly quickly.
As some places are quite remote, driving a car is recommended for expatriates. Importing your own car to New Zealand is possible, though costly and time-consuming. Your best bet is buying a car locally or making use of the numerous renting and leasing opportunities.
As expats settling in New Zealand will soon discover, mass public transport is neither very well developed nor widespread. While most cities do have some sort of public transport system, it is usually limited to buses.
Only Auckland and Wellington have suburban rail systems, making life at least a bit easier for people who do not own a car. Bicycles are also a popular way of getting around for Kiwis and expats alike.
Planes and Trains
If calculated per capita, New Zealand is the world’s leading country in air traffic. There are frequent flights connecting the different parts of the country, and taking a plane to reach other domestic destinations is a common part of life. Apart from flying, travelling the country is mostly done by bus.
There are some train connections as well, although these are picturesque routes intended for visitors wanting to see the country’s natural highlights, rather than a regular means of transport for those actually living in New Zealand. Between the two major islands, there are regular ferry connections, transporting both passengers and cars.