New Zealand

Moving to New Zealand?

Connect with fellow expats in New Zealand
Join exciting events and groups
Get information in our New Zealand guides
Exchange tips about expat life in New Zealand

Moving to New Zealand

Rare animal species like the kiwi can be found all over New Zealand.

New Zealand remains a popular destination for potential expatriates, and many of those considering a move to New Zealand are attracted by the country’s high quality of living, its welcoming attitude towards foreigners, and its spectacular scenery.

New Zealand has long been particularly popular among those who appreciate the great outdoors. The diverse natural attractions range from beautiful coasts and beaches to vast forests, deep blue lakes, active volcanoes and majestic glaciers. Enjoying nature’s beauty will be part of your everyday life after you’ve settled in New Zealand. But rest assured: If you are not a fan of bungee jumping, hiking, or paragliding, there will still be plenty of other, less adventurous ways to enjoy yourself after moving to New Zealand.

New Zealand's Economy

The strongest sectors in New Zealand are agriculture, food and beverages, health and knowledge-intensive services. In addition, tourism plays a vital role in New Zealand’s economy since it positively affects other sectors as well, for example the hospitality sector. Agriculture as well as tourism are both very strong sectors in the local economy. The manufacturing and high-tech sectors, on the other hand, are relatively small. There are great job opportunities for expats moving to New Zealand, especially for those with strong professional skills in these fields.

Even though both the export of agricultural products and the tourism industry are very profitable, they make the country highly dependent on international trade.. Therefore, the slowdown of China’s growth in particular has added some uncertainty to New Zealand’s economic situation. Nevertheless, experts predict real GDP growth of 3% for the next year, a continuing low inflation rate as well as decreasing unemployment.

The Employment Situation in New Zealand

Especially for foreign workers, finding a job is currently not particularly easy in New Zealand. Nevertheless, for those who possess not only the required skills but also the right amount of perseverance, finding employment in New Zealand is still an attainable goal.

 Moving to New Zealand and finding a job is continuously gaining popularity. Just recently, New Zealand’s job market reached its highest level of participation in history. The unemployment rate has been stable and is currently at 5.8%. According to the International Monetary Fund, New Zealand ranked 21st worldwide regarding GDP per capita. The income of the majority population is rather moderate, and expat salaries might be lower than what you expect when moving to New Zealand. On the other hand, local costs of living are also likely to be lower than what many expats are used to from their respective home countries.

Popular Expat Destinations in New Zealand

Unless they are moving to New Zealand specifically to enjoy the solitude of the country’s wilderness, most expats end up living in one of the bigger cities, as 90% of residents do.

The large majority of expatriates moving to New Zealand make Auckland or Wellington their home — two of the country’s largest cities, which are both continually ranked among the world’s most livable cities in international surveys. Indeed, Auckland was voted the 3rd most livable city in 2015 according to the Mercer Quality of Living Survey, taking into consideration factors such as safety, education, hygiene, healthcare, and the environment.


We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete. 


Serhat Ahmed

"With all of the information that InterNations provided on Wellington, it made my move from Turkey easier than I could have imagined."

Melanie Rasbery

"Since I knew about the active expat network in New Zealand, InterNations made moving to Wellington more exciting than it had seemed before."

Expat Magazine

Top Articles Expat Guide